Rowan Co. Commission to meet for first time since federal judge banned prayer
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. —
Commissioners ordered not to pray a specific prayer will meet Monday. They have to weigh whether to stop a 20-year tradition that put them in a legal battle or break the law.
It will be the first scheduled meeting in Rowan County since a federal judge filed an injunction two weeks ago, banning them from praying a specific religious prayer before meetings.
“If they want to do it let them do it. I don’t think they should outlaw it,” said Bill Earnhardt, Rowan County Resident.
“It is against the law,” said Nan Lund, Rowan County resident.
To pray or not to pray — that’s a decision up before these members of the Rowan County Commission.
On Monday night commissioners will meet for the first time since a federal judge ordered them not to pray a specific religious prayer before their meetings.
On Sunday, people in Salisbury had strong opinions about this controversial issue.
“I think everybody should be able to pray. However they pray to whoever they pray to I think they should be able to pray,” said Nina Moore.
“I don’t go round telling people what to believe in I know what I believe in and that’s the way I am,” said JW Lundy.
Two weeks ago a federal judge issued an injunction aimed at halting commissioners from praying a specific religious prayer before their meetings.
That ruling came after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit back in March complaining that commissioners were opening their meetings with prayers that were only specific to one religion — that suit was filed on behalf of three residents in Rowan County.
Nan Lund was one of them.
“It has been uncomfortable going to the commission meetings when they start with a prayer that is specific to one set of religious beliefs that I don’t happen to hold,” said Lund.
Lund said she will not be attending Monday’s meeting, but said she hopes commissioners will adhere to the judge’s decision — and not pray before their meeting.
“I’d like to see our public officials who have vowed took vows to uphold the law to do that,” said Lund.