Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ignore Atheists and Pray, Says Roanoke County, VA

Despite a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit if the name "Jesus" is ever heard again at Roanoke County board meetings, prayer proceeded as usual this week.
"The request didn't come out of Roanoke County, it didn't come out of Virginia, it came from somebody in Madison, Wisconsin. That bothers me I'm sorry."
-- County Supervisor Joseph Church
For background, read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public?

-- From "National equality group urges Roanoke County Board of Supervisors to end prayer" by Justin Ward, Reporter, WDBJ-TV7 (Roanoke, VA) 6/26/12

Tuesday afternoon the board held its first meeting since the request.

But instead of protesters or signs, the board conducted normal business.

Lawyers with the Freedom from Religion Foundation say the complaint was made by a person who regularly attended the meetings.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Group targets prayer at Roanoke County Board of Supervisors meetings" by Annie McCallum, Roanoke Times 6/24/12

[Board Chairman Richard] Flora said recently when reached by phone that it's the first time a complaint of this nature has been made to officials. He said a local pastor usually gives the invocation at meetings, but sometimes people are asked to do it and other times people volunteer.

When asked about how people are selected to give the invocation, [Roanoke County Attorney Paul] Mahoney said the county doesn't have a formal policy, just a routine. He said the board's clerk uses various resources, including the telephone book, and simply goes down a list to identify people willing to offer invocation. People can volunteer, he said.

For years, perhaps for more than a decade, Mahoney said the county has been asking local religious leaders to give the invocation and also share some information about their place of worship.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.