Council asks pastors to leave 'Jesus' out of prayers
by Eric Firpo
Sep 16, 2009 | 4391 views | 200 200 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The invocation at one recent council meeting. Press file photo.
The invocation at one recent council meeting. Press file photo.
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With virtually no discussion, the Tracy City Council voted Tuesday night to send a letter reminding those who lead the prayer before council meetings that invoking the name of Jesus Christ is a no-no.

Prayer prior to council meetings became a topic of discussion in the aftermath of a letter sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin, which urged the council in a July letter to end the practice of praying before its meetings.

The council Tuesday said they would retain their practice of praying before council meetings, but decided to clarify their policy.

So the council voted to send letters to several dozen religious organizations, the vast majority Christian churches but also to the Tracy Islamic Center, the Baha’i Faith, and the Sant Nirankari Mission, inviting them to participate in the invocation.

“We thought it was important to do some outreach to the community,” said City Attorney Dan Sodergren.

Another letter will be given to those who sign up to give the invocation, outlining the law, and pointing out that the person who leads the prayer is speaking on behalf of the city and not as a private citizen, and because of that there are limits on what the person is supposed to say based on court cases and the U.S. Constitution.

In California, a court of appeal ruled in 2002 that a prayer “that invoked the name of Jesus Christ violated” the principal that the bars the government from establishing a religion.

“We’re asking them that they keep that in mind when they’re speaking on behalf of the city and that they don’t do that,” Sodergren said.

If someone does mention Jesus Christ, “Right now, there’s nothing that would happen,” the city attorney said.

The city attorney also said the city will likely continue its practice of asking the Tracy Ministerial Association to find people to give the invocation on days when no one has signed up.

Comments
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drumhead
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September 22, 2009
Jerry Lee Lewis,

Your interpretation of the Onesimus story is about as wrong as you knocking up your cousin….twice! You Christians sure have the blinders on

JerryLeeLewis
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September 22, 2009
Paul didn't suggest that Onesimus run away, as was falsely assumed. Paul didn't even suggest mistreatment of indentured servants, as was falsely assumed. Onesimus ran away on his own. Perhaps he thought Paul would approve of him running away. Paul only helped secure Onesimus' release.

Also, Paul didn't initiate the practice of slavery. It already existed as a form of indentured servanthood where slaves were freed after a period of time. When Onesimus ran away Paul requested his release. He sent him back with a letter which gained Onesimus' freedom. Onesimus was later venerated in the Orthodox Church as St. Onesimus of Byzantium...

St. Onesimus of Byzantine

That's about all I know about it.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 21, 2009
I admire her bravery.
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 21, 2009
I don't know what it has to do with the article but ...

Harriet Tubman was known as the "Moses of her people". She also served for the Union Army as a cook, a nurse, and an armed scout and spy. She was the first woman to lead an armed. Expirition in the war... You can read more online wikipedia about her.
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
Paul said on countless occasions that slaves should be obedient to their masters and then he supports the runaway slave Onesimus. So which is it really? Should slaves disobey and runaway or be obedient to their masters? Thank you for pointing out just one more shining contradiction in the “inerrant” bible!
anonymous
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September 21, 2009
Paul was an advocate who said that if slaves could get free they do. And when a slave ran away to Paul... In the book of Philemon 2 Paul secured the freedom of that indentured servant who's name was Onesimus. Paul also advocated that slaves (or servants) were equal with those who were free. Additionally, Paul was a Roman Citizen where slaves were slaves for life. Ancient Isreal had a system where slaves were freed after a period of time, called the Jubilee.
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
cymbolhead,

Poor union labor representative huh? Did you get that translation from The Delusional Christians Guide to Hebrew? :-)

GetInvolved
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September 21, 2009
Not supporting slavery just volunteer workers.
GetInvolved
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September 21, 2009
Great day of service

http://www.tracyforchrist.org/GDOS2008.asp

Date: Saturday, October 3, 2009

Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm

Location: Dr.Power's Park
cymbolhead
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September 21, 2009
Did you accuse Paul of being a poor union labor representative?

ConcernedNeighbor
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September 21, 2009
Especially those pious Christian elites who hired the person do to the fighting for them for $300.00 more or less and tough if they get killed or missing limb.

Quakers were great help!

If truth be known, civil war, is not really based on "slavery" although it played large part of it, it was based on economic war when the south threatened to secede from the north.

Funny, history can be innaccurate, like religion.

CN
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
cymbolhead,

I hate to burst your bubble but most of the Confederate soldiers supporting slavery during the Civil War were some of the most pious Christians this nation has ever known!
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
So you are not denying that in the Greek New Testament Paul in fact admonishes SLAVES to serve their Christian masters especially well, right?
cymbolhead
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September 21, 2009
That's good to know, becasue I wouldnt either. I don't know anyone who would defend slavery, with or without the bible.

It was allowed in times before and after biblical times too. It was also Christians in America who used their bibles to defend their belief to abolish slavery.
cymbolhead
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September 21, 2009
Although the new testament was penned in Greek, slavery was never created as some type of new testament practice. Slavery began long before the new testament was penned in Greek and any of the other languages.
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
By the way, I am not supporting slavery. I am simply saying it was unquestionably allowed in biblical times.
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
cymbolhead,

I am just telling you what it clearly says. You can disagree all day long but you are wrong! Look at your weak argument, "but in Hebrew it says blah, blah, blah". Who cares? The New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew so maybe, just maybe, your translation is wrong! Is semantics really the best you can do?

cymbolhead
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September 21, 2009
The prodigal son was mentioned in the new testament.
cymbolhead
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September 21, 2009
Using the bible as a tool to support slavery is incorrect. What's not being discussed it was Christians in America who were instremental in abolishing slavery in America.

Of course, I don't see the bible shying away from discussions and regulations of slavery. It already existed. There is nowhere in the bible where God introduces slavery to humans. That is incorrect assumptions based on innacurate websites and other misinformation.

Here's another verse was missed. The parable of the prodigal son is another example where a young man decides life would be better back at home as an indentured servant after spending all his inheritance.

When he returned home his father welcomes him home as his son and not as a servant/slave.
drumhead
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September 21, 2009
Oh, just a side note, The New Testament was originally written in Greek so I'm curious how you got a Hebrew translation?


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