The Lodi City Council is considering a resolution that would ban the mention of Jesus and other specific religions in prayers before city meetings.
The council discussed the issue in closed session last month~ because the Northern California city is facing legal action. In May~ the
Freedom From Religion Foundation threaten[ed] a lawsuit~ according to the Lodi News-Sentinel.
The atheistic group watched 55 invocations online from 2007 to the May 6 council meeting and found that 39 had a reference to Jesus Christ. The group argues that specific mentions of the word "Christ" are a violation of the city’s own policy.
The move is meeting resistance from two Christian organizations~ according to CitizenLink.com~ a Focus on the Family publication.
The Pray in Jesus’ Name Project and the Will of God Christian Center both favor allowing religiously specific prayers. They have scheduled a prayer vigil on the City Council steps the day of the vote~ Aug. 5. They are also distributing an online petition aimed at pressuring the council to abandon the effort.
Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt of the Pray in Jesus’ Name Project told the Lodi News-Sentinel: "We want the council members to know we support them if they are going to stand against the enemies of religious liberty who want to silence free speech and censor the name of Jesus out of our prayers."