Interview on “Corbett” concerning Wilkes-Barre City Council government-led prayer

"Man Objects To Prayers Before City Council Meetings" c/o WNEP TV-16
“Man Objects To Prayers Before City Council Meetings” c/o WNEP TV-16

I appeared on the June 14, 2013 episode of “Corbett” on WILK Newsradio to discuss my June 13, 2013 address to Wilkes-Barre City Council in which I objected to government-led prayer at council meetings and urged council to remove prayer from future governmental functions. Listen to my interview embedded below within this piece.

I — repeating some remarks I made before council — explained that government-led prayer is exclusionary, divisive, unwelcome, and unnecessary. Further, I noted that the prayer — contrary to some news reporting — was not before meetings, but rather was during meetings – after the Pledge of Allegiance which is featured on meeting agendas. Citizens who attend public meetings (many religious, non-religious, and from diverse religious traditions) — I argue — should not be subjected to government-endorsed prayer.

Corbett largely agreed with my remarks in the interview; he considered Wilkes-Barre City Council prayer, led by Councilwoman Maureen Lavelle, to be “out of line” and “bad public policy.” He is not optimistic, though, concerning whether council will remove prayer because, he says, they are not listening to me and are of an old-school mentality “liking their Christian prayer.”

Watch my address to council below and read more concerning my objection to council prayer in this extensive piece.

As always, free to to join the discussion by adding your comments. If you are commenting on a particular point in my conversation with Corbett, please indicate a timestamp.

Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia.

He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events.

Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher’s assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.