Christians successfully restore prayer to board meetings

Friday, December 7, 2012
Charlie Butts (

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has voted to restore prayer to open meetings.

In 2004, two members of the board decided they were offended with Christian prayer and successfully lobbied fellow members to open instead with a moment of silence. The Christian Family Coalition got to work and one of the hostile members was replaced with a Christian, as spokesman Anthony Verdugo explains.


"To eliminate religious speech in the form of solemnizing the prayer is discrimination, and so what we told the commissioners is all we want to do is restore free-speech rights and restore speech equality so that everyone can speak openly and freely so long as it's civil discourse," he tells OneNewsNow.

The commission voted 8-3 to restore prayer prior to the roll call for the meeting.

"We are a metropolitan area, but we also have to be an inclusive and welcoming community and we talk about being inclusive and welcoming and tolerant," he says. "That includes people of faith also because we too are part of this community. We're not isolated from it, so our free-speech rights must also be respected and upheld."

Under the policy, the commissioners will select on a rotating basis someone from the area to conduct the prayer -- or commissioners themselves can elect to offer the prayer.

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