Friday, December 04, 2015

Lone Jew, ACLU Stop Prayer in Penn. Town

Joshua Allenberg, a resident of Monroeville, has enlisted assistance from atheist lawyers to intimidate local officials, and so far, it has worked.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is threatening to sue the municipality if the Lord's Prayer continues to open the borough council meetings, as it has for decades.
“Every meeting, they’ve recited the Lord’s Prayer, which from my understanding, is a strictly Christian prayer. I’m Jewish. I wasn’t very familiar with it. To me, shows favoring one religion over another.”
-- Joshua Allenberg
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Wisconsin Atheists: Stop Prayer in West Virginia City

Only Christian Prayers Allowed by Arizona City

Christian Invocation Outrages California City Council

Muslim Prayer Ends Invocation Policy in North Carolina

Florida Battles Satanic 'Prayer' at Civic Meetings City-by-City

-- From "ACLU threatening to sue western Pennsylvania town over Lord's Prayer to begin meetings" by The Associated Press 12/3/15

Mayor Greg Erosenko declined to comment, saying he'd have to consult with the municipality's solicitor, Bruce Dice.

Dice has said a Supreme Court decision allowing prayer at a New York town's council meetings makes it legal in Monroeville.

[ACLU attorney Sara] Rose says that's not accurate because meetings in Greece, New York, open with prayers from representatives of different religions.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Monroeville Borough’s Pre-Meeting Prayer Ritual Comes Under Fire" by Amy Wadas, KDKA-TV2 (Pittsburgh, PA) 12/3/15

. . . on Thursday night, for the first time in many, many years, the borough’s mayor did not lead the gathering in reciting the prayer.

But Monroeville’s mayor believes prayer is necessary. He says he can’t believe it’s being opposed.

“It’s very sad that we have come to this, taken what’s happened in [the terrorist attack in] California. Not just Monroeville, but I think the whole country needs a lot of prayer,” says Mayor Greg Erosenko.

“This politically correct stuff’s getting old, but it’s part of our world, so I’ll adhere to it,” he says.

However, the citizens that attended Thursday night’s meeting say they’re not going to let one person’s views on prayer get in the way of their constitutional rights, including one man who’s of Jewish faith.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Prayers offered at Monroeville council meeting, but not by mayor or council members" by Rick Wills, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 12/3/15

“We are not going to have a prayer tonight,” Monroeville Mayor Greg Erosenko, announced at the meeting. “We are reviewing use of the prayer with legal counsel.”

But two residents, upset that the municipality is under threat of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union for use of the Christian prayer, said aloud their own prayers during the meeting's public-comment session.

“Faith is important in this community,” said the Rev. Rob Marrow, pastor of Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Monroeville, whose prayer invoked Jesus. “I hope you keep a time of prayer in the meeting, whatever that may be.”

“We were settled as a Christian nation. They really should be adopting our lifestyle,” resident Helen Crowell said of challengers to use of the Christian prayer at meetings.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "ACLU threatens suit against Monroeville" by Emily Balser, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 12/3/15

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania says that reciting the Lord's Prayer before Monroeville Council meetings is unconstitutional and will consider suing the municipality if it doesn't end the practice.

Sara Rose, staff attorney with the ACLU's Pittsburgh office, said a complaint from Monroeville resident Joshua Allenberg has been reviewed, and the organization has determined that Monroeville Council is violating the First Amendment's Establishment clause, which prohibits government from preferring one religion over another.

Rose said municipal officials will have about a month to respond to the letter, discuss the issue and vote on any changes.

Monroeville Council holds two meetings — a work session for public comment and discussion and a voting meeting — in a typical month. The prayer is mentioned in council meeting minutes and agendas going back at least to 2001, the earliest versions of those documents posted on Monroeville's website.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read California Mayor Calls City Prayer Vigil for Solutions

And read Georgia Sheriff's Christmas Sign Peeves Atheists