The Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation on June 21 urged the Otsego County Board of Commissioners (Gaylord, Mich.) to end its practice of sectarian prayers to Jesus at official meetings.
The Foundation, which has more than 16,000 members nationwide and over 450 in Michigan, wrote the board’s chair, Ken Glasser, after receiving a complaint from a member of the public who has regular business before the county board.
The complainant reported that prayers are delivered by board members, and a majority of the time end “in Jesus’ name,” or some Christian variation thereof.
“The prayers currently given during Otsego County Board meetings impermissibly advance Christianity and lead a reasonable observer to believe that the Board is endorsing not only religion over nonreligion, but Christianity over other faiths,” the Foundation letter said.
Glasser frequently delivers the invocations, and on his campaign Web site for state representative, he introduces himself as “a devout Christian and a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Gaylord.”
The Foundation advised the city to immediately discontinue government prayers “to avoid the divisiveness these prayers cause within the community.”
“The Founders of our nation did not pray when they adopted our godless Constitution,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president. “Why do county council members feel the need to pray over liquor licenses, sewers and variances?”