Atheist/Mayor Dust-Up Sparks Statement

By: WOWT 6 News Email
By: WOWT 6 News Email

La Vista's Mayor Doug Kindig is expressing regret, after an "emotional" conversation with a member of a local group of nonbelievers.

A group called the Omaha Atheists says a La Vista member approached the mayor after the Faith and Freedom Day service at La Vista Daze.

They say the member expressed concerns about a possible church/state separation issue.

That's when the group says the conversation got heated. Mayor Kindig said he wasn't interested - the group says - telling them instead to take it to court.

The Mayor's Office isn't going into specifics, except saying the mayor was "confronted" by a representative from the group.

Monday afternoon, Mayor Kindig released a statement.

“I am truly sorry that my response to this representative caused backlash against the City. I was coming out of a very emotional event at which local veterans who were killed in action were recognized, and my reaction was certainly emotional in nature. It is my hope all sides can move forward together.”

Omaha Atheists spokesperson Jill Fitzgerald says Mayor Kindig has not reached out to their group or to the member he spoke with.

"The president of Omaha Atheists sent an email to the mayor asking for a conversation. He has not yet responded," says Fitzgerald.

According to the city website, The Faith & Freedom Day is "designed as a way to celebrate and thank our veterans and active duty military."

It includes a Memorial Day service, sponsored by various city churches.

Omaha Atheists is an "educational nonprofit focused on local secular issues".

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