In Tulsa, Oklahoma, an atheist will open tonight’s city council meeting in prayer. Its considered the first time an atheist will pray at the council meeting. The local chapter of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State asked the council to offer the prayer to other groups and the council agreed.
Dan Nerren, who was raised a Southern Baptist but is now an atheist, will be the one to deliver the prayer. But he says what he will deliver won’t be a prayer. He calls an in invocation, not to a deity but to the city council. His invocation “speaks about harmony, love, getting along and that kind of thing.”
Nerren runs an atheist group called the Humanist Association of Tulsa. He started it in 1988. He says it has around 20 members.