Prattville TEA Party leader wants right to pray at govt. meeting - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Prattville TEA Party leader wants right to pray at govt. meetings protected


The person at the center of a controversy over prayer before a Public Service Commission meeting wants the right for people to pray at state government meetings protected.

John Jordan hopes to get lawmakers on board and put those protections into law.

The content of Jordan's prayer last month raised eyebrows as he brought up a number of sensitive political issues from abortion to gay marriage.

"We're told to confess our sins before God," Jordan said in an interview with WSFA 12 News.  "I think it's important to keep prayer in government. I think it's important to keep prayer in schools, important to keep prayer in the family."

One lawmaker might be on board.

"We'll do what is necessary to establish and make sure it stays," said Rep. Paul Beckman, R-Prattville. "The sad part about it is common sense tells us we shouldn't have to, if we have to do it, that's what we're going to do."

But groups like the ACLU believe while it's important to protect religious freedoms, such a law protecting prayers at meetings would be misguided.

"The prayer at the PSC meeting is a perfect example of how prayer can be divisive and exclusive, " said Susan Watson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama. "And that the government out to be neutral, so that when people come to address the government. They're on a level playing field."

Despite what Alabama lawmakers may do, the U.S. Supreme Court may have the final word. Justices are set to hear arguments in such a case during its next term.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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