A Carroll County, Md., commissioner said the heck with what a U.S. District judge said and went ahead and opened this week's meeting with a prayer that invoked the name of Jesus Christ.
Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said she'd go to jail for the right to say Jesus during a meeting prayer — just two days after a judge, on the heels of an atheist group's pressing, issued a preliminary injunction that barred any type of sectarian prayer during government gatherings, The Blaze reported.
Ms. Frazier didn't care. She said, prior to opening with a prayer that invoked Jesus more than once, that: "I'm willing to go to jail for it. I believe this is a fundamental of America, and if we cease to believe that our rights come from God, we cease to be America. We've been told to be careful. But we're going to be careful all the way to communism if we don't start standing up and saying 'no.' "
The American Humanist Association joined with several local residents to claim that the mention of Jesus during public prayers of government bodies violated the Constitution because it pushed one religion over another.
The Carroll County Times reported that such prayers were supposed to come to a stop until the judge could determine which way to go with a lawsuit that's been launched against the county.
Now foes are up in arms about Ms. Frazier's prayer.
"Commissioner Frazier spoke at length in brazen defiance of the federal judge's order," said Bruce Hake, one plaintiff in the case who attended the Thursday meeting and witnessed Ms. Frazier's remarks. And one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, Monica Miller, said that while she's not going to seek contempt charges against Ms. Frazier this time, she just might if she does it again in the future, The Blaze reported.
"Of course, it's entirely possible that the commissioner wishes to become a public martyr of sorts for Christianity, a celebrity upon whom religious sympathizers can bestow admiration and encouragement," Ms. Miller wrote, in a letter reported upon by The Blaze. "If that's the case, and if she therefore ignores both the court and this warning, she will no doubt get her wish."
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