Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Invocation versus moment of silence?

In a public display of faith, Quartzsite residents were actually allowed to speak on a proposal to permanently replace the invocation with a moment of silence. The council unanimously chose to disregard the recommendation of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and once again they chose prayer over the constitution, case law.
Quartzsite's history of prayer in the meeting room began with appointed acting mayor Wes Huntley, who thought he was so pious that he should personally invoke Jesus' name. After Ed Foster was elected as Mayor, and he gave the invocation, Huntley supporters were outraged and pushed for an ammendment to stop the mayor from leading the people in a request for divine guidance, at the council meeting on 10-26-10.

102610 – 6. Discussion and possible approval of Ordinance No. 10-18; amending the Town Code Chapter 2 – Mayor and Council, Section 2-4-6 – Order of Business. Council Member Lukkasson motioned to approve Ordinance No. 10-18; amending the Town Code Chapter 2 – Mayor and Council, Section 2-4-6 – Order of Business. Motion seconded by Council Member Kelley. Ms. Jennifer Harris, resident, comments regarding her research on this item. Council Member Winslow calls for Point of Order. Ms. Harris suggests observing a Moment of Silence instead of the Invocation. Mayor Foster states this is another attempt of this Council to deprive the Mayor of the authority of the Council Meeting and if this item passes he has no intention of letting the Council dictate who gets to do the invocation. Mayor Foster states that it is the Mayor’s prerogative to do that and will continue to do that. Mayor Foster states should this become an issue it will go to court. Discussion regarding the Invocation portion of the agenda. Mayor Foster calls for the vote. Vote – 6 in favor, 1 opposed (Mayor Foster). MOTION CARRIED.

Town Code 2-4-6 officially lists the invocation as part of the Town Council Meeting agenda, and states it is to be performed by a member of clergy or a member of the council.

The Establishment Clause of the First Ammendment to the U.S. Constitional states,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
Together with the Free Exercise Clause ("... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"), these two clauses make up what are called the "religion clauses" of the First Amendment.[1]

The establishment clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.


  1. From preachers, pastors, Priests, to every calling of the cloth, and to the Government, from the lowest position of employment to the Chief and Commander.
    Prayer should be offered in a state of humbleness and a in absolute gratefulness.
    In the last ten years, I walked away from the Lord, I had given up twice, He came and got me.
    He made it clear that it was not Him who had done this to me, my faith, my belief, my trust, my peace, my hope, my joy, my ministry but man had done this and sins of the flesh. The reason I am righting is because of one thing.
    We who believe keep praying for forgiveness and and forget to examine our self .
    Throught attacks of those I trusted and like a fool believe in, It hurt me
    Repent!!!, It isn't as easiy as it seems, why our flesh. When I called on the name of the Lord to save me from drugs, it took him three years to get me sober, why? I would say in joking because I was so screwed up. I lived a life that was beon anything you havev ever know.
    Things that Happen today that others do wrong to me. I ask God to forgive me for how I feel and what I want to do to them and everybody they know and love and to heal my heart.
    And bless me to overcome this and to bless them.
    Before, this would have never happen,
    I won't go into details, but I can say this, when I look back, Jesus will come get you, I am crying right now and the HOLY spirit rolls inside me, From that Wednesday night in October when I was 7 years old, I can say there is no friend like Christ Jesus.
    You will dine in the mist of your enemies and be hidden in plain sight of your captors.
    Those of Government who try to overcome you just dig a hole so deep it lands on their back and bury them self alive. Remember" pharaoh God harden his heart to show the people His Glory and all the king hearts lay in the hand of God.
    A lot of prayers was in this town praying for Pat Mark and ED and if you don't do right I'll spell your name wrong so we can hear you cry like a little girl about it. NO just just Joking,
    I want to close with this, If you are doing right you don't have to hunt for the dark.
    This city council has no reason to go behind close doors if what they do is right.
    Let's straighten this town up and do it right.
    I went to a pastor I knew all my life and asked him questions, I was about to get Married and there was a age gap of many years between me and my wife, His words said I will only say this, what God has brought together who has the right to say anything, they are judging God and I want nothing to do with it but praise God, and for those who do, will meet the wrath of God, Do you remember what Moses said to the people, what is this to you?
    Travis Gilbert

    1. This is so true, I know what you are going through in this town, Travis. That's why my family and I go to Parker to church and hope to move to Kingman soon. Most of the people who live in Quartzsite are from the northwest and I've found them to be very mean, two-faced, and they think they are smarter and better than others.
      Truth is, we pray every morning and evening that God will not let this go undone here in Quartzsite.
      I have a similar story as your story and yes we have a true friend in Jesus. I won't identify myself, but I will pray for you and your wife and put you on our prayer list that my family and I have.
      God bless you for speaking up and telling the truth.
      I hope to meet you and maybe sit down and talk someday.

  2. Let's work on maintaining an honest, stable and open town council first. Any progress made in achieving that goal can be easily derailed by bringing in extraneous issues such as the one depicted in the article.
    I'm not a religious person but I don't mind allowing an invocation at the beginning of the meeting. I am more interested in having the council listen to my concerns in a respectful and attentive manner. I come from a city where the council deems it necessary to have their own state, national and foreign policy but they can't keep the streets maintained and control the budget.

    The median age of the Quartzsite resident is 67 years old. Senior citizens in general, do not like rapid change. The autumn and winter years of a person's life should be filled with reflection and enjoyment - not filled with the stress contributed by minor issues that in the "big picture", do not really amount to a hill of beans.

    If you really want to be angry, there are much bigger issues to confront. Lets' keep it local.

    I just moved here and am watching the local political dynamics with great interest. We have a unique town and the benefit of winter visitors that provide a source of tax revenue that most cities envy. If the revenue is managed conservatively,openly and honestly , the residents will be well served.
    Thanks for hearing me out.