An editorial from The Inter-Mountain
ELKINS, W.Va. — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is surveying the state’s 55 county commissions to determine how many have prayers at their meetings.
The inquiry is in response to a court case heading to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In that suit, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint against the Rowan County, N.C., Commission over prayers at their meetings. A federal judge ordered the Commission to halt the practice, but Rowan County has decided to challenge the ruling.
Morrisey, a Republican, will be using the information in an amicus brief favoring prayers at public meetings.
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According to the Associated Press, several groups already have contacted county commissions from around the state and requested that they stop prayers at public meetings.
And, recently, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Parkersburg City Council asking that they stop saying the Lord’s Prayer at their meetings.
Here in Randolph County, a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance is said before County Commission meetings. Elkins City Council also says a prayer and the Pledge prior to meetings.
In Upshur County, the Commission, City Council and Board of Education all have moments of silent meditation or prayer prior to bringing their meetings to order.
Unfortunately, calling for the elimination of prayers – which are optional, by the way – has become another hot-button trend in today’s world of overly political correctness.
Even though the saying of said prayers and even the Pledge of Allegiance is not required, that doesn’t seem to be enough to please groups like the American Civil Liberties Union or the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
For decades, no one thought twice about prayers before meetings, in schools, at sporting events or at other similar gatherings. Praying was a part of daily life in what seems to have been a much more conservative time.
Now, interest groups and others want to sanitize and scrub this practice from daily life, wanting people to hide behind closed doors for such acts of faith.
This, indeed, is a slippery slope. Prayers and the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance before public meetings should be the least of the worries of groups that are not even locally led or impacted by these actions.
Choices such as these should be left up to the local entities involved and again, prayers and even the Pledge always are optional.
The madness must stop. We simply cannot eliminate everything that could even remotely seem offensive. After all, absolutely anything can be viewed as offensive by someone.