Atheist to deliver New York town's invocation

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GREECE, N.Y. — An atheist is set to deliver the opening “prayer" before the upstate New York town board where the U.S. Supreme Court's recent prayer case was centered.

The Center for Inquiry says Rochester atheist Dan Courtney will open the July 15 Greece Town Board meeting.

Two town residents — one Jewish, the other atheist — recently lost their challenge of the town's pre-meeting prayer practice. They'd argued the mostly Christian prayers said at the start of each meeting made them uncomfortable.

But in May, the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the practice, declaring the prayers in line with long national traditions.

Greece officials say people of any religious denomination are welcome to deliver the opening prayer.

Courtney says his invocation will focus on the theme of inclusion in America.

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