Councilmen Refuses to Alter Opening Prayer in VA

July 27, 2004

Source: First Amendment.Center/ AP

On July 27, 2004 The AP reported, "Despite a federal appeals court ruling and a reminder from civil liberties lawyers, a City Council member [Hashmel Turner, an associate minister of First Baptist Church of Love] said he won't change the prayer he uses to open council meetings... On July 22, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in a South Carolina case that the practice of invoking the name of Jesus Christ at town council meetings amounts to an unconstitutional government advancement of one religion: Christianity."