Afraid of a potential lawsuit, the mayor of Longview, Wash. recently announced that the city’s council meetings will no longer begin with a prayer to Jesus Christ.
For more than half a century, local ministers rotated turns delivering the invocation; but Mayor Don Jensen’s admonition understandably caused the pastors to reconsider.
One member of the local ministerial group said the council is “asking us not to do what we’re called to do,” noting the church leaders are “not trying to be against anybody” but are “just being clear about what we’re for.”
The controversy began when self-described atheist Dan Smith complained that the practice of praying to Jesus could be considered unconstitutional.
Should the mayor ordain Christianity the one and only religion of Longview, Smith might have a point. As it stands, though, there is nothing improper or illegal in beginning an official meeting with such an invocation.
Threatening to sue based on his misguided principle, Smith effectively forced Jensen’s hand in declaring Christian prayer obsolete in the community.
“It is not my choice to stop this,” Jensen said, “but I don’t know how we can put our citizens at jeopardy and cost our city and our citizens a lot of money.”
In a community with more than 50 years of tradition without a hint of controversy, it takes just one loudmouth to change everything by calling for litigation.
Such blackmail is rampant by leftists today, as bullying is virtually the only way their radical policies can gain traction.
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Photo credit: biblevector (Creative Commons)