Akron City Council Members Forced to Drop Christian Prayer Before Meetings

The following are excerpts from an October 23, 2007 article appearing in

“Council to use nonsectarian meeting prayer”
By Phil Trexler, – October 23, 2007

All 13 members of Akron City Council gathered in a circle in their private office Monday night, their hands folded and heads bowed.

In unison, they recited their forbidden prayer.

They then went into City Council chambers and listened as a police department chaplain recited another verse, one the council prays will keep church-and-state separationists at bay.

At last week’s meeting, council members said the Lord’s Prayer in public for the last time. The threat of a lawsuit by the Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State ended the half-century-old tradition.

Several members of council were opposed to dropping the Lord’s Prayer without a fight.

At-large Councilman Michael Williams said he and other council members will continue the Lord’s Prayer privately before meetings. He said he doesn’t know if every member will join him like they did Monday.

”I don’t think we excluded anybody by saying the Lord’s Prayer,” he said after Monday’s meeting. ”But at the same time, I think it’s important that we acknowledge God, and I think it’s important that the people know heis on our mind when we are conducting public business.”

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