Atheist group demands Maryland city to stop opening meetings with Christian prayer
The Christian Post reports that a leading atheist organisation is demanding that a city in Maryland stop allowing city officials to open council meetings with a prayer, which it says is most often a Christian prayer that closes with the words "in Jesus' name."
The American Humanist Association sent the letter on Wednesday to Aberdeen officials, namely Mayor Patrick McGrady and city council members, condemning the regular prayers.
AHA Legal Director Monica Miller wrote in the letter that the council members open meetings with prayers that are Christian in nature, often ending in the phrase “in Jesus’ name.”
Miller argued that while the United States Supreme Court had ruled in Town of Greece v. Galloway that Christian prayers were allowed at public meetings, this only applied to prayers “when they are delivered by private citizens pursuant to a neutral and non-discriminatory open forum policy that allows anyone to deliver an invocation of their choosing.”
Miller requested a response from the city officials within two weeks, threatening them with potential legal action if they refused to discontinue their prayer practice.