Bunnell marked the national Day of Prayer for the third year with its own sponsored religious event, a distinctly Christian, evangelical-like service that features commissioners and the mayor offering prayers and pastors invoking Jesus’s name and god’s law above all others.
separation of church and state
Circuit Judge Terry Lewis struck down only part of a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow taxpayer money to go to religious institutions, leaving the door wide open for a fix in time for the 2012 ballot. The case was brought by Palm Coast Rabbi Merrill Shapiro and public education advocates.
The latest school-prayer proposal proposal before the Florida Legislature would let local school boards adopt prayer-enabling resolutions, letting students lead audiences in prayer at games or graduations or other non-compulsory events.
Proposed Amendment 7 on the 2012 ballot deletes a provision in the Florida constitution that bars government funding of religious institutions, replacing it with a prohibition against denying funds to anyone based on religious identity or belief.
Florida’s so-called “Religious Freedom” amendment is misleading, the lawsuit argues, as it would reopen the way for religious, private school vouchers at public expense and turn the state into an arbiter of public dollars for religious organizations.
A businessman had paid for the 6-ton monument, but a judge said its message was a clear government endorsement of religion, violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
City Manager Armando Martinez wanted to declare every first Thursday of May “God’s City Day” in Bunnell. A proclamation on next Monday’s city commission agenda ties Bunnell to the National Day of Prayer every first Thursday in May.
The Bunnell city administration coordinates an event with distinctly Christian overtones on its city hall’s steps Thursday afternoon while church-state separation group celebrates Inclusivity Day at heroes Park Thursday evening.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s Day of inclusivity is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Heroes Park in Palm Coast, with speakers including Merrill Shapiro and the ACLU’s George Griffin.
Harry Truman was the first American president to declare a National Day of Prayer, in 1952–on July 4 that year.