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Despite court ruling, Rowan County (NC) commissioners say they'll continue Christian prayers
AP ^ | 2/21/2012 | The Republic

Posted on 02/22/2012 7:19:36 AM PST by mykdsmom

SALISBURY, N.C. — Commissioners in one North Carolina county plan to continue offering Christian prayers at public meetings, regardless of a letter from a civil liberties group citing a recent Supreme Court action upholding a federal court's ban on the practice.

The Salisbury Post reported (http://bit.ly/xtafV5 ) that a huge crowd turned out for the Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night to offer their support to the elected officials, who say they'll defy a decision by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals striking down so-called sectarian prayer, or prayer that's explicitly linked to a particular religion, such as Christianity.

"If they tell county commissioners they can't pray, soon they're going to be in my church telling me I can't pray in the name of Jesus," said Terry Brown, a county resident who came to the meeting.

The appeals court's ruling was in the case of the Forsyth County Board of Commissions. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by that board, letting the Fourth Circuit's ruling stand. Since then, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has contacted 25 and 30 government bodies in North Carolina in response to complaints from residents about sectarian prayer.

So far, Rowan County commissioners are the only local officials who say they'll disregard the court's decision, said Katy Parker, legal director of the state ACLU. The group has asked for a response from the commissioners to its concerns by March 5. Salisbury is located about 40 miles northeast of Charlotte.

"We hope they'll change their mind and follow the law," Parker said.

Legal director Katy Parker says Rowan is so far the only one to say they plan to keep specific prayer.

The only other government body to openly disregard the court's ruling so far, Parker said, is the General Assembly. There were Christian prayers before sessions of both the state House of Representatives and Senate during a brief meeting last week. Legislative leaders have said they'll review the ACLU's concerns, but criticized the group for sending a letter calling on lawmakers to end sectarian prayer.

Rowan County Commission Chairman Chad Mitchell began Monday's meeting by addressing a prayer to "Father" and concluding with the words, "In Jesus' name." Commissioner Jim Sides said he's prepared to go to jail over the question. Four of five Rowan commissioners say they plan to continue offering Christian prayers.

Only one of about two dozen members of the public who spoke Monday night argued that prayers offered to a specific deity don't belong in government meetings.

"I think what's going on right now is a clear example of why we need this law, and why it should be obeyed," said Salisbury resident Chris Crowell, who compared the atmosphere of the meeting to a religious revival.

Salisbury residents John and Marina Bare, though, said the court's ruling is an infringement on their rights. Marina Bare carried a sign with a red hammer and sickle and warned that the country was becoming a new U.S.S.R., or "United States of a Screwed-Up Republic."

"The people who are trying to push the freedom of religion out of government are nothing more than people wanting to force others to do as they say and they believe," John Bare said.

___

Information from: Salisbury Post, http://www.salisburypost.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: commissionerspray; countycommissioners
"If they tell county commissioners they can't pray, soon they're going to be in my church telling me I can't pray in the name of Jesus," said Terry Brown, a county resident who came to the meeting.

Sometimes it seems like nobody is paying attention and then I hear about this and it gives me great hope. We aren't the only ones that get it.

1 posted on 02/22/2012 7:19:43 AM PST by mykdsmom
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To: mykdsmom

I expect before that it is over, that these NC people will be seriously hurt or killed.


2 posted on 02/22/2012 7:22:10 AM PST by Lazamataz (If you only think about a diet, only your brain loses weight.)
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To: mykdsmom

So, a Federal Appellate Court has issued binding case law dictating the content of public prayer - How is this not a “law regarding the establishment of religion”?


3 posted on 02/22/2012 7:29:08 AM PST by circlecity
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To: mykdsmom

“Commissioners Say They’ll Continue Christian Prayer”

Those commissioners must be a bunch of gun-loving,
bible-thumping, knuckle-dragging, anti-science,
Christian morons.

/SARCASM/

(At least, that’s what the Progressives say, so it must be the truth. Long Live Big Brother!)


4 posted on 02/22/2012 7:30:07 AM PST by ripley
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To: mykdsmom

Atheism is becoming the defacto state religion. Just remember Daniel refused orders not to pray too.


5 posted on 02/22/2012 7:30:58 AM PST by LevinFan
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To: mykdsmom

Prayers can be sectarian but not Christian.


6 posted on 02/22/2012 7:39:28 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: ripley

These people are clinging to their guns and religion. They don’t know any better. (more sarcasm)

They just don’t know what’s good for them. What’s the matter with Kansas, or in this case, North Carolina?

See, cases like this point up why we all need good Democrats, liberals, and MSNBC talking heads to tell us how to live. (more sarcasm)


7 posted on 02/22/2012 7:43:29 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: AppyPappy
"Prayers can be sectarian but not Christian."

And by what standard can it be said that one is an "establishment of relilgion" and the other isn't? This is just a court deciding that it is more comfortable with one concept of religion over another. When courts have to issue case law establishing a religion ostensibly to prevent the establishment of religion we have entered the realm of logical absurdity.

8 posted on 02/22/2012 7:46:35 AM PST by circlecity
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To: LevinFan

Nice to see people defying the ACLU. (In the hometown of my girlfriend)


9 posted on 02/22/2012 7:49:24 AM PST by VA_Gentleman ("Poor Al Gore. Global warming completely debunked via the very internet you invented." -Jon Stewart)
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To: mykdsmom
If people en mass would simply do what these folks are doing and ignore these court rulings on issues such as this, we would quickly remember what the founding fathers knew, the Government is powerless without the support of the people.
10 posted on 02/22/2012 8:04:24 AM PST by apillar
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To: Dilbert San Diego

“We all need good Democrats, liberals, and MSNBC talking heads to tell us how to live.(more sarcasm)”

True, since they are all really-really smart, intelligent, supremely intellectual, omniscient, all-knowing, brilliant, superior, genetically far-advanced and also very very special god-like geniuses. ( a bit more sarcasm.)

(not to mention being absolute, tyrannical, scu*bags.)

IMHO


11 posted on 02/22/2012 8:06:48 AM PST by ripley
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To: mykdsmom

Liberty, E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust.
The American Trinity on every coin.


12 posted on 02/22/2012 8:10:42 AM PST by onedoug
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To: circlecity

Well, it’s not really “binding” if it’s unenforceable. What are they going to do, put a “Prayer Monitor” in the council room, and taze anyone who starts to utter the word Jesus? These commissioners have the right idea, civil disobedience, which can only result in two outcomes: either the State tries to enforce this law, in a way that will reveal their true draconian nature to the public, or they will have to back down. Either way, we win.


13 posted on 02/22/2012 8:29:59 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman

NO doubt the ACLU will try to enforce the ruling by getting a trial court injunction which enjoins any members of the council from deviating from the Federally mandated approved prayers. IF they violate the injunction the ACLU will then ask that they be held in comtempt and fined or imprisoned as punishment by the Court.


14 posted on 02/22/2012 8:33:28 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

A prayer cannot accept Jesus Christ as its Lord and Savior. Just mentioning Jesus in a prayer doesn’t make it Christian.


15 posted on 02/22/2012 8:47:16 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: apillar
If people en mass would simply do what these folks are doing and ignore these court rulings on issues such as this,....

Exactly..

16 posted on 02/22/2012 9:31:21 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: circlecity

Yes, but none of those actions would actually serve to stop anyone from saying whatever prayers they like, they could only hope to deter people from making that choice by threatening them with harsh consequences. If I don’t care about the consequences, it’s impossible for them to enforce this law on me, they can only punish me after the fact. That’s why these kind of rights are inalienable, because you can’t really actually deprive anyone of the right itself, you can only try to increase the difficulty of them exercising it.


17 posted on 02/22/2012 9:36:51 AM PST by Boogieman
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To: AppyPappy
"A prayer cannot accept Jesus Christ as its Lord and Savior. Just mentioning Jesus in a prayer doesn’t make it Christian"

Tell it to the 4th Circuit. Whatever diety a prayer "mentions" or if it doesn't mention any diety, it presumedly is petitioning somebody. So it's religious regardless of the content. How does a Court go about deciding the constitutionally permissible content of a religious prayer without establishing some sort of religion in the process? It's an absurdity.

18 posted on 02/22/2012 9:50:43 AM PST by circlecity
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19 posted on 02/22/2012 10:36:36 AM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: mykdsmom
Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Salisbury has a significant number of my ancestors (Locke) in the graveyard. My family had farms along Third Creek from as early as 1750. These people won't put up with this if they have the same genes as I.
20 posted on 02/22/2012 11:01:08 AM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: Boogieman
"Yes, but none of those actions would actually serve to stop anyone from saying whatever prayers they like, they could only hope to deter people from making that choice by threatening them with harsh consequences."

That's true of any law.

21 posted on 02/22/2012 11:47:04 AM PST by circlecity
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To: mykdsmom

What many don’t realize is that the Declaration of Independence is the law of the land. It was codified as the first statute passed by the first Congress. There is an unmistakable reference to the one true God and showing proper respect to God cannot possibly violate the Constitution.


22 posted on 02/22/2012 11:47:04 AM PST by SeaHawkFan
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To: circlecity

“That’s true of any law.”

Correct, but with most laws, the majority of the people don’t have a serious reason for noncompliance, it’s only a minority who won’t comply and that is not usually because of any ideological disagreement with the law. Civil disobedience in those cases isn’t a viable option, since nobody would sympathize with, say a bank robber saying he did it because his moral code says it’s ok to rob banks. When they are attempting to dissuade us from exercising our rights, on the other hand, it’s a perfect opportunity for civil disobedience, since it is probably going to be the most effective means of resistance.


23 posted on 02/22/2012 4:51:55 PM PST by Boogieman
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To: mykdsmom

Placemark.


24 posted on 02/22/2012 9:39:32 PM PST by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell)
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To: mykdsmom

Good for them. Is the Federal court going to send in US Marshals to arrest the county commissioners? Surely even the Zero administration isn’t *that* stupid ... Go ahead, make our day!


25 posted on 02/23/2012 5:23:44 AM PST by Tax-chick (I used to be difficult, but after watching 46 episodes of "Lie to Me," I'm impossible!)
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To: MitchellC

Not sure if you are handling the NC ping list or not but I see you recently pinged the NC list so could you please ping again for this? Thanks.


26 posted on 02/23/2012 6:59:11 AM PST by mykdsmom (FUBO)
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To: 100%FEDUP; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; ~Vor~; a4drvr; Adder; Aegedius; Afronaut; alethia; ...

NC *Ping*

Please FRmail MitchellC if you want to be added to or removed from this North Carolina ping list.

27 posted on 02/25/2012 2:59:22 PM PST by MitchellC
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To: mykdsmom

VIDEO, PICS. ARTICLE FROM LAST COMMISSIONERS MEETING:
http://www.salisburypost.com/News/022112-Commissioners-prayer-public-comment-qcd


28 posted on 02/26/2012 8:03:52 AM PST by lwd
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To: Lazamataz

Nah. Rowan County is a right-wing stronghold. If there is a threat looming, it will have to come from outside.


29 posted on 02/26/2012 10:58:19 AM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: vetvetdoug
"Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Salisbury has a significant number of my ancestors (Locke) in the graveyard. My family had farms along Third Creek from as early as 1750. These people won't put up with this if they have the same genes as I."

My roots are there too. Salt of the earth folks, I doubt they'll back down.

30 posted on 02/27/2012 1:36:38 PM PST by JWinNC (www.anailinhisplace.net)
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To: Tax-chick

Feds arrest County Commissioners? That would be a HUGE mistake.

Don’t know who else they could get to attempt an arrest?


31 posted on 02/27/2012 1:40:10 PM PST by JWinNC (www.anailinhisplace.net)
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To: JWinNC

Well, if the County Commissioners have really ticked off the County Sheriff over funding disputes ...


32 posted on 02/27/2012 6:35:00 PM PST by Tax-chick (I used to be difficult, but after watching 48 episodes of "Lie to Me," I'm impossible!)
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To: circlecity
So, a Federal Appellate Court has issued binding case law dictating the content of public prayer - How is this not a “law regarding the establishment of religion”?

The First Amendment reads "Congress shall make no law..."

This is the courts, not Congress. So, it's O.K. /s

33 posted on 02/27/2012 6:42:34 PM PST by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance On Parade)
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