Thursday, November 04, 2004

Prayer violates D.M. mandate

This story from the Des Moines Register is another example of "tolerance" from the liberal left. Religion is fine as long as it isn't Christianity. You have to wonder, if it had been a Muslim or some othe non-Christian religous leader, would anything have been said about a reading from their sacred text? Would a passage from the Koran stir controversy? I think not. One thing the article doesn't say is that the invocation before council meetings is open to all religions.

A reading of the Lord's Prayer before a City Council meeting sparks controversy.
November 4, 2004

A Catholic priest's reading of the Lord's Prayer at a Des Moines City Council meeting last month violated a mandate to avoid endorsements of specific religions, the city attorney said Wednesday. City Attorney Bruce Bergman said Mayor Frank Cownie asked him to explore the issue after the Rev. Jim Kiernan of St. Ambrose Cathedral led an audience of about 60 through a recital of the Lord's Prayer before the Oct. 25 meeting. Bergman determined that the prayer violated a city standard that invocations use God's name in only a generic sense to maintain a separation of church and state. Cownie, a Presbyterian, said the prayer could be deemed offensive to non-Christians and result in a lawsuit or a court order to end all invocations. "We want to do the right thing for all the people in the city of Des Moines," he said. Kiernan declined to comment. His nephew is Councilman Michael Kiernan, who said Cownie used the prayer issue to grind a political ax. The two were on opposite sides of Tuesday's vote to merge Des Moines and Polk County governments. "You have got to wonder about the connection here," Michael Kiernan said. "I feel bad for my uncle that he's being pulled into this. "Most Iowa cities start meetings with the Pledge of Allegiance, said Tom Bredeweg, executive director of the Iowa League of Cities. Bergman said religious leaders invited to open future meetings will be apprised of the rules. Meanwhile, Councilman Archie Brooks said he isn't bothered by the Lord's Prayer. "That's the prayer the Lord taught us," he said.

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