Akron Advance: City Officials Drop Lord's Prayer From Meeting Agenda
LINK TO FULL STORYOctober 29th 2007
There are all kinds of places where Akron City Council members can pray before their public meetings. Houses of worship, for example, are plentiful. Or city lawmakers could pray in their homes or other venues before getting down to council business.
But unfortunately too many officeholders schedule invocations at governmental meetings, thus sending a message to the public of governmental endorsement of religion.
Recently, however, the Akron City Council decided to drop its long-time practice of reciting the Lord’s prayer to open its public meetings. The action came after Americans United for Separation of Church and State warned city officials that sponsoring a Christian invocation runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution and sends a message to non-Christians that they are outsiders in their own community.
Americans United’s letter cited federal court precedent that prohibits legislative bodies from advancing the prayers of “one particular religion.” Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1983 Marsh v. Chambers case, numerous other federal courts have invalidated sectarian prayer employed by government entities.