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Lodi joins 3 cities ruling for prayer, against atheists' legal threat


The Lodi City Council voted 5-0 last night to allow uncensored prayer before meetings that avoided favoring any religion.

The motion by Mayor Larry Hansen declared that the council under the policy would encourage participation from diverse religious representatives and from non-religious groups.

In a press release issued by The Pray In Jesus Name Project, which is led by former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt, it states:

The victory vote came after months of lobbying, petitioning, protesting, and pro-Jesus rallies, both in Lodi and nationwide, organized by The Pray In Jesus Name Project.

An atheist group from Wisconsin has threatened a lawsuit if the city allows Jesus prayers, but the Mayor and four other councilors found their back-bone, and handed the atheists a resounding defeat.

This month four California cities, Tehachapi, Tracy, Turlock, and now Lodi have all heroically voted unanimously to allow free speech and public prayers "in Jesus name," even under threat of lawsuit.

 "This victory should inspire legislators across America, that 85% of polled voters want you to allow public prayers 'in Jesus name,' even in public venues," said Chaplain Klingenschmitt. "Don't cave-in to empty threats of lawsuits by atheist complainers. Christian voters will rally to support you, and Jesus is not an illegal word!"

More than 700 people packed Lodi's Hutchins Street Square theater, some urging the City Council to allow uncensored prayer during public meetings and others calling for invocations that reflect Christian beliefs, according to a Sacramento Bee story today.

The Sacramento Bee also reported that: Inside, Alamo attorney Terry Thompson came to the meeting and said his prayer group had been praying for the Lodi City Council.

"There are many people across the state who are praying for you," he told the panel. "I would urge you not to go for nonsectarian prayer. To me, nonsectarian prayer is like a banquet without food. You want the Lord's blessings on your deliberations. That's the real issue here."

Photo: Wayne McCormick, of Woodland Hills, in Los Angeles County, lets his T-shirt do the talking as he listens during the Lodi City Council hearing. (JOSÉ LUIS VILLEGAS/SacBee)

More articles by Alex Murashko at LA Church & State Examiner.



  • samh 5 years ago

    "would encourage participation from diverse religious representatives and from non-religious groups."

    It will be interesting to see what the Jesus crowd does when the council has a prayer to Krishna, Vishnu or Allah before the meeting...

    Also missed in this story was that the prayers will be held BEFORE opening the meeting. It's not part of the 'public' part of the meeting as an accommodation to the Atheists.

  • Kira 5 years ago

    IOW, all the prayers to God in Jesus' name will continue in violation of the Constitution. Funny how RRRWers don't care about the law when it applies to them.

  • Godless 5 years ago

    Who cares about prayers to Vishnu and Allah...I want to see a Satanist to get up there and command the Dark Lord to see the city council through the meeting!

  • Peter Mahoney 5 years ago

    What I really want to see is someone from "the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster" lead them in prayer one day, dressed as a pirate. May His noodley appendage touch them. Ramen!

  • Free Thinker 5 years ago

    "found their back-bone"...nice bias.

    I also agree that all groups should go in and hold Muslim, Satanic, Judaic, Wiccan, Scientology and biology lectures for pre-meeting prayers...I know biology is not a religion, but the faithful seem to think it is, so let's go with that.

  • Dave 5 years ago

    People are free to pray any time they want. Why do we need a city council to say this? Let us see this for what it really is. We (the council) will pretend that all other groups are included, even though they are all wrong. Meanwhile, we will be organizing and loudly praying "in Jesus name", to the exclusion of everyone else. Keep this religious intrusion out of gov't and in the home or church where it belongs. Or, just pray quietly to yourselves. When will these Christian bullies stop. Yes,I know, NEVER. Christians have no intention of being tolerant of non-Christians. Non-believers, we need to find OUR backbone and speak OUR minds!

  • caveman73 5 years ago

    It is a said state we find ourselves in. Does anyone in the state of California know the law? The government can't favor or push ANY religion. The last time I checked a city council is government.

    CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • Thom 5 years ago

    Why cantwe just be tolerant enough to let the city say a prayer before it opens its meeting....they aren't enacting a law....they aren't endorsing any religion....Jesus didn't found any religion. So praying in his name shouldn't be a problem...