National Day of Prayer, 2004

At the NDOP event in San Jose, only Councilman Forrest Williams was present. I may have been conversing with a fundie at the time but I did not hear him address the hundred or so theists that gathered in front of city hall or hear a city-endorsed proclamation (I did not find one on the city council agenda, either.)

Mayor Gonzales was not at this event though some of the forty or so Valley Christian High students bussed in told me that they had met with the mayor and prayed for (with?) him and that he thanked them for their prayers. Mayor Gonzales is actually in hot water with the evangelicals because of his and the city council's passage of same-sex marriage benefits for city employees. Some Christian churches are pondering a recall campaign against Mayor Gonzales (hey, wouldn't that jeopardize their tax-exempt status?)

It was another fine protest as seven of ASV's finest stood up to the hordes that want to dismantle the wall of separation between state and church. While theist heads were bowed in prayer, Atheist heads were shaking in disbelief just a few cubits away. Hearing prayers always makes me think of an Ingersoll quotation... "All prayers die in the air which they uselessly agitate."

Before prayers, however, many students came over to our info table and engaged us in debate. As always Mark seems to gather a fair number of bodies around him, what with his scientific mind and strong logic. You just have to wonder how these young inquiring minds close so quickly.

So we held up our signs, debated with many and made our presence known, as we will every year until the government gets out of the religion business.

Take care,
Joe Mercado

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