• 55°

Board finds a way to pray

County commissioners took the wiser course Monday in deciding not to defy an injunction barring them from opening meetings with sectarian prayer pending the outcome of a lawsuit.
Although Commissioner Jon Barber had said before the meeting that he would continue to pray “in Jesus’ name,” board members found a way around the injunction that apparently satisfies the court as well as their individual consciences. When it was time to pray, Barber made a motion that the board recess, and members briefly left the chambers, then returned and took up their regular business.
It was a simple solution — and far preferable to defying the court order and, presumably, incurring a contempt-of-court citation and even possible arrest. Passions run high enough on this issue, which arose when the ACLU, acting on behalf of three local residents, filed suit against the board’s largely sectarian opening prayers. What’s needed is leadership that can help defuse and contain the controversy until there’s a definitive ruling, which could be years away.
In opening comments, Chairman Jim Sides said that the board disagreed with the injunction and believed it to be unconstitutional — but as duly elected officials, they would abide by the judge’s ruling. He further explained that commissioners would either use prayer language they believed acceptable, based on previous court cases, or would ask for a brief recess, as Barber did.
While the county apparently remains committed to a legal battle it is likely to lose, commissioners have at least reached a temporary accomodation on prayer that will help avoid further distractions. More importantly, it acknowledges their responsibility to obey a court order, even if they don’t agree with it.

Comments

Comments closed.

Crime

Lawsuit: Salisbury Police, Rowan Sheriff’s Office tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Local

City appoints more members to boards, commissions, with 9 seats left to be filled

News

Virtual play groups the new norm at Smart Start

Local

City meets in closed session to consult with attorney on two ongoing litigation cases

Education

Summit takes art out of the classroom, into the student’s home

Education

Education briefs: Gene Haas Foundation donates $12,500 to RCCC

Business

County’s restaurant grant program dishes out funding to eight local eateries

High School

High school football: Yow out as South head coach

Education

Shoutouts

Local

City moves forward on greenway extension, traffic signal upgrades

Business

State broadband survey could help fund local infrastructure

Education

Happy Roots adds to programming with Bic recycling program

Education

RCCC small business center partners 53 Ideas Pitch Competition

Nation/World

Sheriff: Deputy fatally shot Black man while serving warrant

Nation/World

Garland announces sweeping police probe after Floyd verdict

Crime

District attorney won’t bring charges against former Salisbury officer depicted in K-9 video

Coronavirus

Cooper plans to lift gathering, distancing limits by June 1

Crime

Convicted sex offender charged with having child pornography

Crime

Rowan County woman faces drug crimes for gas station incident

Crime

Blotter: Thousands of dollars in lumber taken from Newsome Road house

Local

Locals react to Chauvin verdict, reflect on work still to do

Business

With remote expansion, outsource provider FCR looks to become an ‘exceptional part’ of Rowan community

Local

City expects $1.5 million surplus in current budget, ability to raise some wages for police, public works