AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
April 3, 2014
Carroll County Maryland Commissioner Prays Anyway!
From a January 14, 2014 Baltimore Sun article: “Bruce Hake, of Union Bridge, and Neil Ridgely, of Finksburg, are suing the county because they believe the commissioners’ sectarian prayers violate the so-called “Religion Clauses” of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which has been historically interpreted to prohibit the establishment of a national religion by Congress or the preference of the government for one religion over another.
According to the Carroll residents’ lawsuit filed in May 2013, the commissioners gave sectarian prayers containing Christian references on at least 54 separate occasions in 2011 and 2012. The prayers included references to “Jesus,” “Savior” and “the Lord’s Prayer.”
None of the commissioners’ prayers mentioned non-Christian deities or used non-Christian language, according to the lawsuit.”
Last Wednesday U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. in Baltimore handed down a ruling saying the commissioners can continue to pray at the beginning of meetings but must refrain from mentioning deities linked to any specific faith.
The following day Commissioner Robin B. Frazier said, “That is an infringement on my First Amendment rights of free speech, and I think it is a wrong ruling,” before starting a prayer attributed to George Washington that included the line, “Let thy blessings guide this day and forever, through Jesus Christ.”