Last Tuesday’s Lake Worth city commission meeting started as they all do. Then things changed. As atheist Preston Smith approached the podium to lead the prayer – Mayor Pam Triolo and three city commissioners left the chambers. More than 11,000 people have since seen the act on YouTube and it’s creating a buzz on forums and blogs. The mayor offered no explanation until today. “I didn’t leave because Mr. Smith is an atheist, I left because of his alleged tweet.” Mayor Triolo said. Triolo says Smith tweeted an offensive interpretation of scripture earlier this summer. She feared his prayer might be along those lines – so she left before he started. “Free speech works both ways,” Triolo said. “You can say what you want and I can choose to leave.”
What do you think? Show of disrespect or exercise of right to walk out?