CA City Council Approves Prayers in Jesus' Name

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City leaders in Lodi, California have voted to continue to allow uncensored prayers before council meetings - including prayers in Jesus' name.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation threatened to sue the council if they continued the prayers.

They said such prayers would "lead a reasonable observer to believe that the Council is endorsing not only religion over non-religion, but also Christianity over other faiths."

Instead, the organization wanted to make all prayers nondenominational.
    
During a council meeting on the issue, more than 500 residents showed up in support of praying "In Jesus' name." 

Former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, founder of the Pray In Jesus Name Project, called Wednesday's 5-0 vote a victory for free speech, according to Charisma Magazine.

"This victory should inspire legislators across America that 85 percent of polled voters want you to allow public prayers in Jesus' name, even in public venues," Klingenschmitt said in a statement.

"Don't cave-in to empty threats of lawsuits by atheist complainers. Christian voters will rally to support you, and Jesus is not an illegal word," he said.
    
To avoid the lawsuit, members will now pray before their meetings are called to order.

The council is working towards developing a new policy which would avoid showing partiality towards any religion.

Still, Annie Gaylor - cofounder of Freedom From Religion Foundation - said her organization may still sue.

"We'll see how it pans out and probably will have to sue because there is widespread disrespect for the law in the state of California," Gaylor told the Lodi News-Sentinel.

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