MD Commissioners Agree to Abide By the Law. For Now.

Faced with contempt charges, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners has narrowly voted to abide by a preliminary injunction forbidding them to offer a sectarian prayer before their meetings (which basically means they can’t say “Jesus” in them).

County commissioners in Maryland narrowly voted this week to obey a federal court order that barred them from presenting public prayers in Jesus’ name…

On Tuesday, the commission narrowly voted 3-2 to follow Quarles’ order and stop offering prayers in Jesus’ name, at least while the case moves forward in court or until the Supreme Court issues a ruling regarding a similar matter. The two commissioners that voted against the motion were Robin Bartlett Frazier and Richard Rothschild.

Rothschild presented a short exhortation to those gathered.

“In my judgment, this resolution asked me to refuse to acknowledge the Son of God. In my judgment, this resolution asked me to, in effect, disown him,” he declared. “If I tell someone they can pray, but I forced them to pray only in a way that is acceptable to someone of another religion, then, in effect, I am prohibiting them from praying in a way that [does not] violate their true conscious and beliefs. Censorship is not freedom.”

This argument that their freedom of speech and religion are being violated is absurd. They don’t have to offer any prayer at all and one really has to wonder why they absolutely insist on making people who don’t believe in their religion sit through their religious exercises. They are, of course, free to pray individually or as a group before the meeting begins, without an audience. But it’s the audience they want and they don’t care that at least some members of that audience are not Christian.

I’m not convinced the two who voted no on this issue will actually abide by it. It looks to me like at least one of them is just dying to be the next fake Christian martyr.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    Wonder what would happen if someone said a prayer for intercession by the Virgin Mary……….

  • Chiroptera

    …and one really has to wonder why they absolutely insist on making people who don’t believe in their religion sit through their religious exercises.

    Same reason a dog insists on pissing on a fence post. They claim everything that they see as their own, and they want to make sure everyone else knows it.

  • Randomfactor

    What will happen, of course, is that the commissioners will open the meeting with “public input,” and lo, the first guy to speak will always be a minister.

  • Michael Heath

    Richard Rothschild:

    In my judgment, this resolution asked me to refuse to acknowledge the Son of God. In my judgment, this resolution asked me to, in effect, disown him . . .

    That’s an incredibly defective standard of judgment. Or perhaps he’s relying on the always popular faux-persecution pose; in which case that’s a failure in judgment from at least two perspectives.

  • Trebuchet

    My recollection, perhaps faulty, is that they already agreed not to do it and then went ahead and did it anyway. Lying for Jesus is always an option.

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    Any bets on when they will establish a 2 person Sovereign Nation County Board?

  • pixiedust

    I live one county over. There is another ridiculous thing going on with the Carroll County Board of Commissioners. (CCBC)

    Last year they voted to give $400,000 of tax receipts to the Community Foundation for the purpose of providing grants to parents who homeschool or send their kids to private (by which I mean religious) school. The idea was to offset the costs of those schooling options so the parents don’t have to pay “twice” (taxes being the first time.) One of the major unofficial political power brokers in the county is the Church of the Open Door.

    Apparently the CCBC thought they were setting up an endowment and expected the Comm. Foundation to use the income but not the principal. The Community Foundation thought otherwise, it would seem, and gave away more than $250,000. Now the CF is asking for another $400,000 and promising that this time they really will create an endowment.

    Now it will be a fight between the people who favor supporting homeschool and religious schools with tax dollars and the people who really, really, really favor supporting homeschool and religious schools with tax dollars.

    I’m glad I live one county over.

  • pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile

    “In my judgment, this resolution asked me to refuse to acknowledge the Son of God. In my judgment, this resolution asked me to, in effect, disown him,” he declared.

    Except it doesn’t. So blow it out your ass!

  • http://polrant@blogspot.com democommie

    ““In my judgment,…”

    That’s where you start getting in trouble, Rich, trying to use a faculty you apparently lack.