Federal Judge: Police Officers Cannot Pray in Public

(igorovsyannykov/Pixabay)

The city council of Ocala, Florida, has decided to fight back after a federal judge ruled that the city and its police chief violated the Constitution by promoting and holding a prayer vigil.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan ruled in May that Police Chief Greg Graham and city leaders broke the Establishment Clause by organizing, promoting and holding a 2014 prayer vigil after a drive-by shooting injured several children.

"The government cannot initiate, organize, sponsor or conduct a community prayer vigil," Judge Corrigan wrote in his order. "That is what happened here."

The American Humanist Association represented several local residents who were allegedly triggered and suffered microaggressions as a result of the vigil.

The lawsuit claimed the police chief was "reckless and callously indifferent" because of his involvement in the planning and promotion of the event.

The chief and the city were ordered to pay $3 in damages plus attorney fees, Ocala.com reported.

The city council filed a motion to vacate the judgement.

Mayor Kent Guinn told Fox News that about 600 people showed up to pray "for the children that got shot in the drive by shooting."

Renowned evangelist Franklin Graham said prayer is a basic human right and public employees should be able to petition the Almighty.

"George Washington prayed, Abraham Lincoln prayed, and other presidents have called on God publicly in times of war or crisis," the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse tweeted.

"Atheists have the right not to believe and not to call on God," he said. "People of faith have the right to pray, and it should not be taken away."

But AHA legal director David Niose said prayer rallies should be run by churches, not police departments.

"Police departments shouldn't be endorsing religion, yet that's exactly what the Ocala Police Department did here by sponsoring and promoting a prayer vigil," he said in a statement.

It really takes a perverted kind of reprobate to sue a police department for participating in a prayer vigil.

Have mercy.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Great Fall Specials from CHARISMA:

#1 What's at stake with this election ... EVERYTHING!: Click Here to get the truth about what's at stake and what could happen if you don't make your voice heard.

#2 Fall Book Bundles: Click Here to view all our bundles and save up to 72%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, and more.

#3 FREE eCourses by CHARISMA: Click Here to view all the free courses. Topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.

Fall Subscription Offer: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $18 and get Steve Strang's newest book as a free gift, God, Trump, and COVID-19. View Offer

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective