Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Prayer Request Puts Hartville In Holy Battle

Scot Bohaychyk didn't think saying a little prayer would be such a big deal.

Instead of embracing the proposal, Mayor Beverly Green shot it down, based on her belief that it's messing with the separation of church and state, and would open the village to litigation.

Councilman Thomas Hough, a pastor at Sixteen St. John's Church, an independent evangelical Bible church in Massillon, quoted Benjamin Franklin, saying that "God governs the affairs of man.''

They want to invite pastors or rabbis from Hartville churches or churches where village residents worship to say the prayer. Hough said he would like it limited to Judeo-Christian religions.

But Green is firm in her belief that such a move would lead to problems. In addition to potential legal issues, the village, in northern Stark County, had difficulty in the past rounding up religious leaders to say the opening prayer. Hartville also couldn't prevent Wiccans or others from seeking equal time, she added. Full Story

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