Delaware County Council Ponders Lord’s Prayer

A Delaware county council is meeting in closed-door sessions to determine whether it should continue its practice of opening meetings with sectarian prayer. 

Americans United sent a letter to the Sussex County Council in April, urging Council President Vance Phillips to stop reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the start of each session. AU said the county is unconstitutionally showing preference for one religious belief.

“The Lord’s prayer is a Christian prayer drawn from the New Testament, and therefore is sectarian,” asserted Americans United.

Phillips defended his actions, arguing that prayer is always good.

“I’ve always run on traditional values,” he told the Cape Gazette, “and this is a tradition that is not hurting anyone.”

The Alliance Defense Fund, a Religious Right legal group, has sent Phillips and the council a six-page letter urging a policy that allows volunteer clergy members to rotate in leading the prayer.