Billboards to back county commissioners fight to pray

Billboards to back county commissioners fight to pray

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on March 29, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 29 at 8:01 PM

SALISBURY, N.C. -- A Salisbury church is getting ready to show support for the Rowan County Commissioners -- facing a legal battle because they pray before county meetings.
 
They are in the process of buying 40 billboards.
 
“It’s yellow red and blue because we want it to be in your face,” says Cornerstone Church Pastor Bill Godair.
 
The billboards will go up throughout Rowan County in the next few weeks -- a show of support for the Rowan County Commissioners now facing a lawsuit because they open their meetings with a prayer.
 
The ACLU says that type of prayer is too specific -- that it violates the first and 14th Amendment. The pastor at Cornerstone Church disagrees.
 
“The constitution gives us freedom of religion not freedom from religion,” Godair said.
 
That's why the Pastor Godair says he tried to give commissioners $10,000 in church money to fight the ACLU suit.

When he found out that was against the rules, he instead decided to use the church money to buy the billboards -- 40 of them
 
“I just don’t think we should be against other people praying to the god they want to pray to.”
 
And he's hoping the billboards will make sure his message is heard.
 
“I would hope and pray it would generate enough publicity that we could just remain the land of the free for everybody."
 
In a statement, ACLU  spokesman Mike Meno said,  "By refusing to obey the law and insisting on opening meetings with prayers that are specific to only one religion, the Rowan County Commissioners have created an environment where citizens of different beliefs are made to feel alienated."
 

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