Omaha re­jects athe­ist street sign

Marker would have hon­ored Mada­lyn Murray O’Hair

The Covington News - - Religion -

OMAHA, Neb. — Cit­ing com­mu­nity op­po­si­tion, the City Coun­cil unan­i­mously re­jected a re­quest to erect a com­mem­o­ra­tive street sign for noted athe­ist Mada­lyn Murray O’Hair.

The only per­son to speak in sup­port of the pro­posal was the man who pro­posed it — athe­ist Ray­mond Zby­lut, who said the ges­ture would honor the civil rights work of Murray O’Hair, who was not from Omaha.

Coun­cil mem­bers voted 6-0 to deny the re­quest with­out dis­cussing it. Coun­cil­man Garry Ger­nandt said af­ter­ward that nearly 200 con­stituents con­tacted him op­pos­ing the sign.

“They said we should keep re­li­gious and state is­sues sep­a­rate,” Ger­nandt said.

An­other coun­cil mem­ber, Franklin Thompson, said his con­stituents also urged him to vote against the sign, while Coun­cil­man Jim Vokal said it clashed with com­mu­nity mores.

“Most peo­ple in Omaha be­lieve in God, and nam­ing a street af­ter this in­di­vid­ual didn’t match the com­mu­nity,” Vokal said.

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