ACLU and Rowan Commission prayer; what happened? | Politics
SALISBURY - In February the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina informed the Rowan County Commission that it would need to stop opening meetings with sectarian prayer. The ACLU told WBTV that it had received 4-5 complaints from people who objected to commissioners praying in the name of Jesus.
The ACLU told the commission it should follow the law that forbids praying sectarian prayer at public meetings. The ACLU said the board certainly could open its meeting in prayer, but not prayer that specified one God or one religion.
The ACLU did say that a lawsuit was a possibility since the organization had successfully filed suit and won a similar case in Forsyth County.
The next two Rowan Commissioner meeting were packed with people who wanted to speak in the public comment part of the meeting. The vast majority spoke in favor of the sectarian prayers. Dozens more people packed buses and came to meetings, praying and singing hymns on the first floor of the county administration building.
The commissioners, with the exception of Raymond Coltrain, said they would continue to open meetings with prayer in the name of Jesus.
Since then, the issue seems to have gone away with no resolution. The ACLU hasn't sued, and commissioners haven't backed down.
On Monday afternoon WBTV contacted the ACLU and each county commissioner to learn the status of the issue. Commissioner Carl Ford replied that "We have not heard one thing, which could be good or bad, I just don’t know." Commissioner Jon Barber wrote "Rowan County has not received any further forms of communication since the original letter. It's business as usual."
WBTV also reached out to Mike Meno of the ACLU of North Carolina. His reply; no update. "We are still hoping they decide to follow the law."