New York Town Wants to Police Public Prayer Content

A liberal special-interest group based in Washington, DC, is asking the town of Greece, New York, to dictate to its citizens what is acceptable speech for starting prayers in the town council’s monthly meetings.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United, argues that repeatedly offering Christian prayer at the meetings “sends a message to non-Christians that they are second-class citizens. That’s not a message public officials should want to send ….” But Joel Oster, the Alliance Defense Fund senior counsel representing the town, disputes claims by Lynn’s gruop that the council is promoting Christianity by allowing the prayers.

“[The town council does] not edit the contents of these prayers. They do not pre-review the prayers. They are not the prayer police,” chides Oster. “They are just simply following a time-honored tradition established by our founding fathers ….”

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