Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lesson Learned—This Year’s Jacksonville Prayer Rally Gets No Government Funds

Last year, Jacksonville, Florida ended up in litigation when it spent over $100,000 to support a Day of Faith anti-violence rally. The city settled the lawsuit, agreeing that in the future it would sponsor only secular programs. This year, 50 churches in Duval county are holding a similar prayer service, but without government funding. The mayor and other officials will be invited to the Sept. 8 "It’s Time To Pray Jacksonville" event, but this year the faith community will have "entire ownership" of the event, according to one of its organizers, Rev. Gary Wiggins. Yesterday's Florida Times-Union reported on plans by the organizers to invite 1,400 houses of worship—including synagogues and mosques—to attend.