[03.24.08] The Rev. Hashmel Turner, a member of the city council in Fredericksburg, Va., routinely prayed during the council meetings. He often ended his prayers by invoking the name of Christ. Some attendees at the meetings were offended and threatened legal action.
The council yielded and adopted a policy of “nondenominational” prayers, which excluded explicit mention of Jesus.
Last week the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were asked to grant Turner and others the freedom to pray as they please.
John Whitehead, the founder and chief of The Rutherford Institute—a civil liberties advocacy group that is backing Turner—said the ban is unacceptable.
“There are some things in life that cannot be compromised,” Whitehead said. “For Hashmel Turner, his faith, his integrity and his civil liberties are three things worth fighting for.”
Hashmel’s attorneys rendered their oral arguments last Wednesday and are currently awaiting a decision from the court.