LODI, Calif. — One prayer rally later, former Navy Chaplain Gordon Kligenschmitt plans a second assault on the Lodi City Council’s hold and possible ban on using the name of Jesus before city meetings.
Buckling under the pressure from an atheists group, this Northern California city’s council is considering a resolution that would ban the mention of Jesus and other specific religions in prayers before city meetings. In May, the Lodi City Council received a letter from the non-profit Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation threatening a lawsuit.
The atheistic group watched 55 invocations online from 2007 to the May 6 council meeting and found that 39 had a reference to Jesus Christ. The group argues that specific mentions of the word “Christ” are a violation of the city’s own policy.
Kligenschmitt’s rally in support of the freedom to use Jesus name in public prayer drew 400 supporters to the steps of Lodi’s city hall earlier this month. About a dozen “separation rally” supporters showed up to oppose prayer at city council meetings.
A debate and possible final vote on the matter is scheduled for September 30, and Kligenschmitt, through an internet campaign, is inviting everyone to attend.
In his Facebook group, Lodi City Council Vote To Ban Jesus Prayers, Kligenschmitt posts:
CALIFORNIA, STAND UP FOR JESUS (again)!
We had the rally. Now let’s attend the final city council meeting on 30 Sep 09, Wednesday at 7pm, where the Lodi City Council will DEBATE AND POSSIBLY VOTE TO BAN THE NAME OF JESUS from public prayers.
Under pressure from atheists, and threat of lawsuit, the city council needs to hear from voters who love Jesus, who demand they protect our right to free speech, rather than censor our pastors’ prayers.
PLEASE INVITE EVERY CHRISTIAN IN CALIFORNIA–>
Join many Christians (bring your pastor!) and let’s take a stand for Jesus, and defend our freedom to pray publicly “in Jesus name.” (And bring your church van full of people!) …
IT’S FREE TO STAND UP FOR JESUS,
but costly if we fail to act.
See you on 30 September in Lodi, at the Hutchins Street Square.
CALIFORNIA, STAND UP FOR JESUS!
Prior media coverage, the petition, and more information can be found on the Pray In Jesus Name Project Website’s page dedicated to the Lodi issue.
Please read the LA Church & State Examiner!