This is a letter of appreciation to the Pendleton City Council, for choosing not to include prayer in city council meetings.
Prayer is a highly individual choice and not appropriate for public bodies. As a secular person, I have family members and close friends who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, and of other belief systems including secular. All are thoughtful, civic-minded people who work hard for their communities. Everyone should feel 100 percent welcome in public meetings, and that is not the case when citizens must abide expressions of faith which are not their own.
While I respect an individual’s choice to pray according to his or her belief, we must also guard against mingling personal belief systems with public citizenry. Good work, city council.