An agnostic led his town’s City Council in a prayer Monday to protest the regular practice before government functions.
Steve Vincent said he was surprised to learn that each City Council meeting begins with a prayer, and he became particularly irritated during an online discussion with neighbors about a “Celebration of Faith” held earlier this year by Rancho Cordova’s community council.
Vincent said he became a legally ordained minister online as a member of the "Pastafarian" Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – a process he said was free and took about five seconds.
The community council granted his request to give the invocation, which cannot be sectarian or disparage any other faith.
Vincent used his invocation to cast doubt not only on the existence of God, but also whether such displays are appropriate in a community government setting.
“God? I’m not sure if you’re there,” Vincent said during his invocation. “You’re an agenda item on our government meeting. I’m not sure that’s what you had in mind for prayer, God.”
Vincent said he hopes others from less mainstream faiths will sign up to give the invocation.
"Let's get Scientologists and Wiccans and everybody to come pray,” he said. “The more the merrier."