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Public Prayer Under the Law

[COMMENT:   The article below is online at http://prayinjesusname.org/blog_post/show/39  a website asking for support to defend prayer in public places, including the name of Jesus.   I will insert comments below in the text. 

Christians MUST learn to discuss public policy reasonably, with fact and logic.   The atheists are no better than Christians are (which is lousy), but they are better at faking it.  We must counter them with the real thing.       E. Fox]
 

Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

We the undersigned, respectfully petition you to defend religious freedom by allowing visiting pastors of all diverse faiths and denominations, to pray aloud publicly according to the dictates of their own conscience, at or before city council meetings, even if they dare to pray aloud publicly "in Jesus name" or invoke their own specific deity. 

[This of course allows atheist comment at the same time.  This is honest pluralism, which says that all views are welcome to the discussion, but only if they allow their opposition equal time and respect -- not because all views are true, but rather to encourage the search for the truth, to find which view is true.  Religion is not excluded in any way, shape, or form which supports the open discussion of ideas and beliefs.]

Please do not cave-in to atheist intimidation by the enemies of religious liberty, including Americans United and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who are threatening to sue to silence all prayers.

Please conform your decision to First Amendment precedent which allows Jesus prayers among other rotating diverse prayers, as already decided in the 7th Circuit (Hinrichs v. Bosma) and 11th Circuit (Pelphrey v. Cobb County) and by the Supreme Court of the United States in two decisions: Marsh v. Chambers and Lee v. Weisman.

Jesus is not an illegal word, the Bible is not a banned book, and evangelistic speech is not a crime. 

[One wonders why "Jesus" is so often the target.   I suspect because the name of Jesus makes religion a very personal thing, not an abstraction.]

Please simply adopt a policy similar to Tulsa City Council, and declare the prayers are private speech, not government speech, or allow the prayers to be said aloud during optionally attended time, just before the first government business is gaveled to order.

[Prayers are not "government speech", but religion must indeed be the basis of all government.   All legitimacy comes from God, and God alone.  The right for one person to command any other can come only if there is a moral order, and moral order can be created only by God, our Creator.    Honest pluralism can be had only under God.]

Please allow pro-bono Christian lawyers, from the Alliance Defense Fund or others, to defend your pro-Jesus prayer policy in court.

We pray to God you will stand with us by taking a courageous stand for liberty, in Jesus' name.  Amen."

[See comments on liberty and freedom.]

http://prayinjesusname.org/blog_post/show/39

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Date Posted -  07/30/2009   -   Date Last Edited - 09/15/2012