GEORGETOWN, DE – At last week’s meeting of the Sussex County Council, a group of citizens showed up to support the council’s long-standing practice of beginning its meetings with the Lord’s Prayer. Federal District Court Judge Leonard Stark has prohibited the council from reciting the prayer.
Nearly half of council chambers was filled Aug. 7 with people who joined with council when they recited the 23rd Psalm to start the meeting. During the public participation portion at the end of the meeting, the Rev. John Betts of Abundant Life Church in Georgetown, spoke on behalf of the group.
Betts said the lawsuit and court action are part of a pattern of activities taking place across the nation to erode freedom of speech and other rights. “This is not a political battle, but a spiritual war,” Betts said.
He said from the time the foundation of government was laid, prayer has been used to open legislative sessions. “In these chambers, your practice has been the same as our founding fathers,” he said. “When a people forget their fathers, they do not know who they are anymore. We commend county council for standing up for the tradition of our fathers.”
Betts said there is a concerted effort under way to erase the memory of the county’s roots and basic beliefs. “Your stand in protecting these memories and practices is commendable. We urge you to continue to resist this attempt to forget who we are,” he said.
Betts presented council with 300 signed letters in support of the council’s policy of using The Lord’s Prayer at meetings.