Hays County Commissioners Consider Ending Meeting Prayer - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Hays County Commissioners Consider Ending Meeting Prayer

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Hays County Commissioners open each meeting with a prayer, but that could be coming to an end. A national nonpartisan organization, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent several letters to the commissioners asking them to end the prayers or revise their prayer policy.

"Our organization is a national organization that defends religious liberty and protects the separation of church and state," said Assistant Legal Director Alex Luchenitser.

According to the letters, the group received a complaint about the sectarian Christian prayers. In watching video recordings of the meetings over several months, they found that seven of ten of the prayers mentioned Jesus Christ.

"The Constitution requires government bodies to be neutral between religions, government bodies must not favor one religious group over another," Luchenister said.

At Tuesday's meeting, commissioners will discuss and possibly vote whether to include any prayer in the meetings.

"Prayer is so important. It says here's how we're going to start and how we'll make decisions," said Christian and Hays County resident Paul Valdez.

He and a group of Christians will be at the meeting and are hoping to get as much support as possible to keep the prayer.

"I believe prayer is essential, not only in the success of our business community, but in our communities over all whether it's on a national level, local level, city level," said Joanne Green, who works in Hays County.

The Hays County Commissioners Court meeting starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday, September 25, at the Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos.

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