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Atheists, Humanists Protest Inaugural Prayer Service

dcist - Eddie Kim
Already several hours into Vincent Gray's first day as mayor, the Secular Coaltion for America is crying 'prayer without representation' over Gray's first inaugural event of today. The group is publicly protesting this morning's ecumenical prayer service for excluding atheists, humanists, agnostics and other non-theists in the event's program.

The service, which included Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu leaders, was entitled "One City Praying Together" and touched upon many of the same "one city" themes brought up in Gray's successful campaign. In addition, D.C. Council chairman-elect Kwame R. Brown, several councilmembers and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier were in attendance.
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Atheists Accuse D.C. Mayor-Elect of Discrimination
An atheist group in Washington, D.C., is protesting that they aren't being invited to take part in a prayer service.

The service is called "One City, Praying Together," the first official event at Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's inauguration on Jan. 2.

Secular Coalition for America complained that it is discriminatory to exclude atheists from a service meant to unite all of D.C.

"We would prefer that a government function such as an inauguration not be entwined with religion," said Amanda Knief, a Humanist Celebrant and government relations manager for SCA.
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Atheists Demand Equal Time at New D.C. Mayor's Prayer Service

Politics Daily - David Gibson
Here's a brain-teaser for the day: The capital's leading lobby of atheists and humanists is complaining because they have been excluded from an ecumenical prayer service on Sunday morning that will launch inaugural festivities ahead of Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's swearing-in.
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Atheists Protest to Participate in D.C. Inaugural Prayer Service

The Christian Post - Stephanie Samuel
D.C. secularists plan to protest city Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray's January inaugural prayer service after his transition team resisted attempts to place a humanist celebrant on the interfaith program.

The Secular Coalition for America's Washington D.C. is publicly shaming the mayoral administration for excluding the atheists, humanists, agnostics and other nontheists from its inaugural ecumenical prayer service entitled "One City Praying Together."

Humanist and SCA Government Relations Manager Amanda Knief said the group contacted Gray's team about the guest list and was told it was too late.
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Non-theists in the city: Gray off on the wrong foot

The Washington Post - Herb Silverman
An inauguration is a traditional ceremony to mark the beginning of a newly elected leader's term. Such festivities send symbolic messages to the citizenry. You would not think any reasonable politician would want to exclude citizens from participating in this ritual based on race, color, creed, sex, or national origin. But it appears you would be wrong.

I assumed Washington's Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray would oppose discrimination in any form, for any reason. However, he apparently finds it acceptable to discriminate against atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-theistic citizens in his city. The mayor's first official inaugural event, on January 2, is scheduled to be an interfaith service entitled "One City ... Praying Together." Nontheists, through the Secular Coalition for America, have asked to be included, but we have been told there is no room for us.

This is wrong on a variety of levels.
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