NE Mayor to Atheist Group: ‘Minorities Are Not Going to Ruin My City!’
A Nebraska judge told a group of atheists concerned over a violation of church and state exactly how he felt about their desire to discuss a Memorial Day weekend ‘Faith and Freedom’ event.
“Take me to f-cking court, I don’t care,” LaVista mayor Douglas Kindig told the atheist group after one of the members handed him a business card and requested a meeting post-event to discuss possible church-state violations raised when the city promoted prayer on the public coffers.
The mayor also snapped, “Minorities are not going to ruin my city.”
The event, which featured a pancake breakfast and a Memorial Day service led and sponsored by the community’s churches, raised the ire of a local atheist group because it used taxpayer funds to promote the Christian faith rather than celebrate the diversity of all soldiers who have fought and died for the country.
Army veteran Josiah Mannion, who has also served on the board of the Omaha Atheists, also said he was hurt at Kindig’s remarks and exclusion, especially since he fought for his country’s freedoms just the same as other soldiers – minority or not.
“As someone who proudly served my country defending Mr. Kindig’s rights, I am heartbroken he used the memory of my brothers and sisters in arms to defend bigotry,” Mannion said.
Meagan Wilson, president of Omaha Atheists, added that although clearly Kindig has strong views on the subject, as an elected official he should be willing to engage in constructive dialogue with all local residents, even those who are not Christians.
“Mr. Kindig’s comments are insulting and dismissive of the rights of citizens to bring concerns to their elected officials. He clearly has strong opinions about this topic, but we are saddened and concerned that he would rather demand legal action that wastes taxpayer resources than have a respectful conversation,”
The group also said they are still willing to discuss matters with the mayor, whenever he is ready to engage in serious dialogue on the subject and pointed out that, in the past, Kindig has promised to listen to all citizens, even those who oppose his views.
“I am willing to listen to our citizens because they are the ones suppose [sic] to direct our future,” Kindig said previously, apparently not intending those remarks to extend to the atheist group or other ‘minorities.’
Photo Credit: City of LaVista