Atheist Giving Opening Prayer at Tulsa City Council Meeting
Dan Nerren is calling on city council and you to help Tulsa improve not a higher power. As far as he knows it will be a first invocation an atheist will make inside council chambers. "Progress is slow. It just comes bit by bit, and this is just one little bit in this trek toward equal rights, equal acceptance," he told Tulsa's Channel 8.
City Council Chairman G.T. Bynum says he's never heard of an atheist giving the invocation before, but he says plenty of non-Christians have delivered the opening prayer. "We've had Muslims, Buddhists. We've had Jewish folks come in, we've even had a wiccan come in," said Bynum. He says it's required by law. Either everyone gets a chance or no one at all. Nerren says atheists like him favored the later, but his invocation and those that will follow are a compromise.
Nerren who grew up southern Baptist says he's ready to have his say, and Bynum, a catholic, isn't turned off by that. "No one's going to change my mind about my religious beliefs based on what they say in an invocation, but there are things I could learn from all sorts of different religions," said Councilor Bynum.
Tulsa's Channel 8 has learned that there will be extra security at Thursday's meeting in light of this week's invocation.