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Hamilton County Commission mulling atheist invocation

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Brandon Jones, left, and Tommy Coleman, right, lead a rally at the Hamilton County Courthouse. File photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press. Brandon Jones, left, and Tommy Coleman, right, lead a rally at the Hamilton County Courthouse. File photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -- Lawyers for Hamilton County are still deciding whether an atheist minister is eligible to perform an invocation to a County Commission meeting.

Thomas Coleman, one of two men suing the county to put an end to prayers before commission meetings, asked to perform the invocation in November. In January, after being asked in an email by the county what church he represented, Coleman explained he was not religious, did not have an assembly but was an ordained minister and wanted to speak during the invocation.

Since then, he said, he hasn't heard anything back.

In the meantime, 32 clergy members from various Protestant churches -- and clergy of the Baha'i, Russian Orthodox and other faiths -- have been scheduled to give the invocation for commission meetings through most of October.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.


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