Sunday, May 25, 2014

La Vista, Nebraska Mayor: "Minorities Will Not Run My Town"

My father was in the Air Force for 20 years, and continued to serve after his retirement until his premature death.  I have numerous other friends & family who have served.  I had intended to join the military myself until various health issues took that option away from me. 

So I have nothing against people honoring the sacrifices of those who did not make it home how they fit, on their own.  If people want to do this in a religious service, they should definitely be allowed to do this.  But not government.

The City of La Vista (the suburb of Omaha I live in) disagrees.

This kind of religious service is particularly offensive because they're using Memorial Day to get away with it.  They started by having a police captain read the names of soldiers who had died in the line of duty.

As I took this, he got to the name Lonnie Allen, who I went to 6th grade with. The street up to Birchcrest Elementary in Bellevue is named for him.  I don't claim to have been close to him.  But I knew him and liked him.  I was sad when I learned he had died.

On the way out, I attempted to discuss the issue with my mayor, so a civil resolution to this violation of the Constitution could be reached.  His immediate response was, "Take me to fucking court because I don't care."

I responded to that by saying that I was hoping to resolve this civilly.  His response to that was to walk away from me while saying "Minorities are not going to run my city."

Thanks to Be Secular for the perfect shirt for this
When (not if) I challenge this, I'll be accused of not supporting the troops.  The fact that it's not true won't matter.

I'll be told that this is a Christian nation.  The fact that it's not true won't matter.

I'll be accused of trying to force my atheism on them.  The fact I am just as opposed to an atheist government as I am a Christian government won't matter.

I'll be accused of violating their religious freedom.  The fact that this city sponsored church service is not within their religious freedom won't matter.  The fact that this service violates my religious freedom won't matter.

But none of that matters to me.  I can take the abuse from the Christians.  What matters to me is that is wrong.  What matters to me is that my minority status is irrelevant.  Civil rights and the Constitution are for everyone, not just the majority.

They're free to worship as they wish.  Just keep it out of my government.

I don't want to sue my own city any more than I wanted to cussed at and demeaned by my mayor.  Hopefully he'll be more open to having civil discussion before we get to that point.


  1. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  2. Robert -

    I just emailed every council member for La Vista expressing my concern over this. As a Jew AND and atheist, I cannot stand for this type of religious discrimination and blatant disregard for the concerns of La Vista's citizens.

    I am not a La Vista resident, however my kids attend G. Stanley Hall elementary school which IS in La Vista - and in the one month we've been living here, there has already been a gross violation of that separation in a school sanctioned assembly where a ministry came and preached to the students and invited them to attend church services locally.

  3. It's unfortunate that this kind of thing still occurs. I grew up in Bellevue and have since moved away to another state but I come back to visit on occasion. I never realize how backward thinking that area is until I return for visits or see things such as this rear their ugly heads. As we atheists continue to challenge the Christians in everything they attempt to do with public funds, we will always be considered the aggressors and Christians will always feel like they're oppressed.