I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Insight into One Person's Motivation for Demanding he Bring the Invocation.....

A Pensacola resident, pictured above with his back turned to the dais and the speaker at last month's school board meeting, has stated 

"the longer I am delayed, the more obscure I'll make my prayer when they finally allow it. Right now they are Pagan-level cooperation. More rejection and delays and I'll go to FSM. If they keep obstructing, I go Satanic."

Really?  He'll go Satanic?  It sounds like a demand wrapped inside a threat.

My idea posted on this blog for accommodating Christians and other religions at our monthly board meetings drew a huge online attack-directed at me.  It really spun up 12-15 non- Christians around the country as they responded to another blog post (utilizing pseudonyms) that was full of inaccuracies, out-of-context quotations, and other propaganda anddisinformation.

 The individual who created this situation is also the guy who came to our last board meeting and  turned his back on the board and speaker during the invocation.   What a swell guy!  But, I’m not sure what he’s all spun up over, I mean,  according to him-one of my counterparts on the school board already offered him the opportunity to bring an invocation—but he summarily declined.

Apparently, he wants to be accommodated on HIS terms only…

This individual was upset with me because I would not acquiesce to his DEMAND that I allow him to skip the line, putting him in the slot to speak ahead of 300,000 other Escambia County Residents, to give the August invocation as my invited guest.  He was rude about it, mis-characterizing a phone conversation we had, and emailing other board members his inaccurate and badly flawed view of our phone conversation.

At least one board member, apparently, has seen this guy's email and is under the naive, mistaken belief that his words are my words.  They're not, and I'll correct this board member at the next workshop.  I thought I made myself clear at the last workshop but perhaps this one board member did not hear what I said.

But I digress... 

Make no mistake:  This guy pictured and quoted above, David Suhor, wants to make a splash in the news, make a name for himself, and come to our meeting and do something outrageous-that's my opinion based upon his actions and statements lately.  His comments from an online blog post, attacking me, are telling of his intent and those of his cronies.  I’ll re-state this emphatically-I’m not participating in someone’s prank.  Check out what the real intention is, what many of us have suspected, based upon David’s (and others’) comments on this subject, below, from “The Friendly Atheist”:

David Suhor (posting under the pseudonym an apple biter) Stated:
“The one SB member who gave me the OK is backing off, saying she may have to give that date to a new SB member after the election. The others are not responding to multiple requests from Humanists and atheists seeking an equal opportunity to pray. They say they are waiting for legal advice and planning a workshop to figure it out. Meanwhile, I have no doubt they are lining up Xtians (and maybe one Jew) so they can say their spots are all full until forever. This is a common tactic: Unwanted prayer-givers are asking for inclusion. Instead of saying no, they SEEK OUT others of their own faith and ask them to give their next invocation/s. That way, they can say their date books are filled for YEARS. My reply: the longer I am delayed, the more obscure I'll make my prayer when they finally allow it. Right now they are Pagan-level cooperation. More rejection and delays and I'll go to FSM. If they keep obstructing, I go Satanic. As an Agnostic Pagan Pantheist, I claim the right to invoke any god/s I want”

RfromNY stated:
“I suggest someone pretend to be Xtian, get on the schedule, then get up there with a prayer rug and bend toward Mecca, or pray to Satan, or whatever. I don't care if it's lying, they've given us no choice.”

Paul stated:
“I wish I could go and give a prayer to Odin, performing all the hammer rituals and everything”

Andrea A stated:
“someone please dress up as a "Witch Doctor" and go to their next meeting”

To which rascal barqucat replied:
“It is Florida, so it probably wouldn't be too hard to find a "Witch Doctor" or at least a sympathetic Santeria priest or a southern conjure-woman root-doctor”

In addition to these outrageous posts, many of these allegedly very tolerant, progressive, and open-minded individuals have hurled obscenities at me from all directions, calling me such lovely names as
“A F*%&ing  A$& H#&le!”  and a  “Piece of S#$T!”  and others I won’t mention here...

 Yeah, these swell, ultra-polite  guys have only the best of intentions with their requests to deliver the invocation at the school board meetings. 
…..Not so far as I can tell from the way they conduct themselves!

Comments above quoted from the comments section of:

Mehta, Hemant. (2014) “Florida School Board Member Tells Pagan: If You Deliver an Invocation, I’ll Walk Out and Ask the Crowd to Join Me.”  The Friendly Atheist, 8-22-2014.


Phoenix Malizia said...

Non-Christians are tired of Christians' overwhelming sense of privilege and entitlement. Why do you not get that?

Leave the prayers at home or in church, where they belong. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

this guy sounds like a fringe element freakshow do it my way or
I will pray to the devil. Hope this guy gets no where close to any kids

Jeff Bergosh said...

Phoenix Malizia-This is not about an overwhelming sense of privilege and entitlement, this is about not turning a solemn invocation, meant for the benefit of the assembled legislative delegation, into a social statement by those who simply seek to spike the football in our faces to make some headlines. Our current system is legal and I really do not see it changing very much.

Anonymous said...

You say it's not about privilege and entitlement yet every single one of the people you've asked to give the invocation has done it as a Christian. Is a Buddhist's invocation any less solemn than your Christian one just because they don't have Mega-churches?
Who are you to judge what is and isn't a solemn invocation?