Government-Sanctioned Prayer on Trial

July 28, 2007

Author: Paul Dellinger

Source: The Roanoke Times

CHRISTIANSBURG -- Steve Spradlin felt so strongly about having invocations at public meetings that he stepped down momentarily as Montgomery County supervisors chairman to make it happen.

"I'm personally not trying to ram anything down any board member's throat," he said in making a motion for the board to have an opening prayer Monday night, but "this is an item very close to my heart."

The motion passed, with only one supervisor voting against it -- John Muffo.

"The minority of people in Montgomery County who are not Christians and pay county taxes will have to sit and listen to Christian invocations and will not be represented when that happens," Muffo said later. He wondered how those favoring invocations would feel about one from "the Quran or some Hindu holy text or something like that."