Monday, December 20, 2010

Ohio Town Will Continue Praying

A challenge to prayer at City of Chillicothe meetings by a lone citizen is being taken seriously but citizens say the prayers will continue regardless.

UPDATE 4/9/11: Council considers details of formal prayer

-- From "Prayer To Continue Before Chillicothe Council Meetings" by Denise Yost, NBC TV4 (Columbus, OH) 12/14/10

A lawsuit was filed against the City of Chillicothe because of an invocation given before each city council meeting.

Now, council says it's going to continue the prayer as it always has.

Council is accepting names from local religious leaders who would like to take part in leading the prayer.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Legal action might be coming in prayer fight" by Loren Genson, Chillicothe Gazette Staff Writer 12/15/10

Rebekah Valentich is prepared to take her fight to stop Christian prayers at Chillicothe City Council to the courts, while a nonprofit group has offered the city assistance in developing a policy regarding invocations at meetings.

Defenders of public prayer as protected speech also are prepared to fight. Matthew Burkhart, a private Columbus attorney, has provided council with documentation of case law and a sample policy for invocation at public meetings. Burkhart is involved with the Alliance Defense Fund, and said if council is willing to adopt their policy, the ADF is prepared to offer a legal defense. The ADF's policy has been upheld as constitutional in other court cases around the country.

"It encourages a rotation amongst different faiths that would allow meaningful prayers of different faiths to be offered," Burkhart said.

Burkhart said his group feels strongly prayer is a cherished part of public meetings and that's why they are willing to help defend cities against lawsuits. Burkhart said many councils opt to remove prayer from their meetings only because they don't want to deal with the threat of a lawsuit, not because they believe it's good policy.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.