La Grange Council Defies Court Rulings, Opens Meeting With Prayer

A 140-year tradition of prayer returned to a local town council meeting Monday night after two years without it- even though it violates federal law.

The La Grange town council meeting in Lenoir County opened with prayer Monday night instead of a moment of silence, challenging boundaries set between church and state in the U.S. Constitution.

The seven-member board unanimously voted to pray before meetings even though federal judges ruled in several judgments, the most recent handed down in July, that praying to open a public meeting violates the First Amendment.

La Grange Mayor Woodard Gurley says, "God comes first in our lives and I see no reason why the town of La Grange can't have a meeting and have prayer. If the Congress of the United States, the Legislature of Raleigh, North Carolina can open with prayer, why can't the town of La Grange?"

Council members say they will continue to pray before each meeting until there's a formal complaint to stop.


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  • by ANGIE Location: LA on Nov 14, 2011 at 07:13 AM
    AMEN ALLEN. THE ONES WHO ARE OFFENDED BY CHRISTIANS WHO STAND UP FOR GOD ARE THE ONES WHO NEED HIM THE MOST. THATS WHY THEY ARE DEFENSIVE.
  • by ALLEN Location: ENC on Nov 13, 2011 at 05:29 AM
    My name is not covered up for the smart mouth. But, the problem with this country is that GOD has been taken out of almost everything. If it wasn't for GOD, where would you be? WITHOUT GOD, you can't do anything. READ THE BIBLE!!!! That is the problem with this country. NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO READ. As far as your comments Jim, everybody has a right to their opinions. You say the law is the law. That is true. But, the very one's enforcing the laws are also the one's breaking them too. So who is right? The reason why you say the things you do is because, #1- you don't go to church. #2- you brake the law and have not got caught. The time will come. You will. This country has been turned to say "Buy your way out". That is the new Obama plan. I do agree on how you think, "the law is the law", BUT, GOD is the one in charge here. I have a question for you Jim. Be careful because your answer will tell all. ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN? PRAISE THE LORD! Fight for the lost souls. That includes our government. We all know they are lost. I think that if you don't wont to be involved in a prayer time, you should be given the right to leave for that period of time. Step out for a minute. Then return and conduct your business. GOD does not want you to push CHRISTIANITY on anybody. He just wants you to tell everybody about HIM. He loves everybody the same. EQUALLY!!! Why can't we? I encourage anybody to put GOD FIRST in your life and see what HE does for you. Keep praying. WHO'S law do you want to brake, GOD'S LAWS or our governments? PRAISE THE LORD!!!!
    • reply
      by ? on Nov 14, 2011 at 05:42 AM in reply to ALLEN
      Its insane posts like this that make me lose all hope in humanity. Allen, do you follow every little rule your 'book' tells you to? I bet you don't, I bet you only follow what you want to follow like every other 'Christian' in history. The only laws that matter are the laws set forth by our Government, the law that this council chose to ignore but of course won’t be punished. I normally don't have problems with any religion until crap like this gets posted, I can barely even understand what Allen is even trying to prove, I think he's trying to say that if you don't follow 'God', you're a criminal? Nice, non-logic there, but what can I expect from such a grammatically challenged post, at least I try to make my post readable.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 10, 2011 at 08:58 AM
    If we are a Christian nation, and our laws are indeed based on Christanity, then the La Grange city council is going against the will of God by going against this law.
  • by jim on Nov 10, 2011 at 06:02 AM
    who are you to go against the law.federal law.la grange just wanted news about the good old boy town.
  • by jim on Nov 10, 2011 at 05:55 AM
    this is not even NEWS the law is the law. if you do not like it pack it in and live this country.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 9, 2011 at 07:53 AM
    Love all the bible-thumping hypocrites posting in here. Must be nice to ignore the Constitution and what courts for the past 200 years have decided. I can't personally wait until a fully Muslim, Buddist, or atheist group forces Christians to follow their rules.
    • reply
      by SICK on Nov 14, 2011 at 10:32 AM in reply to
      Yea and when they do you will be begging for God to save you.If you dont like our binle move to Iran!!
      • reply
        by ? on Nov 14, 2011 at 12:24 PM in reply to SICK
        You mean stay in America, right; since moving to Iran is something you clearly want to do. This is a Free Country, not a Christian Nation, end of story. Oh and personally, I'll be grabbing my gun if that scenario played out, but hey if you want to drop to your knees instead of fight for our freedom, go right ahead, but don’t complain if we leave you behind. I'll gladly die like a man on my feet than to cower on my knees like a dog.
  • by Jay Location: Kinston on Nov 8, 2011 at 06:41 PM
    This is LaGrange folks. If you dont like it, you have the right to move. If you yearn for big city idealism, take 70w and dont look back. Also, I find it interesting how many people on both sides of this fence are so firm in their belief and proud of their position, yet you lack any semblence of courage by stating your views under names such as "anon", "anonymous", "?" and "neighbor". I wonder how many "anonymous" signatures are on the constitution of the US. Stand up for what you believe in folks and be proud of it, or just shut up.
    • reply
      by Patrick on Nov 9, 2011 at 04:46 AM in reply to Jay
      This is "?", happy now, I didn't realize a name was that important to you people. I will never shut-up nor will I stop using “?” as my name, how incredibly rude of you.
    • reply
      by anon on Nov 9, 2011 at 06:08 AM in reply to Jay
      JAY who??? how many Jay's in K-town. hypocrite
    • reply
      by Robert on Nov 9, 2011 at 01:04 PM in reply to Jay
      This is the United States, if the city council of La Grange doesn't like the Constitution of the United States and the orders of Judges who uphold it, they have the right to resign and move to someplace without those rights.
    • reply
      by jim on Nov 10, 2011 at 06:09 AM in reply to Jay
      may be you forgot,how to read,ITS THE LAW.maybe you should pack you bags and head to the middle east.
  • by biliever Location: N.C. on Nov 8, 2011 at 02:38 PM
    Nobody is trying to force religion down no one's throat.Christ forces himself off on no one.He opens his arms to whomsoever will.That being said,you don't have to pray if you choose not to.Allow those that want to the right to do so,where e er they choose to.Our government need to step aside in telling us how to live,pray and chastise our children. Paddling needs to be allowed back in schools.Parents need to be allowed to beat children,without it being called child abuse.Start from the top and work to the bottom, you will see a difference. Stop talking and pointing the finger at each other.We as a nation has given up on our children and society as a whole
    • reply
      by jim on Nov 10, 2011 at 07:10 AM in reply to biliever
      what do you believe .you need to shut up.this is a no contest,it is against the law,move to a third world country.
      • reply
        by SICK on Nov 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM in reply to jim
        I dont agree with the beat childern comment, maybe a spanking, but nothing hard, just enough to scare them.Have you ever been to a third world country,if you had you would not wish that on any one so you need to shut up!!!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 8, 2011 at 01:57 PM
    And again people (Republicans) show they really don't care about the Constitution or what the courts in the country decide when it goes against their 'morals.'
  • by Anonymous on Nov 8, 2011 at 01:16 PM
    Praise the Lord!!! Good for them!!!!
    • reply
      by jim on Nov 10, 2011 at 08:12 AM in reply to
      praise the lord for what,breaking the there is a reason for laws or did you forget.
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