Lordstown official pleased with court decision on prayer

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A close U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday backs communities across the country that start their government meetings with prayer.

And that is a good thing for Lordstown Village Council, which starts all of its meetings with the Lord’s Prayer. And aside from the Lord’s Prayer, quotes talking about God are on the wall inside the village council chamber next to Presidents Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.

“We’ve been doing it all along. You know for me, it’s not a big issue. We were never challenged on it. Whenever we have talked to council on it, it has never been an issue saying it at a meeting,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill just before Monday’s council meeting.

Hill said for as long as he can remember, the Lord’s Prayer has been a part of the meetings. On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court supported prayers at city council meetings across the country with a 5-4 decision.

Hill said the prayer is not going anywhere anytime soon.

“I guess it’s too late to challenge us,” Hill said.

Lordstown is not the only community to have prayer during city council meetings. The two largest cities in the Valley, Youngstown and Warren, both have prayer during their city council meetings.

Rob Boston with Americans United for Separation of Church and State said the Supreme Court ruling only benefits the Christian majority.

“I think the Supreme Court has essentially given its blessing to majority rules prayer and I think that’s unfortunate,” Hill said.

He said the ruling shows one thing.

“You know, it’s nice to know we have been right all along,” he said.

Of the U.S. Supreme court justices, the five who ruled in favor of supporting prayer in meetings are Roman Catholic. Of the four who voted against, three are Jewish and one is Catholic.

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