City Council votes to continue saying prayer - KOTA Territory News

City Council votes to continue saying prayer

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Rapid City Council members vote to leave the invocation as is and not to draft a policy regarding the issue.

After a lengthy debate at Monday nights City Council meeting; Council Members agree to continue praying at the beginning of the meetings despite the threat of a lawsuit.

A non - profit organization called "The Freedom from Religion Foundation" asked Rapid City to stop saying the prayer at the beginning of meetings; calling it a civil rights issue.

But the Council refuses to give in to the groups demand and instead plans to continue saying prayer.

People on both sides of the issue spoke out and Cole Bedford, who's against prayer, offered a few suggestions.

"Invocations take place as a non-agenda item before the gavel officially begins meetings and volunteers request the opportunity to give the invocation instead of being recruited. In this way a traditional invocation is still able to set the solemn tone that many feel is necessary; while at the same time limiting the appearance of endorsement from the governing body," said Bedford.

"I want to encourage you to remain strong and courageous in this debate and to know there are many of us standing with you who support you. Making no policy at all would be best the council just needs to keep maintaining the long standing tradition of what has always been done," said Jill Mills, who is for the invocation.

The Mayor and City Council members asked the city attorney, Joel Landeen, to consult with national groups who offered the city support in case of a law suit. Landeen will present the groups opinions on the council's decision in June; as well as how the groups will support the city if it's sued.

 

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