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Md. Commissioners Face Fine Over Prayer

09-08-2014

Maryland county commissioners could face a fine for allegedly defying a court order to stop praying before meetings.

A judge ordered Carroll County officials to stop opening meetings with prayers in Jesus' name.

Commissioner Robin Frazier responded by reading a prayer by George Washington that invoked the name of Jesus Christ.

This week, a Christian in the audience prayed before the meeting. He said he prayed of his own accord, not at the behest of any county official.

The American Humanist Association, which brought the original lawsuit, wants the judge to fine the commissioners $30,000 and hold them in contempt.

The county and its lawyer said they're confident that a similar case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court will be decided in favor of the county's position that prayers are personal expressions of faith, not government speech.

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