Glendale mayor wants council meetings to begin with prayer - FOX 35 News Orlando

Glendale mayor wants council meetings to begin with prayer

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -

The Glendale City Council is considering whether to begin its meetings with a prayer. There's already a moment of silence -- and some say that's a perfect time to pray. The mayor says it's not enough.

"I mean obviously look at some of the problems we've had in the city over the years. A little help would go a long way I think," says Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers.

The Glendale City Council is considering whether to pray before their meetings. Prayers from any faith would be welcomed.

"I believe the diversity of this city I believe we should be embracing diversity, we should be embracing people from multiple countries and faiths."

Critics argue the move would violate the separation of church and state. Atheists would have to sit and listen to prayers. The mayor points out that nobody is required to participate.

"We're not mandating, we're not making it mandatory that you have to pray. Because one person may not believe in prayer to not allow everyone else that opportunity is wrong."

But Glendale City Council meetings already start with a moment of silence. The vice mayor says that's all you need, and disagrees with the mayor. But the mayor thinks Glendale needs all the help it can get.

"I don't think a moment of silence does that… unless you really identify what is the reason for moment of silence," says Weiers. "There have been mistakes made in the past and we need some help and I'll take help anyplace I can get it."

The city council would develop a neutral policy for selecting prayers of different faiths.

There would be a limit on the number of times the prayer could come from a particular person or denomination.

The decision is expected September 10th.

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Related story: Glendale city council to consider invocations at meetings

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