Last month in my blog, I wrote about invocations at the DuPage County Board meetings. To recap, at the December 11, 2018 DuPage County Board meeting, I said my belief—and the belief of many of my constituents—is that those invocations are divisive and unnecessary. The March blog was supposed to be the period at the end of the sentence. I did not intend to talk about the invocation again.
Then, at the March 12 board meeting, to my surprise—and I believe to the surprise of all of the DuPage County Board members—Member Sam Tornatore (District 1), called for a vote on the invocation issue at our next meeting on March 26.
In my comments before the vote that day, I mentioned I thought a moment of silence would be the desired “essential element of dignity and solemnity to the proceedings,” as the resolution stated, but that I continued to believe an invocation is divisive and unnecessary.
There were ten people at the March 26th meeting who wished to address the invocation issue for Public Comment. Nine constituents asked for the invocation to be removed from DuPage County Board meetings. Only one spoke in favor of them. That was about the same ratio as in the mail and emails I had received on this topic.
Not surprisingly, the resolution to keep the invocation was approved with ten Republicans and one Democrat voting yes and six Democrats voting no. Member Tornatore was absent.
However, there is victory here. Since bringing up this topic back in December, we have started to hear from more voices in our community. In all of 2018, there was only one non-Christian speaker, Rabbi Ricky Kamil of Lombard. This year, we have already hosted a Jewish faith leader, two Muslims, and an atheist. The victory of inclusiveness has arrived in DuPage County.
Progress doesn’t happen through only one vote, but through many smaller victories that bring people together. Welcome all!