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Atheists Can ‘Go to Hell’ for Wanting Commission Invocation


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Atheist Republic (News)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): n.d.

According to the Wichita Eagle, one Sedgwick County commissioner stated atheists “[can] go to hell.” This was based on the atheists wanting to deliver an invocation at commission meetings.

One online commentator said, “I heard they’re not so closed minded in hell. And there’s less Police per capita than Wichita so it can’t be all bad.” While another opined, “Some one needs to tell this guy that atheists don’t believe in Hell and that’s literally the point.”

The commissioner David Unruh stated that atheists can go to hell based on a personal feeling from a letter sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation or the FFRF. The FFRF argued that the county violated the Constitution with the denial of an atheist to provide a commission meeting invocation.

The FFRF is devoted to the secularist ideals of the separation between church and state. Unruh said, “If you don’t believe in (God), that’s fine with me… I don’t care, go to hell. It’s fine.” Richard Ranzau, another commissioner present, supported the “encouraged Unruh’s remarks,” according to the Wichita Eagle article.

The local publication wrote about the prayers of the county before stating concerns about the exclusion of non-Christians.

The President of Wichita Oasis, Alex Simmons, was surprised by the inability of an atheist to perform the invocation. Oasis is part of a larger network for the religiously unaffiliated to find community of common values.

A local Wichita atheist, Mike Marlett, was offended. He opined, “No atheist wants to sit there and listen to have someone have a prayer and nobody who’s religious wants to sit there and hear an atheist talk about atheism… And that’s OK. This is not a forum for religious discussion.”


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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