Huntsville City Council begins meeting with prayer - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville City Council begins meeting with prayer, despite request to stop

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants Huntsville City Council to stop public prayer before meetings. The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants Huntsville City Council to stop public prayer before meetings.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The Huntsville City Council defied an controversial group's request to stop prayer before council meetings.

Dr. Richard Showers said the prayer in front of a group of more than 50 people Thursday night. The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent the council a letter last week ordering them to stop the supplication or face the consequences.

"We've received the letter, we're taking it into consideration, we're reviewing the cases they cite, and we'll provide a response to the foundation in due time," said Huntsville City Councilman Mark Russell.

Russell has served on the council for nearly a decade. He said he can't remember anyone ever complaining about prayer until now.

"The city council has been opening with prayer since its existence," said Russell.

According to Russell, the prayer is usually Christian based, but Jewish and Muslim leaders have also led the group.

The FFRF sent out similar letters to 13 other government municipalities last week. The group said they didn't want to see it come to this and they're prepared for a fight.

"If our founders didn't pray over the founding of our nation, I don't see why the Huntsville City Council has to pray over things like sidewalk care, liquor licenses, and variances," said FFRF spokesperson Annie Laurie Gaylor. 

They said they're not against a councilman praying by himself, but doing it in an open forum is out of bounds.

 


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