While seated at the Board of Commissioners for Havelock on Feb. 25, the atmosphere was full with the smell of Girl Scout cookies. Parents were proud of their little ones. They were smiling ear to ear in anticipation of presenting the mayor of Havelock as well as Havelock’s commissioners with cookies. Also in attendance for support was the Boy Scouts. I thought to myself: the future leaders meet the current leaders. These young boys and girls of our community have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with our elected officials.
The room hushed as the time for the meeting to begin approached. The mayor smacked the gavel and called for a moment of silence, to which the man next to me said "I’d rather not." During this moment of silence, these words continuously rang in my head: "I’d rather not." I couldn’t believe these words that I heard!
The meeting carried on with a Boy Scout stepping up to the stand to give his five minutes of citizen petition. This young man took his five minutes to request that the mayor and board once again open with prayer. Last year, the mayor stated that it was advised for them to not pray as they do, and if they were even going to pray, for it to be a generic prayer. Here we are, over a year later, and a Boy Scout is asking these elected officials to pray instead of have a moment of silence. Wow, the courage of a 12 year old!
The mayor began to speak and explain to the young man that this wasn’t something they voted on but was a suggestion from their city lawyer as well as other elected officials.
After this scout, another citizen who said she didn’t plan on speaking took to the stand. This concerned citizen hearing the scout voice a concern was encouraged to speak. Enough is enough. Where does it stop, she said.
At this point, to my amazement, the gentleman who was seated next to me got up and began to speak about the same words as the lady before him. I then understood when he said "I’d rather not" meant I’d rather pray.
So this is the question I ask you, when is it enough? Our congress prays! Our state house prays! Our county prays! Why not our city?
Clint Jones, Havelock