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Tehachapi City Council votes 5-0 for opening prayers to stay


Mayor Linda Vernon favors prayer before meetings.

The Tehachapi City Council voted unanimously to not put limits on what religious leaders say during opening prayers for its meetings Monday.

Mayor Linda Vernon started the prayers before meetings in the city, which is east of Bakersfield, when she took office in January. However, the prayers were put on hold at the council's last meeting because of the threat of a lawsuit from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Rev. Kyle Phillips of the Grace Fellowship gave the invocation at the Sept. 21 City Council meeting at the BeeKay Theatre, closing with “In Jesus’ precious name,” according to the Tehachapi News.

Public discussion included several residents voicing their  support for prayer before meetings.

“I don’t think they’re [the foundation] an authority on anything,” public speaker Mike Jones said, “They have bullied people into capitulation.”

“These guys are a religion themselves and are attempting to foist their beliefs on others," Jones said.

Vernon said she believes the city is following what is required by law and hopes the Freedom From Religion Foundation will not pursue legal action, according to local news reports.

"I don't want to increase any additional level of expenses for my city, but it's a basic human right we have," she said.

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


  • Chaplain Klingenschmitt 5 years ago

    This is a great article, and a great victory for religious liberty! Thank God, the word Jesus is not an "illegal word" and can still be uttered in public.

    To sign a petition or just say "thanks" to the city council, visit pray in jesus name dot org

  • Al Cibiades 5 years ago

    Chaplain Klingenschmitt, no said the word Jesus is illegal. Its only illegal to use it in the context of a state (any part of the government) function. It disrespects the first amendment which forbids an establishment (making official) of religion. Under any interpretation a prayer to or invoking Jesus renders it act making religion official in that state function.

    Its wrong. Its counter productive. Its useless. Its illegal.

    Please, please, sit around all day saying Jesus. Walk down the street shouting it. Sing songs to Jesus in your car. Just keep religion out of government. As soon as religion and government are mixed both are degraded.