Iowa Republican National Committee member Tamara Scott complained on July 10 about an atheist, Justin Scott, who gave an invocation on July 7 at a meeting of the Oskaloosa City Council in Iowa.
Scott expressed her feelings during a radio interview on WHO with host Jeff Angelo:
He wants it to become more normalized than prayer, and the very last thing, he wants to do away with prayer, "in a perfect world we wouldn't have these prayers, but as long as we do, I'll challenge them." Buddy, if you take away prayer, you'll never see a perfect world.
We don't have a perfect world with prayer because of all the human beings in it. Look, what’s happened just since we took prayer out of the schools, Jeff. Scores plummeted, violence went up, parents divorced. From a simple 22-word prayer going out of school.
Student-led prayer is allowed in public schools, but school employees are not allowed to tell children how to pray, per the Supreme Court.
Angelo said that atheism promotes the absence of something, which he concluded didn't make any sense.
Scott stated that America needed to stay true to what she called its Christian background:
This goes along with those bumper stickers that we see that say "Co-Exist." Can we co-exist? No, you can't. Because those who come against Christianity want to destroy Christianity. Our Founding Fathers created a Christian nation. We definitely have a Christian background. The Declaration of Independence. We celebrated it just July 4, and two days later, this city council is having an atheist come speak?
Can you imagine the men that sacrificed their families and their fortunes, and they mentioned not just several gods in the Declaration of Independence, but the one true God, four different times. There’s no mistaking that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. And they did it because they knew what made better Christians made better citizens.
Because law only punishes crime, but Christianity changes the heart and prevents it. And once you take those principles out, that’s when you start seeing what we’re seeing today, Jeff. You see the Ferguson. You see the riots. You see the Antifa. You see the Resistance.
And when you take away that heart of prevention, then government has to become more authoritarian and coercion. And once government becomes coercive, and tries to control from the external, we destroy the country.
The Friendly Atheist transcribed Scott's invocation, which read, in part:
Tonight, as many of you have figured out, I will not be invoking a Higher Power. Instead, I will be pointing out some powers all of us have thanks to the wonder of human evolution, to do the most good for the most number of people right here in beautiful Oskaloosa. I encourage everyone to harness these powers in every discussion invoked tonight.
...The power to empathize with those that are different from you; that have taken a different path than you, that have experienced and continue to experience different struggles than yours. The human power to embrace diversity in your community, seeing it not as a threat, but as an opportunity to learn and grow as neighbors.
The human power to strive for inclusion in your city government. It is here to work for all citizens, but only if you demand more from it. The human power to demand justice within your city, as we are all, in one way or another, all minorities.
When it comes to making the right decisions for the city of Oskaloosa, decisions that ensure that the rights and freedoms of all citizens are upheld and protected, this chamber must demand more than appeals to the supernatural, but rather rely only on taking an evidence-based approach to all decisions.