Monday, February 1, 2010

Federal Court Strikes Down Sectarian Prayers At Forsyth County, N.C., Commission

Watchdog Group Hails Decision Curbing Government Intervention In Religion

January 29, 2010

A federal court has struck down a North Carolina county’s policy of opening board meetings with sectarian prayers.

U.S. District Judge James A. Beaty held that the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ preference for Christian prayers violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Observed Beaty, “[T]he prayers offered in the implementation of the Policy here did not reflect diversity and inclusiveness, and instead were divisive and had the effect of affiliating the Government with one particular belief.”

Plaintiffs in the Joyner v. Forsyth County lawsuit are Janet Joyner and Constance Lynn Blackmon, two county residents and members of the Winston-Salem Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

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