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By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2014
A member of the Carroll Board of County Commissioners opened the panel's meeting Tuesday with a prayer "in Jesus' name," resuming the controversial practice a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that similar prayers before government meetings in an upstate New York town didn't violate the Constitution. In her short prayer, County Commissioner Robin Frazier asked for "wisdom and guidance as we do the work for the people of Carroll County. " The board had suspended its practice of opening meetings with sectarian prayers in April after two county residents won an injunction from a federal court.
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NEWS
May 15, 2014
I feel sorry for anyone who has to alienate others by overtly Christianizing prayer before Carroll Board of County Commissioners meetings ( "Carroll commissioners resume opening with Christian prayer ," May 14). Are these people so fearful or dependent that they have to speak the name of Jesus before feeling strong enough to do the work of the board? What's wrong with using "God" or "Master of the Universe" or similar invocations which might create a feeling of bonding and cooperation instead of divisiveness and discomfort?
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NEWS
By Alisa Samuels and Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer | September 16, 1993
At 7 a.m. yesterday, while their classmates were still hustling out the door for school, 44 Oakland Mills High School students joined hands around the school's flagpole for a few minutes of Christian prayer."
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2014
A member of the Carroll Board of County Commissioners opened the panel's meeting Tuesday with a prayer "in Jesus' name," resuming the controversial practice a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that similar prayers before government meetings in an upstate New York town didn't violate the Constitution. In her short prayer, County Commissioner Robin Frazier asked for "wisdom and guidance as we do the work for the people of Carroll County. " The board had suspended its practice of opening meetings with sectarian prayers in April after two county residents won an injunction from a federal court.
NEWS
May 5, 2014
The Supreme Court's decision to allow explicitly Christian prayer at the start of local government meetings will have the unfortunate effect of alienating those with minority religious beliefs or no religious faith at all. The 5-4 decision turned largely on the long-standing American tradition of prayer before legislative meetings and on the notion that the practice is not inherently coercive. But Justice Elena Kagan is right in her dissent when she argues that the majority's ruling violates the Constitution's promise that "when each person performs the duties or seeks the benefits of citizenship, she does so not as an adherent to one or another religion, but simply as an American.
NEWS
February 12, 2007
On February 8, 2007, JOHN RUSSELL GRABENSTEIN, JR.; beloved husband of Lillian E. Grabenstein; devoted father of Richard, David, Phyllis, Donny, Edward Grabenstein and Pat Barb; brother of Eleanor Walsh, Donna Kraus, Larry, Paul, Tommy and Carl Grabenstein. Also survived by eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Relatives and friends may call at the family owned Ambrose Funeral Home, Inc., 1328 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, MD, on Monday, February 12, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 P.M. Christian Prayer will be offered at 5:30 P.M. Interment private.
NEWS
May 15, 2014
I feel sorry for anyone who has to alienate others by overtly Christianizing prayer before Carroll Board of County Commissioners meetings ( "Carroll commissioners resume opening with Christian prayer ," May 14). Are these people so fearful or dependent that they have to speak the name of Jesus before feeling strong enough to do the work of the board? What's wrong with using "God" or "Master of the Universe" or similar invocations which might create a feeling of bonding and cooperation instead of divisiveness and discomfort?
NEWS
April 8, 2014
David Holstein's letter accusing the American Humanist Association of suppressing free speech by filing a lawsuit against the Carol County commissioner's for allowing his brother to give a Christian prayer at their public meeting misses the whole point of the First Amendment and the long history of established jurisprudence regarding prayer in state sponsored forums ( "Free speech challenged in Carroll," April 6). The purpose of the First Amendment is to ensure that the government funded with taxpayers' dollars remains an honest broker when it comes to religion and doesn't take any side or show preference to one religion over another.
NEWS
April 14, 2014
I've been following the debate over the Carroll County commissioners opening their meetings with Christian prayer ( "Carroll commissioners vote to halt sectarian prayers," April 8). For some reason, there are people who can't seem to get down to business without invoking their religious beliefs. I have worked for the federal government for more than 30 years, and before that I taught in a public school for nine years. I have been to thousands of meetings and never once has anyone felt the need to open or close those meetings with a prayer.
NEWS
April 13, 2014
Letter writer John Holter challenges atheists to weigh in on the debate over prayer in Carroll County board meetings ( "Let's hear from the atheists," April 9). As an atheist, I'd like to thank him for the invitation. I'd have written sooner, but I figured that few people care about how atheists feel about the matter. Otherwise the debate would have ended with the judge's decision. It's probably also true that many atheists have simply decided to pick their fights carefully. I live in a very conservative community in Anne Arundel County where our community association meetings resemble church meetings.
NEWS
Dan Rodricks | May 6, 2014
Let me present a hypothetical situation that gets to the heart of the Supreme Court's unfortunate decision on prayer at local government meetings. I'll make the setting Carroll County because that's where elected officials eagerly invoke Jesus Christ at meetings of the Board of County Commissioners. Let's say you own a piece of property in some increasingly suburbanized section of the county. You want it rezoned so you can build a convenience store and gas station. You have to convince the commissioners that the area has changed enough to warrant rezoning.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld Monday the right of local governments to offer sectarian prayers at public meetings, a decision that clears the way for the Carroll County board of commissioners to restore their Christian observances. In a 5-4 decision, the high court held that the town of Greece in upstate New York did not violate the Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion when the town board offered prayers before its monthly meetings - even though the prayers often invoked the name of Jesus and focused on other inherently Christian themes.
NEWS
May 5, 2014
The Supreme Court's decision to allow explicitly Christian prayer at the start of local government meetings will have the unfortunate effect of alienating those with minority religious beliefs or no religious faith at all. The 5-4 decision turned largely on the long-standing American tradition of prayer before legislative meetings and on the notion that the practice is not inherently coercive. But Justice Elena Kagan is right in her dissent when she argues that the majority's ruling violates the Constitution's promise that "when each person performs the duties or seeks the benefits of citizenship, she does so not as an adherent to one or another religion, but simply as an American.
NEWS
April 14, 2014
I've been following the debate over the Carroll County commissioners opening their meetings with Christian prayer ( "Carroll commissioners vote to halt sectarian prayers," April 8). For some reason, there are people who can't seem to get down to business without invoking their religious beliefs. I have worked for the federal government for more than 30 years, and before that I taught in a public school for nine years. I have been to thousands of meetings and never once has anyone felt the need to open or close those meetings with a prayer.
NEWS
April 13, 2014
Letter writer John Holter challenges atheists to weigh in on the debate over prayer in Carroll County board meetings ( "Let's hear from the atheists," April 9). As an atheist, I'd like to thank him for the invitation. I'd have written sooner, but I figured that few people care about how atheists feel about the matter. Otherwise the debate would have ended with the judge's decision. It's probably also true that many atheists have simply decided to pick their fights carefully. I live in a very conservative community in Anne Arundel County where our community association meetings resemble church meetings.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
David Holstein's letter accusing the American Humanist Association of suppressing free speech by filing a lawsuit against the Carol County commissioner's for allowing his brother to give a Christian prayer at their public meeting misses the whole point of the First Amendment and the long history of established jurisprudence regarding prayer in state sponsored forums ( "Free speech challenged in Carroll," April 6). The purpose of the First Amendment is to ensure that the government funded with taxpayers' dollars remains an honest broker when it comes to religion and doesn't take any side or show preference to one religion over another.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
I, too, have followed with some interest the Carroll County commissioners' escalating debate over Christian prayer at their meetings. However, I have a different opinion than Commissioner Robin Frazier and Bruce and David Holstein ( "Free speech challenged in Carroll," April 6). I am a member of a "mainstream" Christian church, a regular and active participant. But I have never heard of, nor can I find, any teachings in the New Testament about First Amendment rights, or to be sure, rights of any kind.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | May 11, 2012
A Carroll County commissioner has emailed an invitation to about 850 government employees to attend a monthly prayer session, which she will lead, raising concern among some residents and watchdog groups. Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier drafted the invitation and had a member of her staff send it May 3, to coincide with National Day of Prayer, a day on which the president traditionally calls on the nation to pray for peace and the country's welfare. Frazier's first "time for prayer" is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. June 7 in the basement of the County Office Building in Westminster.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
I, too, have followed with some interest the Carroll County commissioners' escalating debate over Christian prayer at their meetings. However, I have a different opinion than Commissioner Robin Frazier and Bruce and David Holstein ( "Free speech challenged in Carroll," April 6). I am a member of a "mainstream" Christian church, a regular and active participant. But I have never heard of, nor can I find, any teachings in the New Testament about First Amendment rights, or to be sure, rights of any kind.
NEWS
By Jonathan Pitts and Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2013
Whether the Carroll County commissioners meet to discuss zoning, the budget or other local issues, they start the same way - with prayer. Commissioners take turns offering the prayer, often invoking God or Jesus. All five commissioners stand, as do any audience members who choose to, and then the lawmakers go ahead with their business. "Prayer adds a certain sort of reverence to what we're about to do," says Douglas Howard, president of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.
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