- The Washington Times - Friday, March 7, 2014

The attorney for one Ohio local government body — the Cuyahoga Falls City Council — said the Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a threatening letter over prayers led by the local chaplain that end with mention of Jesus.

Councilman Terry Mader, appointed chaplain in January, ends the governing body’s meeting prayers with the words: “In Jesus name, we pray,” The Blaze reported. But in recent weeks, some are questioning if the mention of Jesus constitutes a government stamp for one religion over another — an argument that’s been underscored by the FFRF’s letter to the council’s counsel, The Blaze said.

One Jewish resident, Sheryl Aronson, for instance, says prayer participants don’t actually have to say Jesus out loud in order to invoke his power.

“I agree that prayer at the beginning of a meeting can set the tone for the meeting, get everyone’s mind focused and in the right place,” she said, during a recent council meeting reported by the Akron Beacon Journal. “[But] in your own mind, you can say ‘in Christ’s name.’ It doesn’t lose any power by being said silently. It doesn’t gain any power by being said out loud.”

That view’s not shared by all, however. Rev. Chris McCombs, who ministers at a local church, said the council should be allowed to keep the status quo with public prayers, due to the nation’s religious history.