In the thick of election season with deepening divisions in northern Idaho, CdA city staff and council members ignored the plea of volunteers to offer invocations for the past several months. Invocations occur at the discretion of the council who control the agenda. “Invocation,” listed on each agenda accompanied by a blank space to its right.
The previous method of controlling invocations, where a pastor submitted a list of names to the city, was illegal and violated the rights of excluded citizens. Upon realization, the city created an inclusive lottery system for which they received a Defense of Religious Freedom Award. Now, perhaps fearing blow-back from far-right christian activists and opposition from non-religious, the city apparently abandoned invocations altogether.
Local elections will have a significant turn out. This could bode badly for the more incumbents with voting records subject to scrutiny and significant opposition from the far right. Hopefully their careers in public service don’t transition from “living on a prayer,” to “dying on the vine” as did invocations.