Northern Florida is a haven for some of the most Conservative, ultra-fundamentalist Republicans who are relics from the "good ol' days" of the Confederacy. Ocala, Florida, is part of the more antediluvian, regressive North. This region helped spurn a movement where the southern part of the state seeks to split from the backwards-thinking, haven for Tea Partiers in the north. While the south is concerned with issues like man-made climate change, the north is happy to drink out of large styrofoam cups, while resisting laws designed to curb emissions and fracking pollution plus, they support the limitless proliferation of guns.
In addition to its highly controversial Stand Your Ground laws, the state has insanely permissive laws to own or purchase firearms. Here are some of Florida's State Requirements for Firearms
Rifles and Shotguns
Permit to purchase rifles and shotguns? No
Registration of rifles and shotguns? No
Licensing of owners of rifles and shotguns? No
Permit to carry rifles and shotguns? No
Permit to purchase handgun? No
Registration of handguns? No
Licensing of owners of handguns? No
Permit to carry handguns? Yes
Ocala has had a terrible spell of gun violence lately. The police chief thought the best solution is for the community to pray away the gun violence. So instead of enacting laws to limit the massive proliferation of guns in an area where the NRA is king, the mayor is following suit.
He too wishes to opt for prayer as a solution. The ONLY solution is prayer. ***Sigh***
While authorities work to stop senseless shootings in Ocala, Florida, that have led to the deaths of many innocent people, the city's mayor recently took a different tack and asked the community to pray.
The Sunshine State has been on the radar of the Anti-Defamation League. In a report entitled Extremism in Florida:The Dark Side of the Sunshine State, the number of white supremacy groups based in the region is startling. It's no accident the Oathkeepers, the Sovereign Citizens Movement and the anti-tax Tea Party are all very prominent in Northern Florida. This is merely a manifestation of the violent racism prevalent during the era of slavery and the Jim Crow years. In other words, nothing's changed when you take a close look.
In this particular The Fight For Faith segment that Fox News regularly features, Mayor Kent Guinn explain the personal battle he faces with the dreaded American Humanists Association. He explains,
They don't want God involved in our community or country. When people do things like this and speak out - which obviously we need to do - they want to silence that,"
He added that this ordeal is making his faith much stronger.
"A lot of times, I see this on the news, where communities are asked to stop praying at school board meetings, council meetings, etc., I always see that happening to someone else. Now it's happening to me in my community."
He explains his own responsibility to uphold the Constitution, but doesn't see how he is actually violating the First Amendment. He claims that atheists are welcome, but doesn't see how this could possibly offend anyone of any faith or those without faith entirely. There have been scores of cases where public prayer and displays with bible verses have to be removed since they are public property and each time, the religious community in mainly Southern States loses their battle. Like it or not, it does violate the same Constitution they claim to love.
Funny thing is, none of these prayers are from the Torah or the Quran If this was an issue forbidding public Muslim prayer, I guarantee things would be quite different.
If a religious group wants to garner the sympathy of other religious conservatives nationwide, what better place to air your grievances against godless atheists than the sanctimonious folks at Fox News? Bless their Christian Hearts!