September Rally to Support Rowan Co. Prayer

Special Report - September 5, 2013

Christians from across North Carolina are encouraged to gather in Rowan County this month to show support for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, which is facing a lawsuit challenging the right of public officials to pray in Jesus’ name before government meetings. Return America is hosting the “Rally in Rowan” on Monday, September 16, at 5:30 PM at the Rowan County Administrative Building in Salisbury, North Carolina. The rally will feature special speakers Dr. Ron Baity, founder and president of Return America, and Attorney David Gibbs, III, who is leading the defense of Rowan County’s prayer policy in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF).

In March 2013, the ACLU-NCLF filed the Lund v. Rowan County lawsuit, challenging Rowan County’s tradition of allowing commissioners to offer prayers before commission meetings. That same month, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to retain the legal counsel of Mr. Gibbs, who leads the National Center for Life and Liberty. On July 23, Judge James A. Beaty, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued a preliminary injunction in the case, temporarily prohibiting Rowan County from “knowingly and/or intentionally delivering or allowing to be delivered sectarian prayers” before official meetings until the lawsuit is decided. The attack on prayer in Rowan County is just one example of the escalating attacks on public prayer across North Carolina and the nation by secularist groups, including the ACLU.

Both sides of the battle over public prayer are closely watching the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed in May 2013 to review a federal appeals court decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway. This case involves a legal challenge to the town’s public prayer policy brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State (a group that has also challenged the prayer policies of various North Carolina localities). How the high court rules in the New York case could impact conflicting lower court rulings in cases involving similar challenges to public prayer policies, including challenges in North Carolina, such as the one in Rowan County.

For more information on the “Rally in Rowan” event on September 16, which is scheduled to begin a half hour before the Rowan County Board of Commissioners holds its regular Monday meeting at 6 PM, please visit the Return America website.

Related resources:
Judge Orders Rowan Co. Commission To Cease Prayer - July 25, 2013
High Court to Review Public Meeting Prayers - May 23, 2013
Union County Commission Prayers Under Fire - May 7, 2013
County to Fight Prayer Lawsuit - March 28, 2013
Attacks On Prayer Escalate - March 15, 2013
Atheists Target County Public Invocations - March 7, 2013
Rowan Commissioners Continue Prayer - March 6, 2012
No Need to Censor Legislative Prayers - February 14, 2012
ACLU Targets Prayer At Legislature - February 6, 2012
Supreme Court Refuses Forsyth County Prayer Case - January 18, 2012
Prayer Decision Will Be Appealed - August 10, 2011
Court Says No Prayer in Jesus' Name - August 2, 2011
Pastor Challenges Prayer Policy - July 12, 2010
NCFPC Supports Prayer Policy - June 14, 2010
Forsyth Commissioners Vote to Appeal - February 23, 2010
Jesus' Name Takes Hit In Ruling - February 1, 2010

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