Prayer battle: Commissioners, ACLU prepare for legal fight - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Prayer battle: Commissioners, ACLU prepare for legal fight

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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

Defying the ACLU. That's what commissioners in Rowan County voted unanimously to do at Monday night's meeting.

The issue is sectarian prayer, or a prayer that specifically mentions one belief. Commissioners say the First Amendment gives then to right to pray as they wish, but the ACLU says it's unconstitutional, so they filed a federal suit. What now?

It will have to go to court in the form of motions filed by Rowan County. The county has to answer the ACLU suit and if they don't do something by April 1, they lose by default.

"The board at this time has to get an attorney on board," Commission Chairman Jim Sides told WBTV. 

"We need an attorney on board to file documents with the court system, either to protest the preliminary injunction that they're requesting or to request more time."

And that's what Sides was doing today, talking to an attorney who may want this case. 

The ACLU filed the federal lawsuit after a year of threatening to do so to try and force commissioners to stop praying in the name of Jesus, or any other specific God, but at the meeting last night, Craig Pierce did just that.

The meeting room and an overflow room was packed with folks, and most support the commissioners stance.

But fighting the ACLU won't be cheap, and commissioners say it will involve taxpayer money.

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