Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Kaydence, Aug 19, 2017.
I agree with the "any church" part. Your name calling is kinda childish.
Prayer before public meetings is a long-standing tradition and part of our common heritage. And it is legal.
The fact is that the Supreme Court has ruled on this issue twice in recent years. In Galloway v. Town of Greece, the Court ruled:
"As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of 'God save the United States and this honorable court' at the opening of this court's sessions," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.
It is a time-honored tradition to open public meetings with a prayer. It is appropriate to ask the blessings of our Creator on our public proceedings so long as those prayers do not promote or denigrate any specific sect or belief set. Our public prayers, along with the Pledge of Allegiance, set the tone for our meetings and serve as a reminder to conduct ourselves in a sober, thoughtful manner. Our heritage has been to conduct these traditional elements at the beginning of our meetings and there is no reason to change. No one is coerced into joining in or joining any particular faith and anyone in the audience or on the board can decide not to participate if they choose.
The law is clear and the law has not been violated. Questioning a practice that has wide popular support and is legal as declared by the United States Supreme Court is not producing one job, housing one homeless family or protecting any of our natural resources. It fact it will divide the community and prevent those issues from receiving the attention they deserve. We have many issues to discuss that are vital to the well-being of our citizens. In my opinion, this is not one of them.
Prayer before public meetings is not the issue Danny, recognizing one particular Churches alleged service to the Community over another is.
Does that mean me? If so, is that a personal attack or just an unbiased observation?
I have No respect for a person that refuses to stand for prayer Kadence.
Quite frankly my dear I don't care because I have 0 (zero) respect for anyone that uses religion as an excuse to try an act like a human being.
So that's why you don't stand in respect to God because you don't want to be accused of being a human being....what does that make you...???
What it doesn't make her is cecilia jones, who is in my opinion is Satans assistance.
Tell me where its written in the bible that I must stand to show God respect???
Jesus condemns as hypocrites those who make an ostentatious display of praying!
P.S. Cecilia...most people believe that showing respect to God means being on your knees in prayer not showing off at a Commission meeting begging for recognition of a Churches 30 years of service.
Tell me again exactly what it is your Church deserved those praises for? How many homeless people did they house when temps reached freezing in Walton County last year? (Oh wait I know the answer, they don't want the riffraff in SoWal so they closed the shelter!) How many meals did they prepare to feed the homeless? (Answer: NONE!) How much clothing or household goods have they donated to help those less fortunate or who were victims of Irma that lost everything? Where were all the volunteers from your Church when Walton County Emergency Management was asking for volunteers during Irma? Was your behind working the shelter that was provided? (LOL, we know it wasn't.)
Fact is, if they had 30 years of REAL service to this community and those less fortunate you wouldn't have to ask for recognition because people in Walton County would know all about the great work they do!
Its called pandering for future votes.
Danny, the law in this case is not so clear even by the definition you state; “… so long as those prayers do not promote or denigrate any specific sect or belief set.”; many legal scholars, not just my opinion, interpret the US Supreme Court rulings, that a “Creator” or “God” can be invoked but not specific religious figures in a government invocation. Like Jesus, Lord, Mohamed, Buddha, etc. It is a very narrow ruling. Once any legislative body member or anyone invited by an legislative body invokes a sect’s belief in a religious figure they are in violation of the "establishment clause" and the "free exercise clause".
Sect. Definition of SECT
Open question is; if this county was a Muslim majority with a history of Islamic prayer invoking Mohammed at the opening of each legislative session would you feel the same as the minority? Would you feel you would getting a fair hearing on your position in Walton, Saudi Arabia as you would in Walton, USA? What about Buddist majority? Church [recognized by the IRS] of Scientology? Will be interesting to see if the BCC invite other [than Christian] religious leaders or if other religions ask [that the BCC members may not approve of] if the BCC will prevent other religions from opening a legislative meeting?
Thinking about this after getting back from church today; it’s probably best to keep religion private and government secular. It is clear Commissioners Jones, Comander and Anderson long and multiple references to religion during official scheduled meetings blurs the separation of church and state. Religions are for those that have faith and government is for everyone regardless of faith.
Why is it the BCC seems compelled to have religious invocations for the BCC meetings but not any other official BCC meetings? Does the BCC not need divine guidance during these other meetings too? Agree this is another divisive issue the BCC does not need to perpetuate and are alienating more people than they realize.
Galloway v. Town of Greece, was ruled on in 2014. Commissioners Jones, Commander, and Anderson have all knowing invoked Jesus and Our [Christian] Lord. In violation of the this ruling.
TOWN OF GREECE v. GALLOWAY
Town of Greece v. Galloway - Wikipedia
Separation of church and state in the United States - Wikipedia
Unsure when this year (2017) the BCC started “inviting” pastors and leaders, not lay people, of Christian churches to lead the BCC in prayer but inviting specific sects and invoking their religious deity is a violation of the "free exercise clause" for legislative bodies. These are but the most recent.
Other legal scholars opinions include; “The prayer portion of the meeting must be conducted only during a ceremonial part of the government body’s session, not mixed in with action on official policy.” No matter the invoker’s intentions it is a violation for BCC to invoke religion in legislative matters except for the narrow court authorized opening invocation.
1. Comander 2016/06
Invokes “the Lord” and religion into a legislative session on agenda items being voted on. I know I took exception to Comander's comments.
2. From: Cecilia Jones
Date: Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 8:39 AM
Subject: FYI - Beach Activities Ordinance Revisions
To: Cecilia Jones <JonCecilia@co.walton.fl.us>
Your support on an issue of significant importance to Walton County would be appreciated.
Several months ago, I asked county staff to draft an ordinance for review, […. text removed for brevity.]
This ordinance is up for discussion tomorrow night (Tuesday at 4:00 pm at the South Walton Courthouse Annex). Please come in support [I guess if you are not in support you are not invited to come!?] of these ordinance revisions.
Finally, I am proud to take the lead on these revisions because it is the right thing to do! I need your help!!
God bless you and your family and thank you in advance,
District 2 Commissioner
Cecilia Jones stated that the BCC wanted to recognize her Church specifically for 30 years of service during an official BCC meeting. There was also a plaque involved that she wanted to make a big show of presenting to the Church during the meeting but was told she could not do that because it was a violation of the First Amendment.
Separate names with a comma.