Oconee County South Carolina takes on ACLU
The ACLU and their ongoing anti-christian campaign has been met with stiff resistance by Oconee County South Carolina.....
WESTMINSTER, S.C. - The battle over prayer in Oconee County could be heading to court. Monday morning, county council members held a workshop to review their legal options regarding prayers before meetings.
"We're not here to hurt anybody's feelings. We're trying to get along," said Councilman Frank Ables.
Since 2005 the American Civil Liberties Union has challenged the county council practice of offering prayers before meetings.
The ACLU is opposed to any form of prayer that specifically identifies a deity such as Jesus Christ or Allah taking place as part of a governmental meeting.
"Respecting the worth and dignity of every person takes precedence over blind-faith doctrines," ACLU member spokesman Michael Deanhardt, who describes himself as an atheist, said. "There are only human solutions to human problems, no supernatural solutions."
The ACLU is threatening a lawsuit if the council continues its pre-meeting prayers.
County Attorney Brad Norton said that the financial implications could be staggering.
"If get sued and you lose, the attorney fees and court costs could be up to $250,000," Norton told WYFF News 4's Kisha Foster.
The Rev. Wayne Morton said the battle is one he and others are ready to wage.
"We have doctors, other professionals and churches who have pledged $700,000 to defend this case," Morton said. "Even if we lose, we'll still have money left over. We can't just sit here and be bullied."
The Alliance Defense Fnd is also offering free legal assistance for the county.
The ADF is a nationwide group that deals with Constitutional Law.
More than 200 people showed up for the workshop in council chambers, but some had to listen to the meeting by speaker in the hallway.
The county council will announce a decision on how they'll handle the prayer issue in several weeks.