Friday, August 07, 2015

Muslim Prayer Ends Invocation Policy: N. Carolina

Carrol Mitchem, Chairman of the Lincoln County (North Carolina) Board of Commissioners, in May had stated his opposition to any Muslim invocation at public meetings, but atheists' legal threats forced the Commission to pass an all-inclusive policy.  As Monday's meeting began with a Muslim prayer, Mitchem walked out; later in the meeting, the Commission revised the policy to eliminate all prayers, of any kind.
“From the comments I got from (the other commissioners), saying that they were impressed with the all-embracing statements that were made in my invocation, that the recitation from the Quran was something that everyone could relate to, (that’s a win).”
-- Duston Barto, Foothills Interfaith Assembly (created to deliver non-Christian prayers at government meetings)
For background, read Muslim & Atheist Prayers OKd in Lincoln County, North Carolina

UPDATE 9/20/15: Only Christian Prayers Allowed by Arizona City

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

Florida Battles Satanic 'Prayer' City-by-City

Christian Prayer Outrages California City Council

Texas Sharia Tribunal Judge Gives Muslim Prayer at Rodeo

Pennsylvania School Staff to Mosque for Islamic Training

Students Required to Pretend Being Muslim in Wisconsin

Muslims in Washington, D.C. Force Christmas Off School Calendar

Also read Pseudo Prayer Mandatory at School in San Francisco

-- From "County commissioners end invocations after chair walks out" by The Associated Press 8/4/15

Local media outlets report commission chairman Carrol Mitchem left Monday's meeting after the leader of an interfaith group began his prayer. After the prayer, the commissioners took their action, replacing prayers with a moment of silence.

Commissioner Cecelia Martin first suggested the moment of silence in May, but the motion was defeated. A prayer policy was adopted that allowed any local religious leader or representative of that denomination to deliver an invocation.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Commissioners opt for moment of silence after Muslim prayer" by Adam Lawson, Staff Writer, Lincoln Times-News 8/5/15

. . . After chastising Board of Commissioners Chairman Carrol Mitchem for walking out of the chamber prior to Barto’s speech, Commissioner Alex Patton motioned to scrap the county’s barely two-month-old all-inclusive invocation policy for a moment of silence.

Members of the Foothills Interfaith Assembly, which Barto formed along with Wiccan priest Tony Brown, questioned the timing of the decision — which occurred only after a non-Christian delivered a prayer — and the fact that it occurred without allowing public comment. Hickory Humanist Alliance member William Keener was set to give the invocation at the Aug. 17 meeting, but that has now been effectively canceled.

Patton said the decision came as a result of a lack of participation from area churches.

“The problem is there is 102 churches in Lincoln County, plus these that have popped up recently from other religions,” Patton said. “(County clerk Amy Atkins) can’t advertise, so there’s no real way to get them in.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Governing bodies take notice of Supreme Court ruling on prayer at public meetings" by Elizabeth Heffner, Staff Writer, Lincoln Times-News 5/12/14

The U.S. Supreme Court has given [last year] limited approval to public prayers at a New York town’s board meeting, citing the country’s history of religious acknowledgement in its legislature.

“There was a ruling today by the Supreme Court, if I understand this correctly, that now any government can pray to the Lord, to Jesus — however you want to pray, you can pray,” [Carroll] Mitchem said.

“I hope in the future that we, as commissioners, go back to our original way of having prayers and saying what we want to say. Now, if somebody don’t like it, they get up, walk out and leave so we can pray the way we want to pray. If they don’t like it, they can leave and then come back in afterwards. I hope to continue that as long as I have a mind and body…at the next commissioner meeting, I expect us to pray the way we want to pray.”

Commissioner Alex Patton agreed with Mitchem’s request.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheist Prayer Complaint Costs Mississippi School $7500+

And read Texas School Supt. Tells Atheists to Go Fly a Kite