See if your question is answered below. If not, use the Contact Form.
Who are you?
The Team of people behind InvocationsOnline are state/church activists who are seeking to ensure our government remains neutral regarding religion.
Why are you doing this?
Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway allows sectarian prayers to be given by citizens before public meetings. As a result of this ruling, non-religious people from across the U.S. are seeking to be included in the ceremonial portion of their local government meetings by offering an "invocation" of their own. Whether this invocation is given as an inclusive and inspirational message to begin the meeting or if calls out the problem of allowing prayers before meetings, these invocations are permitted by law and we seek to ensure the inclusion of all persons—especially those who are not in the majority.
Are school boards allowed to have prayers before meetings?
No! School boards are not allowed to have prayers. They may refer to a portion of the meeting as an "invocation" but this doesn’t mean they are having a prayer. If they are praying, report the violation using our Report a violation page. These instructions will be more thoroughly developed over time and will include information about writing and presenting. For now, this is a summary of the steps to take to participate in your local government meeting.
I don’t have time to monitor invocations. Is there something else I can do to help?
Sure! If you’re unable to pitch in with your time, then we would gladly accept financial assistance to cover the costs of hosting and maintaining this website. Use the Contact Us form to be in touch. And thanks!
My city/county does not have an invocation. Should I still be monitoring it?
Absolutely! Perhaps monthly or every other month is appropriate—just in case they change their mind and decide to start conducting invocations. Please go to the Volunteer page to sign up and help us out!
The Council Members/Commissioners where I live say the invocation themselves. Is that allowed?
It is our opinion (and we are not attorneys) that this is not allowed. Please use the Contact Us page and let us know about this so we can seek to understand the situation better and see if we can help.
Do I have to stand for the invocation, and do I have to stand for or recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
Absolutely not! In fact, we recommend that anyone who does not wish to stand for these remains seated to ensure that anyone else who wishes to do so can as well. If you have recently been compelled to stand for either the invocation or the Pledge of Allegiance, please let us know by using the Contact Us page.
How do I go about doing an invocation in my city or town?
NOTE: School board meetings are not allowed to have prayers during the invocation. If this is the case, report the violation using our Report a violation page. These instructions will be more thoroughly developed over time and will include information about writing and presenting. For now, this is a summary of the steps to take to participate in your local government meeting.
- First, check and see if the government meeting is being monitored at our website. If it is, chances are we may be working to conduct an invocation so use the Contact Us page to let us know you are interested in doing an invocation there.
- Determine if the government meeting includes an invocation during the ceremonial portion. Some meetings are broadcast on television, others have video or audio archived online, and most have an agenda and minutes posted online. Sometimes you have to go to the meeting to determine this.
- If an invocation is not being conducted then you should not attempt to conduct an invocation yourself.
- If an invocation is being conducted, attempt to contact with the chairperson directly or her/his administrative support staff to inquire about how the process works and how to sign up.
- Don’t take "No" for an answer and be sure to keep us posted on your efforts and progress using our Contact Us page.