Spring Lake board makes final decision on invocation policy

The Spring Lake Board of Alderman rejected a new invocation policy that would allow community members of all faiths, instead of board members, to say the prayer at the beginning of meetings.

The Spring Lake Board of Alderman on Monday rejected creating a new invocation policy for the town, after months of discussions.

The board has been considering an invocation policy that would invite community members of all faiths, instead of board members, to say the prayer at the beginning of meetings. The board currently does not have a policy.

“This is not an attack on Christianity,” Mayor Kia Anthony said. “This is us protecting ourselves from any sort of litigation.”

Background information provided to board members at previous meetings included a highlighted excerpt from the University of North Carolina School of Government that stated that prayer during meetings “violates the Constitution” in certain situations. The statement said that based on a 2013 Circuit Court case, that situation occurs when only board members deliver the prayers, they are all of the same religion, they don’t present an opportunity for other faiths to be represented, and they provide the invocation during “the intimate setting of a local government meeting.”

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