Friday, September 4, 2009

City Council in New Richland Hills, TX, In Trouble for Praying

Once again the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) is pressuring a city council to stop them from opening meetings with a prayer. This time it is a council from New Richland Hill, Texas. The FFRF says the practice is "illegal and unconstitutional "because it impermissibly advances Christianity."

I see. So are we to assume the prayer would be OK if it were "generic" so that it only appealed to A god rather than to Chirst? Not so, for prayers of that type have been attacked as well. So how about skipping prayer and just having a time of quiet meditation so the council can get their thoughts and attitudes composed? No, sorry. That type of thing is also attacked in some settings because some might assume they are being pressured to pray.

From the Star-Telegram story we have quotes from the council members:

"We did have a recent inquiry from a resident," city spokeswoman Mary Peters said. "His e-mail said he was offended by the invocations. To my knowledge, he has not been to a meeting."


"Honestly, we feel bad that the gentleman feels that it would make it difficult for him to participate in City Council meetings," Trevino said. "But in reality we feel we have the right to start our proceedings with a prayer."

Trevino has council members offer the invocation on a rotating basis, he said, and each one is free to say whatever he feels is appropriate.

Apparently our Founding Fathers, who wrote the First Amendment that the council is accused of violating, did not understand what they wrote because they opened the meetings with prayer. The first Congress to meet after the Amendment was ratified opened with a 3-hour prayer.

Read more from the Star-Telegram:

Watchdog group challenges North Richland Hills council's prayers

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