Tamaqua Council Plans to Continue to Pray Before Meetings

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SCHUYLKILL COUNTY -- Mixed feelings in many communities around the area after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week. The court said it's ok to start a town meeting with a prayer. One council member in Schuylkill County says his community has started meetings with a prayer for quite some time.

It's a place of business for government but, members of Tamaqua's Borough council have always taken time to pray before their meetings, no matter what courts said in the past.

“If someone comes in here and complains about prayer, he says we're going to have to stop it because they could sue us and we will be in big trouble.” said Tom Cara, Tamaqua council member.

That concern over a possible lawsuit may have been removed by this week  when the U. S. Supreme Court ruled  that towns, like Tamaqua Borough can start  their meetings with a prayer.

"Our government has made me very happy that they think that prayer is important." said Cara.

In the 5-4 vote the Supreme Court ruled prayer is okay , even if it favors one religion.

"I'm not trying to convert you, I'm just trying to have you have a peaceful feeling inside of you."

Some people in town don't agree with the supreme court ruling.

"I think religion has a place everywhere, but sometimes not in the government. " said Colin McGregor from Tamaqua

There have been prayers at Tamaqua's borough for years. Now that the ruling has gone through, Cara hopes other communities will join in and consider praying at their meetings.

It wouldn't be a problem to put another step like that in. I just don't see there being a big demand in town to do something like that." said Emily Boldt, New Philadelphia Borough Council Member

Emily Boldt is a council member in nearby New Philadelphia, she and the rest of council do not say a prayer before their meetings. She feels insisting on an opening prayer could cause some conflicts, but others think it may not be a bad idea.

“Saying at least a prayer to get your town by, and no disaster happen, that will get you by. It will make it a happier place." said Jasmin Rodriguez, New Philadelphia.

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