Atheists to Protest at Council Meeting: Report

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When the Hartford City Council begins its meeting on Monday night with a short prayer, some atheists in the audience will sit without saying a word.

Connecticut Valley Atheists plans to protest tonight over a controversy this fall over a plan to offer Muslim prayer before some meetings, Dennis Paul Himes, the group’s president, told the Hartford Courant.

The Hartford City Council invited imams to begin its two September meetings, in a show of solidarity for Muslims at a time of controversy. It happened while debate was brewing about a proposed mosque near Ground Zero.

There was some push back from across the country and the Council revokes its offer.

CT Valley Atheists do not believe in the existence of a God, or any similar supernatural being, according to their Web site.

"One thing which was apparently forgotten during that controversy is the fact that any sort of prayer at a government meeting is both a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and unfair discrimination against the thousands of Hartford residents who do not believe in any gods,” Himes wrote in the statement to the Courant.

Nothing about the protest is posted on the CT Valley Atheists Web site.

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