The city of Phoenix has decided to replace prayer at its public meetings with a moment of silence. The move comes after a representative from the Satanic Temple was approved to say a prayer, or invocation, before a council meeting scheduled for Feb. 17.
LONDON — A British High Court justice has triggered dismay and anger across England and Wales with a recent decision that declares prayers at town hall meetings are against the law.
Justice Duncan Ouseley ruled late last week that local government councils were violating a 40-year-old law if they conducted prayers "as part of a formal local government meeting."
But the judge added that prayers could be allowed if they were held before the town hall meeting officially began, and if councilors were "not formally summoned to attend."
Lean and lanky, the 30-something teacher probed the congregation with a practiced eye as he wound down his presentation. Ezekiel, or "Zeke" (pseudonym), teaches at a secondary school in another country. Backed up by a carefully constructed PowerPoint presentation, Ezekiel shared his passion for sensitively pouring truth and grace into the lives of his students, particularly the girls. His blue eyes blazed as he asked if a woman in the Community Christian Church (not its real name) congregation would be willing to come forward and pray for the women of his host country.
No one moved.