In a 5-0 vote, N.C. county board adopts invocation policy recommended by ADF

Transylvania County joins other N.C. local governments choosing to continue opening invocations despite ACLU threats
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — Refusing to bow down to the ACLU’s threats of legal action, the Transylvania County Board of Commissioners decided Monday in a 5-0 vote to codify its policy and preserve the tradition of opening board meetings with a  prayer.  With that vote, the board adopted a model invocations policy drafted by ADF attorneys that clearly spells out the constitutionality of the practice.

An estimated 1,500 concerned citizens showed up at the meeting to encourage and support the board in its action.

“It’s ridiculous that, in a country founded on religious liberty, the right to open a public meeting with prayer would be under attack.  We applaud the board members of Transylvania County for standing their ground instead of bowing down to the bullying tactics of the ACLU,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson.  “Since our nation’s founding, American leaders have sought divine guidance over our public affairs.  The ACLU’s agenda is quite simply to erase these traditions that the U.S. Supreme Court has declared are ‘deeply embedded in our history and tradition.’”

In recent months, several counties and towns in North Carolina and elsewhere have received legal threats from the ACLU, demanding that public prayers be censored or silenced.  On April 5, the ACLU sent Transylvania County officials a similar demand letter.  Transylvania County joins an increasing number of local governmental bodies that are voting to stand against the ACLU’s radical demands, including officials elsewhere in the state, such as Thomasville and Forsyth County.

A copy of the ADF model policy unanimously adopted by Transylvania County board members can be read here.

“We believe that this policy effectively provides guidance to public officials who want to uphold the long-established American tradition of opening public meetings with prayer,” said Johnson.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.