Daily Archives: July 20, 2010

Who’s praying for whom in the hallowed halls of government?

Today’s flap over prayer at Wichita City Council meetings brings to mind an old joke:

A man goes to Washington and takes a tour of the Capitol.

As they lead him into the public viewing gallery in Congress, he sees a man at the podium, wearing a clerical collar, holding a Bible aloft in his hand and praying for all he’s worth.

“Who’s that?” asks the visitor.

“That’s the congressional chaplain,” the guide replies.

“So he comes in every morning and prays for the Congress?” asks the visitor.

“Nope,” says the tour guide. “He comes in every morning, takes one look at the Congress, and then he prays for the country.”

Council approves Kingsbury design contract

water skiPlans for a 215-acre lake at the forthcoming Kingsbury Park moved ahead this morning when Wichita City Council members approved a $250,000 contract with a firm to design the lake.

Council members unanimously approved the contract with almost no discussion. See our previous post to learn more about what’s planned.

Statewide ad promotes advance voting

TOPEKA – Secretary of State Chris Biggs unveiled a new television advertisement Tuesday promoting advance voting for the Aug. 3 primary.

The ad, shown above, is paid for by funds from the federal Help America Vote Act and directs Kansas voters to visit voteks.org to request a ballot or to change their voter registration.

The deadline to change your voter registration for the Aug. 3 primary has already passed, but advance ballots are available on request up till July 30.

In the last election cycle, almost 40 percent of Kansas voters used advance ballots. Biggs said said he hoped to see that number increase. Read More »

Six vows to crack down on illegal robo calls

vote 2010 headerWith the Aug. 3 primary looming, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six today issued a stern warning to campaign committees:

Any call using a pre-recorded message must identify the party initiating the call and include a telephone number to reach them. Read More »

Council members defend prayer at council meetings

Bible

A prayer kicks off almost every Wichita City Council meeting. It’s called an “invocation,” but it’s nearly always a prayer — until today, when the invocation was instead a short speech centered on the separation of church and state.

Council member Sue Schlapp later blessed the meeting since the invocation didn’t. And people who oppose prayers during city business meetings and council members debated the issue during the public comment period a few minutes later.

“There is no good reason to use public time to express private beliefs,” Vickie Sandell Stangl said after the unconventional invocation and Pledge of Allegiance. “The only real purpose seems to be in elevating a public official’s piety before the citizenry.” Read More »