A Georgia county can continue to start their meetings with Christian prayers, a federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled on Tuesday.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court rejected an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking to stop Cobb County from starting their meetings with prayers from invited ministers.
The suit claimed that overtly Christian prayers offered before the board of commissioners' and planning commission's meetings are an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
However, the court's decision, written by Judge Bill Pryor, concluded that courts should avoid parsing the content of prayers as long as they are not used to advance a particular religion or to disparage another faith.
County leaders use a master list of congregations for randomly selecting clergy to give the prayers, Pryor noted.
He also said that there was no proof that the prayers proselytize one faith over another, and the county has not helped compose or censor any of the prayers.
About 70 percent of the commissions' prayers are Christian.
Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution