Tim Earl

TimEarlTim Earl
City Council,
Portage, Mich.
June 23, 2015

Usually at this point, you are asked to bow your heads. I will do no such thing. I’d rather you lift your heads in the name of human dignity and self respect.

The source of your inspiration shouldn’t be in some otherworldly realm, but right here in front of you, in the form of the citizens who have elected you and care enough about their city to come here and participate in these proceedings.

There is no greater power on Earth than a united people working towards a common goal. And so I ask you as our leaders to take on this extraordinary task of being uniters, guiding us on the path to continued peace and prosperity.

We can only achieve that goal through mutual respect and tolerance of other viewpoints.
While history is replete with examples of religious differences leading to violence or persecution, lately we’ve seen a sharp increase in such incidents.

Virtually all religions, including the major religions of today, preach violence against followers of other faiths or no faith.

Yet when an act of violence is committed in the name of one religion, followers of other faiths condemn the en- tire religion as a reprehensible outlier, and a verbal and sometimes physical Holy War ensues.

And we also have members of the majority faith in America trying to use the legislative process to force every- one to live in accordance with their religious beliefs.
Religious freedom has been rede- fined as the right to outlaw actions that your religion finds objectionable.

The time has come to cast aside such sectarian divisions and face the future together as a diverse society united by our common humanity.

We must all work together to make this happen, but you as elected leaders bear a special responsibility to lead by example and resist the temptation to legislate religious belief.
So let’s leave the religious displays at church and get to work on the business of the city.

FFRF member Tim Earl lives in Portage, Mich., with his wife and two daughters, ages 7 and 10. After leaving the Navy as a lieutenant commander in 2004, he start- ed work as a fire safety consultant. He’s a member of the city’s Park Board. In 2011, he asked the council to stop prayers. The council didn’t stop but invited him to give a secular invocation, which he has done since 2012.

Freedom From Religion Foundation