Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pennsylvania Town Prays, Ignores Atheists' Threats

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) put the Newberry Township Board of Supervisors on notice for having prayer at their meetings. After consultation with legal counsel, the Board continued to allow citizens to pray during the public comment section of their meetings, and no legal action has been taken by the FFRF.
“I see something wrong with one person stopping everyone from what they’re doing because they want freedom from religion. It’s irritating. I’m willing to be tolerant. [but . . .] If it’s only one person, then they don’t have to participate. They can stay seated.”
-- Supervisor Maxine Kauffman
For background, read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee and in Mississippi but admit they're Short on Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

UPDATE 5/13/14: U.S. Supreme Court rules prayers to Jesus Christ OK at government meetings

-- From "God and government: Does prayer belong at public meetings?" by Ivey DeJesus, Central Pennsylvania Patriot-News 10/29/13

No sooner did the public comment period of last week’s meeting of the Newberry Township Board of Supervisors get underway than a member of the audience stepped up to the microphone and offered to say a prayer.

Those present, including the township supervisors, rose to their feet, bowed their heads and joined in the unison recital of the Lord’s Prayer.

Township officials have long held that no laws prohibit local governments from dedicating time to prayer at meetings. Indeed, they point out, the state Legislative chambers and their federal counterparts open sessions with some type of prayer.

The legal benchmark for legislative prayer remains the 1983 Supreme Court decision, Marsh v. Chambers, which ruled that the Nebraska Legislature does not violate the Constitution with its tradition of opening session with a prayer by a paid chaplain.

For now, anyone in attendance at the Newberry meetings would be hard pressed to find objections to the moment of prayer. For the past six months, someone from the public invariably takes the floor and leads the gathering in prayer.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Controversy brews in Newberry Township over prayer at public meetings" by Jeffrey A. Johnson, Central Pennsylvania Patriot-News 4/25/13

Board Chairman Carl Hughes said supervisors were advised by their attorney that it was legal for a member of the audience to do this. A supervisor for 12 years, Hughes said he sees the argument against prayer at public meetings, but said it’s long been a practice in this township of about 15,000.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation on March 21 sent Hughes and the other supervisors a letter that said a resident of Etters contacted the group with concerns about the Lord’s Prayer being recited at township meetings.

FFRF said it has more than 19,000 members across the country, including 650 in Pennsylvania. It sued the IRS for allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to become involved in political campaigns.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

In addition, read Texas Law Tells Schools to Ignore Atheist Threats 

The root issue is American Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Christian Totalitarianism

To read the latest attacks on Christian prayer by atheists, click label "PRAYER" below: