City councilman says invocation turned into political speech

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Every San Antonio City Council member can invite someone to offer the invocation before the weekly meeting, but the one delivered Thursday by Dr. Alicia Reyes-Barriéntez is raising some eyebrows.

“Divine mother, we come to you today to ask that you guide the mayor and the council in a pursuit of all that is good for the beautiful gente (people) of the City of San Antonio,” she began. “Convict them to advocate fiercely for the least of these –the poor, the undocumented, the incarcerated, the detained, the infirmed, the orphaned the abused.”

She said we stand on the sacred land of the  Tonkawa and asked for forgiveness for “the sins we have committed against them.”

Reyes-Barriéntez was introduced by councilwoman Rebecca Viagran as a member of the Santa Fe Episcopal Church.  She’s an assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

“We pray for an end to white supremacist patriarchy and we ask for forgiveness for our ancestors’ complicity in the evils of colonization in San Antonio, namely enslavement, genocide and land theft,” she said.

Councilman Clayton Perry told KTSA’s Trey Ware he was surprised by the political tone of the invocation.

“I was a little disappointed that it got into a political type of speech,” he said. “I was surprised that during the invocation, some of those things were said.”

He noted that people from various denominations are invited by individual council members.

“We’ve had an atheist up there who was invited to come and give the invocation, and I was surprised by that,”Perry said.


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