The American Civil Liberties Union says the Oakland Township Board of Trustees violated the First Amendment during a meeting in which the name of Jesus Christ was invoked during a prayer.
A YouTube video of the Nov. 27 meeting shows Trustee Judy Keyes delivering the prayer, in which she stated, "We ask that you guide us Lord to search for what is right, what is good and to always seek the truth. We ask for your blessings on everybody in this room and all of Oakland Township. In Jesus’ name I pray – amen.”
A letter dated Feb. 26 from the ACLU to the trustees and Oakland Township Supervisor Terry Gonser cited the organization's objections to the prayer and urged the community to adopt a policy prohibiting such sectarian invocations. A response was requested by March 21.
"Under Well-established law, a governmental body offering a prayer
before a legislative session, Where that prayer singles out one religion over others, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution," the letter stated.
Gonser said the township has not decided what action to take and that he planned to meet with township attorneys to discuss the matter, according to The Oakland Press.
“I think we have to be prudent and make sure we do it right,” Gonser told the newspaper.
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