La Grange Returns To Prayer
Special Report - October 12, 2011
The Town Council of La Grange, North Carolina has decided to reinstate its 140-year tradition of convening meetings with prayer. On October 3, in a unanimous vote, the Council voted to reverse its 20-month replacement of an opening blessing at meetings with a moment of silence, according to the Kinston Free Press. The seven-member board will open its November 7 meeting with an invocation. In making their decision, they cited the fact that the Lenoir County Board of County Commissioners, Kinston City Council, East Carolina Council, and U.S. Congress still open their sessions with prayer.
The La Grange Town Council opted to replace its opening prayer with a moment of silence in March 2010. The Council’s decision followed a recommendation by Town Manager John Craft in response to U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty, Jr.’s ruling that the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ opening prayer violated the First Amendment. The case, Joyner v. Forsyth County, was brought in 2007 by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State on behalf of three Winston-Salem residents, who claim that the county’s prayer policy violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Judge Beaty’s decision was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has now been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Kinston Free Press reported that board members had been waiting for a final resolution in the Forsyth case, but recently decided that their decision to suspend prayer was premature.
Prayer Decision Will Be Appealed - August 10, 2011
Court Says No Prayer in Jesus' Name - August 2, 2011
Forsyth Prayer Policy Gets Hearing - May 11, 2011
NCFPC Supports Prayer Policy - June 14, 2010
Forsyth Commissioners Vote to Appeal - February 23, 2010
Jesus' Name Takes Hit In Ruling - February 1, 2010
Appeals Court Upholds Sectarian Prayers at Public Meetings - October 31, 2008
Prayer Lawsuit Filed Against Forsyth County - April 4, 2007
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