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City Council becomes more constitutionally correct as it changes pledge, prayer protocol to an invitation

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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Mayor Pro Tem Wryley Bettis invited attendees to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer at Tuesday's City Council meeting.
 

Mayor Pro Tem Wryley Bettis invited attendees to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

 

Greer City Council has become more constitutionally correct beginning its city council meetings.

Greer Mayor Rick Danner started announcing to the public its invitation to join City Council in pledging allegiance to the flag and inviting non-council attendees to remain standing for the invocation.

Mayor Pro Tem Wryley Bettis followed suit Tuesday night in Danner’s absence.

“We invite you to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and invite you to stand for the invocation,” Bettis said.

In the past the mayor, without invitation, announced the Pledge of Allegiance would be conducted, often times led by Boy Scouts, followed by a council member, on a rotating basis, providing prayer.

Danner said the change of how council opened its meetings was the result of a U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision connected to the Pickens County School Board challenging the right to offer prayer before meetings without being censored.

The Pickens case was spurred by a complaint against Rowan County (N.C.) where its commissioners were prohibited from opening their meetings with a request that the public join them in prayer that advanced one faith.

The words “let us pray” or “please pray with me” are no longer part of council’s opening comments.

 

 

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