Thursday, January 02, 2014

Calif. Judge OKs Prayer at Eureka City Council

Humboldt County, California Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson dismissed a lawsuit by atheists and local resident Carole Beaton who want Eureka Mayor Frank Jager muzzled regarding the city’s annual prayer breakfast.  The judge ruled that prayer at city council meetings does not violate California's constitution.
“Since 1849 the state Constitution has begun with a religious invocation: ‘We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.’ This language, as well as the history of how it came to be included, eloquently refutes the argument that the framers of the state Constitution intended to prohibit ceremonial prayer.”
-- Judge Bruce Watson
For background, read 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco Ruled Prayer OK Lancaster, Calif. and also read 'Atheist Jew' Sues Calif. Town Council for Praying

In addition, read Prayer at Civic Meetings Flourish Across America as more Citizens Rebel Against Atheist Threats

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

CLICK HERE to view local TV news report

-- From "Prayer and the city; Judge: Eureka invocations are lawful" by Thadeus Greenson, Eureka Times-Standard 12/31/13

In a narrow ruling signed on Christmas Eve, Judge Bruce Watson found that the non-secular prayers offered by volunteers at the opening of council meetings do not violate the California Constitution as alleged in a lawsuit filed by city resident Carole Beaton in January [2013]. Watson's ruling stops short of deciding whether specific invocations may have been inappropriately sectarian or addressing Beaton's claim that Mayor Frank Jager should not be using his city title or city resources to promote his annual prayer breakfast.

In his ruling, Watson relies heavily on the 1983 U.S. Supreme Court case of Marsh v. Chambers, which determined that the Nebraska Legislature didn't violate the U.S. Constitution's provisions for the separation of church and state by opening sessions with prayers offered by a chaplain because the practice is historic.

In his ruling, Watson does not address the issue of Jager's prayer breakfast or whether two specific invocations -- a Hindu prayer and a man's singing “God Bless America” -- exploited the invocation practice in order to “proselytize, advance or disparage one or another religious beliefs or faiths.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Eureka asks judge to toss prayer breakfast lawsuit" by Kaci Poor, Eureka Times-Standard 5/7/13

The pending lawsuit, filed by Eureka attorney Peter Martin on behalf of Eureka resident Carole Beaton, requests that the city stop holding invocations -- sectarian or otherwise -- before City Council meetings, and that Jager stop using his position and city resources to promote the breakfast.

. . . [Eureka City Attorney Cyndy] Day-Wilson went on to argue that the breakfast is not government sponsored, but privately funded and organized. [Mayor] Jager's involvement in the event, she argues, has been in the capacity of a citizen.

. . . In a previous interview with the Times-Standard, [atheists' lawyer] Martin said the federal government may allow U.S. President Barack Obama to hold a prayer breakfast or provide for invocations prior to meetings, but he believes California's Constitution is stricter when it comes to separation of church and state.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Press release from Eureka city attorney" posted at The North Coast Journal Weekly (Humboldt County, CA) 12/30/13

Policy and Procedure 1.25 was adopted by the City on May 1, 2012 in response to a letter from the ACLU Redwood Chapter requesting that sectarian prayers be discontinued at future City Council meetings. Since the adoption of 1.25, there has been only one invocation at a City Council meeting which was delivered by a member of the Hindu faith and a young man sang “God Bless America” during the time set for the invocation. Judge Watson noted that other than this one invocation and the singing of “God Bless America” nothing of a religious nature has taken place at City Council meetings since the adoption of the policy.

Beaton had contended that allowing ANY invocations at City Council meetings, whether sectarian or nonsectarian, violated three clauses of the California Constitution . . .

Mayor Frank J├Ąger said he was pleased with the ruling. “Invocations have a place in history in this country and I do not believe that the City of Eureka should be treated any differently than the United States Congress or the California State Legislature. The City welcomes everyone and does not force anyone that does not want to participate in the invocation to join in.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Because of the intimidation tactics of atheist lawyer organizations, state governments across America are educating its citizens on constitutional religious liberty by passing laws in Texas, and Louisiana, and North Carolina, and South Carolina, and Missouri, and Mississippi, and Florida, and Tennessee.

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: