Marion County, Fla., commissioners are now considering their response to an Americans United for the Separation of Church and State complaint that their prayers opening commission meetings are too Christian.
According to a report in the Star-Banner of Ocala, Fla., Americans United said it was acting on a complaint from an unidentified source and that it had reviewed video from eight regular commission sessions since the beginning of the year. They claimed that on five occasions the name of Jesus Christ was specifically mentioned during the opening prayer. It was the mentioning of the name of Jesus Christ to which the legal group was protesting.
The group’s lawyer, Ian Smith, requested that the board of commissioners bring its “prayer practice” into compliance by using a “nonsectarian” invocation or by abandoning the practice of prayer altogether.
According to the Star-Banner, Smith suggested that the board switch to a more inclusive moment of silence, make the prayers nonsectarian or invite members of the community and “prayer-givers” from varying faiths to present the invocations.
“The Commission’s prayer practice,” Smith said, “unconstitutionally affiliates the county with Christianity.”
But Pastor Carl Gallups, author of the Amazon No. 1 Bestseller “The Magic Man in the Sky: Effectively Defending the Christian Faith,” says the United States is affiliated with Christianity, a fact he says even Americans United could embrace if they understood its significance.
“Here is a classic example of the collision of two worldviews,” Gallups told WND. “I have an entire chapter in my book devoted to this phenomenon. The chapter is titled, ‘When Two Worlds Collide.’ The collision is the clash between the completely unique and distinctive message of the Christian faith with the secular worldview that there is no God. Or, conversely, it is a clash with the universalism message that ‘all religious views hold equal value and consideration.’”
“When was the last time that you heard of a lawsuit in America dealing with a public prayer that was ‘too Muslim’ or ‘too Hindu’ or ‘too secular in nature?’” asked Gallups.
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