Invocations will continue to be held at DuPage County Board meetings.
The board voted 11 to 6, in favor of affirming the practice of a prayer at the beginning of each meeting.
Prayer First Questioned
Democrat Dawn DeSart initially brought up the question of including invocations back in December. Many Democrats on the board agreed with her, along with many community members, who spoke up at the latest meeting.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable when we force our neighbors to sit through Christian prayers or any religious invocation,” said Bill, a public commenter from Naperville. “The idea that you solve the problem by simply rotating the religions, prayers, I think that’s better than nothing, but to me that’s people taking turns feeling unwelcome and excluded.”
However, some Republicans and even newly elected Democrat Sadia Covert, argued invocations encourage diversity, by including different religious leaders and giving them a platform to inform the public about their backgrounds.
History of Invocations
Among the 24 invocations given in 2018, only one was delivered by a non-Christian. But this year the diversity of the prayer has already increased, with a Jewish, two Muslim, and atheist speakers. You can hear more from the atheist speaker in our previous news story.
Invocations have been a part of the board’s agenda since at least 1973.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.