Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Arizona City Adopts Christian-Only Invocation Policy

At its September 14 meeting, the Coolidge, Arizona City Council had before it a resolution (full text) to open each Council meeting with a prayer.  The resolution was drafted to comply with the Supreme Court's Town of Greece guidelines.  However, according to the Coolidge Examiner, in passing the resolution, Council by a 4-2 vote also adopted an amendment offered by Councilman Rob Hudelson to limit invocations to Christian prayers.  The paper reports:
Speaking last was Hudelson, who himself is a preacher. He made clear his views that the United States is a Christian nation.
“I think it’s very important,” Hudelson said. “We just proclaimed Constitution Week. You know what was said at the end of the [Revolutionary] war? A treaty in Paris that said ‘In the name of the most holy and undivided trinity.’ You don’t get that from the Quran. You get it from the Bible. You get it from Christianity. That’s our heritage.”
After this, Hudelson motioned to accept the resolution with the stipulation that this be a Christian item
The City Attorney told Council that this amendment would violate the Establishment Clause, but nevertheless Council passed it.  The Resolution is subject to a 30-day review period, and the City Attorney will now rewrite it to comply with Council's amendment.