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Invocation Imbroglio: Calif. City Should Drop Crusade For Sectarian Prayers

Two weeks ago, I wrote about R. Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, Calif. Parris found himself in a bit of a hot spot when, during a speech to religious leaders, he asserted, “We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that.” Read more

No Credence: Carpetbagger Crank Klingenschmitt Shouldn't Get Stuck In Lodi

Lodi, Calif., is a city of about 62,000 residents between Sacramento and Stockton. I've never been there, but Wikipedia tells me the town is known for its wine production – it's the "Zinfandel Capital of the World." The band Creedence Clearwater Revival once penned a tune called "Stuck in Lodi."

But lately Lodi has been in the news for another reason: a nasty spat over prayers before city council meetings. Read more

Falwell Fast One?: Lynchburg Preacher's Sectarian House Prayer Doesn't Track Chaplain's Online Version

This weekend, for the first time since I have lived here, I found myself at a Washington-area Hindu temple.

That's because my parents were in town, and when my mom visits, it's on the top of her to-do list. So to satisfy my mother, and my religious quota for a while, I spent 10 to 15 minutes at a local temple.

I may not spend much time praying, but I still consider myself a Hindu and a follower of the faith. I don't need to listen to prayer all the time or have images of my faith displayed all around to know that. Read more

Chaplain Controversy: Virginia Legislators Endorse Christian Police Prayer

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation yesterday that would allow state police chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ at public events, despite federal appeals court decisions that have banned such prayers.

The legislation stems from some delegates' outrage over what they saw as "forced" resignations by six police chaplains in September. The chaplains stepped down after Virginia State Police Col. Steven Flaherty issued a directive requiring police chaplains to avoid denominational prayers at public events, such as trooper graduations. Read more

Prayer Pique: N.J. Town Drops Lord's Prayer Before Meetings

It's always good to hear about government officials agreeing to follow the law before a court orders them to.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported today that officials in Newton, N.J., agreed to stop reciting the Lord's Prayer before its city council meetings, following a complaint made by resident Doug Radigan. Read more

Inclusive Invocation: Pennsylvania Senate May Hear Non-Theistic Remarks

Last year Americans United sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Senate, asking the leadership to revise that body's prayer policy. Like a lot of government bodies, the state Senate opens with a prayer, often one delivered by a guest minister.

AU had received complaints from Keystone State residents who noticed that the prayers were almost always Christian. We asked the members of the Senate to use non-sectarian prayers instead, noting that the Supreme Court has allowed these types of prayers before meetings of government bodies but not sectarian ones. Read more

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