By now, you may have heard something about a brewing and fluid situation in the small town of Lake Worth, FL. In case you haven’t, let me bring you up to date.
It really started back on December 2, 2014 at the City Commission meeting when atheist Preston Smith was allowed to stand and utter what can probably best be described as blasphemous drivel as he offered a “prayer” to, among others, zeus, allah, and satan, in the place of an invocation to Almighty God. You may read more on that incident by clicking here for the coverage by freedomoutpost.com.
To their credit, Mayor Triolo and several other commissioners left the room before he began, and returned when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
That “prayer” did leave a looming problem and precedent however. By allowing Mr. Smith to be there, the door has been left ajar for other “alternative” invocations and Chaz Stevens of the “Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus Pole,” citing “a spirit of understanding (and equal protection under Federal law) has requested to give a satanic invocation at the next available meeting. While I have tried to ascertain the town’s decision of his request, several calls to Town Clerk Pamela Lopez have gone unreturned as of press time.
Interestingly, since the “prayer” by Mr. Smith, the City of Lake Worth has been less than friendly toward the Churches in the City, and is now sending “spies” to attend and report on at least one church known as the Common Ground Church which holds two Sunday services in Pastor Mike Olive’s coffee bar known as “Common Grounds Coffee Bar.”
The city is doing this “spying” because they started trying to force the churches in the city to obtain business licenses, then maybe changing to Certificates of Occupancy because of “public safety” and some other nonsense that has been changing since this story has been gaining more and more attention in the last several days. While I don’t know as of press time what other changes may be occurring, and in spite of the fact that a couple of churches have acquiesced and filed for the licenses, I’m guessing that the growing attention and the lawyers are making the city wish this had never happened and would just go away.
Additionally and significantly, on Tuesday evening, March 3, 2015, almost all of the parishioners of Common Ground Church and many others from the community gathered for a little less than an hour on the east side steps of City Hall.
While some might have guessed they were doing so in protest, nothing could be further from the truth. Led by Pastor Olive, they arrived; men and women, toddlers and teens, and others with many more years of experience. Instead of offering a word of protest, in very Christ like fashion, they started by singing a chorus of “Amazing Grace,” and then breaking up into small groups of about a half dozen or so, they offered prayers beginning by reciting 1 Timothy 2:1,2; praying for those in authority.
After praying in those groups for around twenty minutes; praying for all involved, the community and churches, members of the commission, for friends and foes alike, and many other things, the group ended the gathering by reciting The Lord’s Prayer in unison.
From there, Pastor Olive invited everyone to join in fellowship at the Common Grounds Coffee Bar.
This story is far from over. There are Constitutional and other legal issues that need to be settled. Pastor Olive, a man of outstanding faith and character, understands spiritual warfare and that this is only a test. He knows and believes that not only will the 1st Amendment prevail, but so will his flock and the other flocks in this little town called Lake Worth, and this great county called America.