City Council Takes Up The Issue Of Prayer

Tuesday, January 22nd 2008, 12:23 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa city council is set to vote later this week on whether to allow prayer at its weekly meetings.  News On 6 reporter Dan Bewley reports the council will be considering several options.  During a meeting Tuesday morning, council members expressed concern they did not have a set policy in regards to how the invocation should be handled before its Thursday night meetings. 

Tuesday morning, the public works committee of the council narrowed it down to two choices for councilors to vote on Thursday. 

The first proposal would allow anyone of any recognized faith to pray before the council.  The prayer could name the person's deity, such as Jesus or Allah, but it could not try to recruit new members to join the faith or condemn members of other faiths. 

The second proposal would only allow for a moment of silence before the weekly meeting. 

City councilors said it is important to give people of all faiths the chance to pray before the council, but some are worried about the process going too far. 

"If there was a devil worshipper that wanted to get up and pray, how would we deal with that? We need to just be careful that we're doing it in the right and proper manner," says Tulsa city councilor Jack Henderson. 

If proposal one is passed, the city would use one person to schedule who says the weekly prayer. 

The full Tulsa city council will vote on the issue Thursday evening at its regular weekly meeting.