Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Since when did praying in Jesus' name become a legality issue?

Jesus is not an illegal word, the Bible is not a banned book, and evangelistic speech is not a crime. - Gordon James Klingenschmitt

Later today, people will be gathered on the steps of Lodi's city hall and praying. Another group of people will apparently be cursing the effort to keep the option of saying "Jesus" during this Northern California city council invocations.

Is it a big deal?

Well, like a good pastor friend of mine said, "I will be praying in Jesus name regardless." Regardless if this country squelches all expressions of faith. Regardless if one faces the threat of a potential lawsuit...or arrest...or prison time...he and I and others will still be praying in Jesus name.

It just seems very said that in a country whose people once boasted about their First Amendment rights, quietly, without much battle from many, saying "Jesus" in the public square has met so much intolerance.

Below is "Chaps" prayer and petition. You can sign by going here.


Dear Mayor and Councilmembers:

We the undersigned, respectfully petition you to defend religious freedom by allowing visiting pastors

of all diverse faiths and denominations, to pray aloud publicly according to the dictates of their own conscience,

at or before city council meetings, even if they dare to pray aloud publicly "in Jesus name" or invoke their own specific deity.

Please do not cave-in to atheist intimidation by the enemies of religious liberty, including

Americans United and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who are threatening to sue to silence all prayers.

Please conform your decision to First Amendment precedent which allows Jesus prayers among other rotating diverse prayers,

as already decided in the 7th Circuit (Hinrichs v. Bosma) and 11th Circuit (Pelphrey v. Cobb County)

and by the Supreme Court of the United States in two decisions: Marsh v. Chambers and Lee v. Weisman.

Jesus is not an illegal word, the Bible is not a banned book, and evangelistic speech is not a crime.

Please simply adopt a policy similar to Tulsa City Council, and declare the prayers are private speech, not government speech,

or allow the prayers to be said aloud during optionally attended time, just before the first government business is gaveled to order.

Please allow pro-bono Christian lawyers, from the Alliance Defense Fund or others, to defend your pro-Jesus prayer policy in court.

We pray to God you will stand with us by taking a courageous stand for liberty, in Jesus' name. Amen."

Sign petition.

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