- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Lord’s Prayer in Brentwood riles liberties group
A civil liberties group is getting ready to take legal action against the town of Brentwood for reciting the Lord’s Prayer in council meetings — a practice the group says is unconstitutional.
The Washington-based group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the invocation violates the First Amendment by giving Christianity preference over other religions.
Brentwood Mayor Roger E. Rudder said that the prayer is a time-honored tradition in his town of roughly 3,000 people.
“As far as I can remember being in this town, we’ve always started our council sessions with a prayer,” he said. “We don’t question anyone of what faith they are.”
“I’m very offended by the fact that they even sent me a letter,” Mr. Rudder said.
The first letter was sent in April after a complaint received from a Brentwood resident. The letter asked the five-member council to end the practice or revise it to allow other religions’ prayers.
Earlier this year, the council incorporated a moment of silence into the sessions.
“When we begin our meetings, those who wish to pray can say a short prayer,” Mr. Rudder said. “Others can observe a moment of silence.”
In a follow-up letter sent in September, Americans United said despite the moment of silence, the Lord’s Prayer was still recited. The group threatened to take legal action.
After two months of no change, Americans United sent a third letter Wednesday asking the town for public records — including council agendas and minutes, legal opinions, complaints and correspondence — relating to the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.
Ms. Khan said the group will use this information to build a lawsuit. If there are no changes, she said a lawsuit will be filed early next year. She said she hopes the conflict can be resolved without a lawsuit, which would be both divisive and expensive.
“I don’t care if they respond,” Ms. Khan said. “I care if they change the practice.”
The practice is unwelcoming to non-Christians and could lead them to “easily conclude that their interests aren’t represented by the council,” she said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- With pot and e-cigarettes, Big Tobacco is just waiting to inhale emerging markets
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Skeptics on all sides take aim of John Kerry's tentative deal on Ukraine
- Supreme Court weighs appeal to concealed-carry gun laws
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- UNICEF launches 'Mr. Poo' mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.