Christian Prayers At Carroll County Meetings Must End, Rules Federal Judge

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In an important win for church-state separation, Judge William D. Quarels, Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Maryland issued the preliminary injunction today to stop sectarian prayers held before meetings of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners. The American Humanist Association alleged that the practice of permitting Commissioners to deliver prayers that reference Jesus Christ or Savior during county meetings violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The ruling can be viewed here

 

“When government officials frequently invoke Jesus or Savior in government meetings, they exploit the legislative prayer opportunity permitted by Marsh in violation of the Constitution,” said Monica Miller, attorney for the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “Non-Christians, who are necessarily excluded by such sectarian Christian prayers, feel like religious outsiders and second-class citizens in their own community.”

Judge Quarels ruled that Carroll County officials are prohibited “from invoking the name of a specific deity associated with any specific faith or belief in prayers given at [Board] meetings” for the duration of the lawsuit. The Board may continue to give non-sectarian invocations at the beginning of meetings.

"This is a major victory for the separation of church and state," said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. "Invocations at public meetings must not be sectarian, and that rule was clearly broken by the county here."

Written By: American Humanist Association
continue to source article at americanhumanist.org

7 COMMENTS

  1. According to the New Testament, Jesus clearly teaches his followers not to pray for the world (John 17:9). These pious government officials were disobeying a command given by their so-called Lord and Saviour!

  2. “Non-Christians, who are necessarily excluded by such sectarian Christian prayers, feel like religious outsiders and second-class citizens in their own community.”

    I guess that’s the idea

  3. The reason for this worship before debate bollocks is always the same, we see who is with us and if your not praying then you are against us and you will burn in hell or some such nonsense.

  4. Hmmm, prevented “from invoking the name of a specific deity associated with any specific faith or belief in prayers”

    Perhaps they could adapt Roger Zelazny’s “agnostic’s prayer” (Creatures of Light & Darkness) to make it more suitable for County meetings: “Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.”

  5. It is very difficult to understand how it is possible today to pray to a particular creed in official meetings, when it is well known that societies are multi-religious and secular. If anyone has a desire to pray, s/he can go to a temple of his/her choice, and leave people alone.

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