Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Atheists Tell Greencastle, PA to Stop the Praying

Atheists, one of whom describes himself as a former charismatic Christian minister, have put the Antrim Township local governments on notice that they're praying illegally at school board and other civic meetings. Pennsylvania atheist organizations, along with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, have personally made threats of costly lawsuits, and express their confidence that anti-Christian forces will prevail.
“The courts have ruled that we are allowed to pray at our meeting. As long as I am chairman, I have no intention of stopping.”
-- Fred Young III, chairman of Antrim Township Board of Supervisors
For background, read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public? and also read Missouri Votes to Bring Prayer Back to School, Countering Atheists

-- From "Antrim supervisors deny request to halt prayer at meetings" by Roxann Miller, The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, MD) 8/28/12

Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting was the second time in two weeks that the [atheist] representatives attended an area meeting to challenge the constitutionality of prayer during governmental meetings. They attended a Greencastle-Antrim School Board meeting on Aug. 16.

Ernest Perce V, the Pennsylvania state director for American Atheists, condemned the township supervisors for violating the constitution by beginning its meeting with prayer.

Fred Young III, chairman of Antrim Township Board of Supervisors, who began the meeting with a prayer that was read at the First Continental Congress in 1774, said he’ll continue opening the meetings with prayer.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists want school boards to stop prayer at meetings" by Al Gnoza, WHTM-TV27 (Harrisburg, PA) 8/17/12

. . . Shortly after the Greencastle-Antrim School Board opened their meeting with the Lord's Prayer, two people spoke up in protest of that practice.

Representatives from Pennsylvania Non-Believers and American Atheists, Incorporated said the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Pennsylvania, ruled last year that prayer is not permitted at school board meetings.

"I've been attending board meetings for 25 years and it's always been a practice of the school board to start the meeting with the Lord's Prayer," Superintendent Greg Hoover said. "No one's ever said a word."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists want Greencastle-Antrim School Board to stop praying" by Pat Fridgen, Waynesboro Record Herald 8/18/12

Carl Silverman, Camp Hill, a member of PA Nonbelievers, said . . . He had been monitoring the meetings in person and on the school district website, and wanted the board to cease the prayer, listed on the agenda after the Call to Order. The Freedom from Religion Foundation would be sending the district a fax to stop also, or it would initiate legal action, he added.

The [two Pennsylvania atheists were] accompanied by Brian Fields, president of PA Nonbelievers. After the meeting they said that prayer in a school setting was different than in Congress, for instance, because students could be present.

"The school board should focus on reality and education, not appealing to imaginary friends in the sky," they stated.

Silverman, who lived in Waynesboro in the 1990s, took credit for blocking the Gideons from distributing Bibles to Waynesboro Area School District students, for making the Hagerstown Suns stop giving discounts to fans who brought in a church bulletin, for getting crosses removed from Michaux State Forest, and for the removal of the Nativity scene in Chambersburg Memorial Square in 2009.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.