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Parkersburg Council Asked to Drop Pre-Meeting Prayer

An aerial view of downtown Parkersburg.
wikimedia Commons

A national group says Parkersburg City Council is violating the law by saying the Lord's Prayer before public meetings.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has asked the council to discontinue the prayer.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that the group made the request in a letter sent to council President J.R. Carpenter.

The foundation's staff attorney, Patrick Elliot, says in the letter that the prayer discriminates against citizens who aren't religious. Elliot says prayer at government meetings is inappropriate and unnecessary.

Carpenter and Councilman John Rockhold say the prayer is voluntary and the council isn't doing anything illegal.

Mayor Jimmy Colombo says the council won't stop the practice.

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