NC Board Appeals Prayer Case to Supreme Court

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The commissioners of one North Carolina county have voted to appeal a prayer case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
    
Some of the residents of Forsyth County sued the board of commissioners in 2007 after they opened one of their meetings with a prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.
   
On July 29, a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court judge's decision that declared the use of sectarian prayer to open the board of commissioners meetings to be unconstitutional.

The appeals court ruled the reference to Jesus violated the Constitution by "advancing and endorsing Christianity to the exclusion of other faiths."
    
The commissioners voted Monday take the case before the high court.  They say that praying in the name of Jesus Christ reflects the county's religious makeup.

Winston-Salem television station WXII reported that the Alliance Defense Fund represented Forsyth County in the case and disagreed with the 2-1 ruling.

The ADF argued that the decision is in "conflict with other federal court decisions and out of step with the history of invocations in America."

Judge Paul V. Niemeyer dissented on the ruling, arguing that those who offer prayers at such meetings should be allowed to speak in the voice of their own religion.  

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