Press Release: Atheists to Host ‘Minorities Matter’ Rally After Nebraskan Mayor’s Outburst

Atheists, La Vista Mayor to Meet on Tuesday

Omaha, NE—Omaha Atheists and the national nonprofit American Atheists announced on Thursday plans for a rally in La Vista, a suburb of Omaha, to be held Monday, June 2. The rally’s theme, “Minorities Matter, Mr. Mayor,” challenges La Vista Mayor Douglas Kindig’s disparaging remarks about the role of minorities at a city-sponsored Memorial Day event last Sunday.douglas-kindig

The rally, which will begin at 5:45 at La Vista City Hall, is scheduled to feature a diverse program of brief remarks from representatives of various minority groups in the Omaha metro area. Immediately following the rally, a “Meet the Atheists” potluck, open to all, is planned at Central Park a half-mile away.

The rally protests some of La Vista’s recent Memorial Day activities, which included a “Prayer Walk” and a “Faith and Freedom Day,” including an official “Service” led by a local Christian pastor. The activities, promoted on the city’s official website, included songs praising “Jesus” and overtly Christian prayers. After the religious service, a La Vista resident in attendance, Robert Fuller, approached the mayor to give him a business card and request a meeting at a later date about Mr. Fuller’s concern regarding separation of church and state at the service. Mayor Kindig responded to Mr. Fuller, an atheist and board member of Omaha Atheists, by stating, “Take me to f*cking court because I don’t care,” and “Minorities are not going to run my city.”

Following national media coverage of the mayor’s comments, Mayor Kindig’s staff has sent an email request for a meeting with Mr. Fuller, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 3, to which Mr. Fuller has agreed. Amanda Knief, Managing Director and In-house Counsel of the national group American Atheists, and Jill Fitzgerald, a spokesperson for Omaha Atheists, will accompany Mr. Fuller to the meeting.

“Mayor Kindig’s remarks about minorities are despicable,” said Ms. Fitzgerald. “Minorities create a healthy diversity and though atheists may be a minority in the Bible Belt, our government has a responsibility to represent us and our interests equally to those of all other citizens. It was Mayor Kindig who suggested a lawsuit, not us—we see this as an educational opportunity and a chance to build bridges.”

“At this meeting, we will have several objectives,” said Ms. Knief, who previously was an Omaha resident and journalist for the Omaha World-Herald and will also be attending the rally. “We will ask Mayor Kindig for a real public apology to all the minority groups of his community. We will also be putting the mayor and the city on notice that from this day forward we expect La Vista to invite representatives from every religious, humanist, and atheist group in this community to every future government-sponsored religious event. We will extend an invitation to Mayor Kindig as our guest to participate in the Apostacon secular conference in Omaha this September, where we hope he will work with us to create a plan to ensure that La Vista is an accepting place for all its citizens.”

  • VegasJamie

    Honored and especially proud to be a member of both Omaha Atheists and American Atheists!! We rock all the socks!

    • VegasJamie

      You “rock all the socks” because you belong to two hate groups? Or are you willing to post a comment saying you respect the right of people to believe in God and don’t discriminate against believers?

      • VegasJamie

        Oh you got me there.
        Yea right. The difference between atheists and theists is atheists accept everyone regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation. Theists hate anyone unlike them. Who’s the real hate group??

        • VegasJamie

          “Theists hate anyone unlike them”.

          Completely untrue. Are there believers who discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientations, etc.? Sure, absolutely — and as I believer I also will say that such discrimination is always wrong. But there are also plenty of atheists who do the same thing.

          Why are YOU discriminating against all believers based on the actions of a small (albeit outspoken) minority? You do realize there are women, minorities, and openly gay CLERY in major Christian denominations (e.g.. Episcopalians), right?

          • Cthulhu21

            You have a point that not all people of faith are the same. Doesn’t gloss over what a lot (not majority) do.

        • VegasJamie

          If all believers hate homosexuals, how do you explain an openly-gay Lutheran BISHOP?

          http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/03/lutherans-elect-first-openly-gay-bishop/

          If you read the article, you will also learn that there are about 130 other gay Lutheran clergy members.

          Why not do you research before condemning all believers as intolerant?

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  • Korey Kaczynski

    I’m sure you guys attended this event looking for a problem, couldn’t find one, and thus decided to harass the mayor for a little bit of attention-seeking. ZZZZ. So pathetic.

    • Cthulhu21

      Right, and not because the mayor could be using this to further a political agenda pushing religious majority prevligies over minority rights.

      • Korey Kaczynski

        I highly doubt that the faith part of this event was the mayors sole doing, nor do I think it is some Machiavellian political stunt.

        Religious privilege over minority rights? How in the hell were you “oppressed” by some event I am certain you didnt even attend.

        This Marxist rhetoric is laughable. Yeah, some event to honor vets and those that died for our country with a little faith thrown in is the starting point of the Great Nebraska Inquisition. Give it a rest.

        Oh yeah I laughed in the article where the person said we are in the bible belt. That was pretty good.

        • Cthulhu21

          Who said I was being oppressed? I was just pointing out the mayors’ disregard for people who don’t share his faith. And anyways, the government cannot promote any religion over others as per the 1st amendment of the constitution. This isn’t about oppression. This is about a man in a government position breaking the law and getting huffy about his privialeges encroached upon.

          • Cthulhu21

            And atheists are respectful of people who don’t share their lack of faith??? The entire message of AA is insulting and attacking believers. Don’t complain about intolerance when you practice it yourself

          • Cthulhu21

            Um, we’re not talking about that. It seems like you’re trying to same me into feeling bad about something _I_ don’t do. Stay on topic please.

      • Cthuhlu21

        If atheists ruled this country, there would be laws against religion.

        If you think that’s an exaggeration, look at all the (nuisance) lawsuits AA keeps filing.

        • Cthulhu21

          Who said atheists wanted to rule the country? I’m for a secular government. Not all of us are so anti religious that we want to take away people’s rights to practice religion. But anyway, why are you supposing a false dichotomy?

          Your point?

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