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.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


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.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

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