County Approves Prayer Resolution
Special Report - October 20, 2010
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved a resolution urging North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney to allow guest chaplains to offer sectarian prayers in their prayers opening the session. The board adopted the resolution, which was presented by Chairman Jason Thompson, in a 5 to 0 vote at its October 18 meeting. The one-page resolution states in part that “ministers speaking before the North Carolina House of Representatives should be allowed to offer sectarian prayers according to his or her conscience.” It also urges other North Carolina counties to follow suit and endorse the resolution. At least two additional counties have done so to datethe Gaston County Board of Commissioners and the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
The North Carolina House’s guest chaplain prayer policy came under fire in May, after Winston-Salem pastor Dr. Ron Baity’s invitation to offer the opening legislative prayer for the House Session during the week of May 31 was withdrawn because he closed his first prayer “in Jesus name.” After the incident, Dr. Baity sent a nine-page letter to House leaders asking for an apology. In response, House Speaker Joe Hackney formed a special committee, co-chaired by Representatives Paul Stam (R-Wake) and Deborah Ross (DWake), to evaluate the House’s current guest chaplain prayer policy. See our previous story on this (link below), including the list of committee members.
A Civitas Institute poll of likely North Carolina voters, which was released in July, found that 70 percent of those polled disagreed with the State House’s current policy requiring guest chaplains to offer nonsectarian prayers, while 24 percent agreed with the policy.
Poll Finds Jesus OK In Prayer - July 30, 2010
Speaker Appoints Prayer Committee - July 21, 2010
Pastor Challenges Prayer Policy - July 12, 2010
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