Prayer at City Council Meetings

I received the following comment from an anonymous person who seems against having prayer spoken at our city council meetings...

I was watching the U tube video on the new Menifee city council meeting. I was really shocked that they included a prayer. Are we going to be a city or a local club! I believe that if we are a bonified city - we should have separation of church & state. No prayer can cover all the beliefs of the new citizens of Menifee. I have been to other cities council meetings - and they do not pray.

The new city council should respect the beliefs of all the citizens of Menifee and omit the prayer.
Here's my take on this...

I think the prayers that John Denver has been saying at the start of each meeting is just fine. First, these prayers are not endorsed by the council, because none of the council members have voted to officially endorse them. These are not official city prayers.

Second, no one is being to forced the bow their heads and say, "Amen", when Denver says a prayer. You just need to afford every American some respect when they express their religious beliefs. Everyone has a belief of some kind, whether it's a belief in God, a belief that there is nothing, or even if they'd like to believe but don't know what. If you were to express that thought in public, you'd want your space and time to do so also.

The commenter also brought up "respect", and all I can say is that respect is a two-way street. If you want someone to respect you, you have to respect them. I'm sure if you recognize Denver's wishes to express his religious beliefs, he'll recognize yours.

Lastly, this commenter brought up the subject of "Separation of Church and State". I'll challenge that person to find this statement in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, or any other federal document. It simply doesn't exist.

That statement was made by Thomas Jefferson, while he was President, in a letter that he wrote to a church, promising them that the United States would not endorse any church as its official state church.

For that matter, the City Council, and the City of Menifee, is not endorsing Denver's prayers as being official. They're simply recognizing his First Amendment rights. Every Menifee resident can do the same thing, by using their three minutes of public comment. Denver gets the priviledge of doing this at the start of the council meeting because he earned that priviledge on election day.




156 Comments:

  1. Keep the prayer in

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  2. I agree. Let him pray to whom ever he believes to be god. If you think he's praying to an imaginary friend, is that really going to hurt you?

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  3. Personally I believe that we are going to need all the prayers, best wishes, hopes and dreams we can muster up for the times ahead of us as a city. I say...."It can't hurt" !! God bless us...everyone !

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  4. Prayer should NEVER be brought into a government setting. EVER. I'm shocked that you think it is ok. People can believe whatever they choose, but it should not be brought into a city meeting.

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  5. Thanks for pointing out what so many don't know: "Separation of Church and State" doesn't mean we can't have any prayers or references to religion in a civic setting. The City of Menifee isn't endorsing a state religion.

    I agree with you completely on all counts.

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  6. One Nation Under GOD! In GOD We Trust! AMEN!!!
    Maybe this is something we need alittle more of, and by all means, if you don't like it, LEAVE. Don't be afraid to post your name, instead of posting as anonymous either.
    P.s. I add you into my prayers tonight, whatever your name is....

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  7. One Nation Under GOD! In GOD We Trust! AMEN!!!
    Maybe this is something we need alittle more of, and by all means, if you don't like it, LEAVE. Don't be afraid to post your name, instead of posting as anonymous either.
    P.s. I"ll add you into my prayers tonight, whatever your name is....

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  8. Courts have found that the principle of a "religious liberty" exists behind in the First Amendment, even if those words are not actually there:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
    The point of such an amendment is twofold. First, it ensures that religious beliefs - private or organized - are removed from attempted government control. This is the reason why the government cannot tell either you or your church what to believe or to teach. Second, it ensures that the government does not get involved with enforcing, mandating, or promoting particular religious doctrines. This is what happens when the government "establishes" a church - and because doing so created so many problems in Europe, the authors of the Constitution wanted to try and prevent the same from happening here.

    Can anyone deny that the First Amendment guarantees the principle of religious liberty, even though those words do not appear there? Similarly, the First Amendment guarantees the principle of the separation of church and state - by implication, because separating church and state is what allows religious liberty to exist.
    If Mr. Denver continues to recite prayers, non-denominational or not, one person will sue and the city will have to spend money in a losing battle. The courts have stated the legitimacy of the "Separation of church and state" and we need to wake up and stop being brainwashed by our religious beliefs. The city does not have the money to support a lawsuit that WILL come, and that the city WILL lose. The prayer is inappropriate and should be stopped. I, along with many others, did not vote for cityhood so that our city council could make fools of themselves, by not understanding laws. If our council does not understand the basics of our country's laws, then We, as a community, may have something to worry about.

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  9. It's a little inappropriate to say the least.

    Michelle, perhaps you should practice a little of what you preach and lose the tired "If you don't like it you should leave" bit. It's not so Christian-like. I'll pray for you and your tolerance levels tonight in my bedroom.

    Sincerely,

    Anonymous

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  10. I agree with the poster that brought up "one nation, under God". Our children say the pledge EVERYDAY at school, in which these words are spoken. Is that wrong also? If he is preaching his religious beliefs, I might have a different opinion.
    To anonymous August 14 11:20am- you hit the nail on the head! Who really cares if the guy is saying a prayer to little purple people! If you believe in a "higher power" any prayer could be used how you individually want to use it. What's the hurt?...Unless you're an atheist :)

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  11. I personally do not have a problem with the prayer before the meetings. But, I recognize there will be a time where other religous entities will ask for their share of the time before meetings to administer their own prayer. This could evolve into issue in the very near future.

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  12. Wow Michelle that sure isn't very Christian of you now is it? Tisk. Tisk.

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  13. Michelle maybe instead of telling me to leave you should put your big girl pants on and calm down. I'm entitled to my opinion as much as you, and I'm not telling you to leave.

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  14. There you libs go again preaching tolerance. It's funny how if they don't like something they don't have to be tolerate but if something offends them(libs) they throw that tolerance word around. Michelle I agree with you. Maybe people should stand up and take a look around and see that the country as a whole has thrown GOD under the bus and look where it has gotten us. I am so sick of living in a PC society. There are things that bother me when we are out in public or at different functions but I am not rude and say I am offended I go with the flow and then when it is appropriate we tell our children what we believe and let them make the choice. So if he would like to pray then by all means pray. Just one last point when a certain senator used the Koran to swear in you didn't here the left saying there should be seperation of church and state. No it was the exact opposite, praising him for using the 1st admendment. I agree that both sides will use things to there advantage but it seems to me the LIBS use it more often than not. So when I attented that Chargers game and the players are praying before a game I will be right there with them as well as with Mr. Denver.

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  15. First, Moreno Valley does a prayer before every City Council meeting so if anyone needs a legal opinion I'm sure they've probably vetted it.

    Second, the reason why the nonreligious people have to post anonymously is because the town's bible thumpers can't stand having agnostics or, horrors, atheists in their midst. And save your prayers, we don't need them thanks.

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  16. There is nothing wrong with prayer, but it is a personal choice and should be done in church, religious institution, or home. I personally don't care what M.V. does or does not do. The City Council meetings are the wrong place for prayers. As a previous poster stated, it will take a substanial amount of our tax dollars to fight a lawsuit, which the city will lose. As a Christian I am embarrassed by how the fringe, yet vocal, side of our religion seem to believe that religion should be everywhere. Lack of religion isn't what is wrong with our society. Electing the wrong politicians and lacking responsibility, plus common sense, hurts our society more than a lack of Christianity. As for those of you who use the Pledge as evidence, the "under god" part of the Pledge, added in the 1950's, will go before the Supreme Court soon, and most legal scholars believe the phrase will be thrown out.

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  17. I believe that instead of prayer we should all sing the Anthem of Menifee before each meeting. Maybe we could start a blog to write this Anthem. Or.... maybe we could ask that the council members speak in tongues whilst dancing with snakes for the first 10 mins of each meeting? Much more entertaining.

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  18. Post a comment? Yes, I'd love to!

    First of all I'd like to say that I respect (and God respects) everyone's right to an opinion, however, remember that your opinion does not equal truth, necessarily. Just because you believe something doesn't make it "true for you". If you can't see that, don't bother reading the rest of my post.

    Respectfully, (and with much tolerance) those of you who don't think prayer belongs in government are living in the wrong country. You should check out some of our nation's founding documents and the quotes and speeches of our leaders from the last 500 years or so since this nation has been in existence, whether it be in colonial or federal form. It's only recently that we've decided to be a publicly secular nation. You might be more comfortable in a communist country like Cuba or China, though I hear even there, they are "tolerant" of a state-run church, but it has the fabled "separation" you desire.

    Regarding political correctness, it's a disease that results in a watering down of everything into a gray lukewarm mess that is ripe for invasion or overthrow by hostile enemies. The more you suppress you convictions, the weaker you become in character and leadership. Just look at the presidential candidate on the left (for example), he's not a flip-flopper, he's on EVERY side of most issues, depending on who he's talking to, or who he thinks is listening.

    The God who created us is the only God who deserves our prayers, worship and honor. I suggest we go back to the beginning and find out who the men that forged this great nation thought that was...

    Atheism is a cop-out at best, and a poor excuse to make yourself a "god" at worst, but I respect the fact that many of you who think you're atheists are still alive, and so you still have a chance to become un-atheist. Two words, "Irreducible Complexity". ;)

    Those of you who call yourselves "agnostics" should go back and look up the origin of that word. You might be surprised, but make sure you don't use a "PC" dictionary. :D

    We need THE God in America again. Note the "definite article".

    Yes, I'd love to make a comment!

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  19. Jeff,

    You need to go back and study history. Many of the Framers of our country, including Jefferson, were deists. They also believed that God should stay out of government, just as government should stay out of religion. I am so sick of so-called "Christians" trying to force everyone to believe what they believe. As a Christian, I would like others to stop making fools of us by claiming historical inaccuracies. We were not created as a Christian nation, nor should we be now. Be a Christian, love God, but don't have the absolute gall to try and force others to believe what you believe. Religion doesn't belong in politics, at a federal or local level.

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  20. Prayer at a goverment sponsered gathering is like being exposed to second hand smoke...

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  21. Mark, I can agree with you that government should not endorse any specific religion, but let's not mix government bodies with elected officials. Elected officials are American citizens with First Amendment rights. As I said in the article, the city council as a whole did not vote to endorse Denver's prayers. If they had, then it would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.

    As for our Framers, they didn't specifically write verbage into the Constitution allowing elected officials to pray in a civic setting, but then again, they didn't specifically prohibit it either.

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  22. Steve, read the first amendment.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".
    All major courts have agreed that the 1st Amendment prohibits Any public entity from endorsing any religion, through prayer or otherwise. It does not matter that Mr. Denver is the only one promoting it or that the council voted as a whole or not, it is a governmental proceeding and prayer of any kind is forbidden. The council is there to serve our community, and the council chambers are not a religious dwelling. Mr. Denver is more than welcome to pray during Sunday mass, but he should not be praying during a public forum. People can try to sugar coat the issue, but it is legally wrong, whether you agree or not.

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  23. Well, since prayer is just fine to most of you, then it must also be fine to attend and burn bible pages, pledge support for little green men, and perform satanic rituals.

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  24. Wow, I had no idea (until now) of the level of nastiness and pettiness of folks in this area, or at least ones who post on this board. I don't understand how Anonymous August 15, 2008 5:43 AM's comment "to attend and burn bible pages, pledge support for little green men, and perform satanic rituals" has any relationship with saying a little prayer.

    Can't we all just get along?

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  25. To Lynn and everyone else that thinks it is just a little prayer...I believe you are missing the point.It sounds like you think it is ok because he is praying to YOUR God. If he was praying to a demon or Vishnu or Tom Cruise you might think it was inappropriate. As a previous poster said this could get out of hand real quick.

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  26. I found the prayer to be quite refreshing...and its so sad that people can be so nasty about such simple thing...and go to such extremes like some of the anonymous posters.
    I too am so tired of being PC because being "correct" changes so much, depending on who is in office and what the latest buzz word is. Being PC just depends on what decade we are in.
    That said, I know what happened down in Vista, because two of the school board members dared to say PRIVATE prayers before meetings...people like anonymous raised a big stink, and recalled them, even though they did a terrific job, the school district actually had surplus reserve funds when they left.
    Perhaps a moment of silence?

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  27. What church denomination is councilman Denver trying to promote?

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  28. There is no point trying to have rational discussions with people that want to interject religiosity into government. Church will never be enough for them. For me the question is haven't we all had enough of this mentality? Does anyone know what our recourse is to nip this Anti-American behavior in the bud?

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  29. All:

    Our United States Senate has been opened with prayer since the beginning.

    Barry Black is the official Chaplain of the Senate, and opens the Senate with prayer each day.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/office/chaplain.htm

    Every President has been sworn in on a Bible.

    The bill of rights does not say "freedom FROM religion", only against the government establishing and enforcing a state sancitioned religion through force.

    It is very appropriate that Menifee council sessions are opened with prayer.

    Bill Lussenheide
    Candidate US Congress-CA 49 2010

    http://www.FaithFamilyFreedoms.blogspot.com

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  30. The United States House of Representatives opens each day with a prayer also. The chaplain of the house has a webpage:

    http://chaplain.house.gov

    Seems to me that if our elected officials in the federal government see no harm in opening with a prayer, then neither should local governments or their constituents.

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  31. For goodness sakes - just the mention of prayer and here goes the bloggers on a rampage. Shame on anyone who is annoyed by a prayer; these same ones are quick to get every prayer possible said on their behalf if they think their life is threatened! Thank you John Denver - stand up and continue the prayer; our new city needs all the help it can get. LOOK what's happened in the school since they removed all prayer!

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  32. I Think the candidate for Congress. Needs to go back and learn the law before posting. Almost every court has upheld that public forums are no place for religious beliefs. The vast majority of Christians understand that their religious beliefs are not everyones beliefs and that religion is a private issue. Unfortunately we do have a healthy dose of Evangelicals amongst others who want to force their beliefs onto others. If you truly believe it is ok for prayer to be said at the council meeting or any other public forum, then you should not be a congressman. By the way, each individual President is given a choice as to what book they swear their oath on from the Bible, to the Koran, or no book if the candidate would happen to be Agnostic or Atheist. In 2007, When they were to have a Hindu prayer spoken, so-called "Christians" protested. Apparently only "Christian" prayer is allowed in some peoples minds. Finally, just because some of our government entities use religous prayer to open , does not mean it is right. It just hasn't been teted in court yet. And since the Evangelicals are a huge voting block, the chance of a Congressman or Senator having the courage to stand up for what is right is slim to none. I have faith and I live by my faith, but I also value the ideas layed down by our forefathers. Religion and faith are great things, but they do not belong in public settings. Not now, not ever.

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  33. I think it's great they are having prayer at the City Council Meetings. I do respect those who don't pray. But, Please don't take anything else away from our freedoms.
    Don't tell us what we an and can't do in public.
    We ALL need to be respectful of each other's beliefs and non-beliefs.

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  34. How can you "shame" people who don't believe as you do? How is that right?

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  35. Respectfully, to Mark,
    As a Christian, I don't try to 'force everyone to believe' what I believe. That's just ludicrous. You can't force anyone to believe anything, though there are lots of religions around the world that try to force people to do what they want them to do. In contrast, Christ has freed us to live for Him, to Honor God, to obey His word, and to get people saved by delivering the message of the cross and what Jesus' death means. Basically, Christians are here as ambassadors of Christ, and we need to represent.

    Anyway, if you want to rail against people who are "forcing" people to believe things, you might try going and living in another country and see how real Christians live over there. Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, China, and Indonesia are all examples of countries whose governments force people to "believe" they way they want them to. If they don't, they get "persecution". Most of the countries I named are Islamic Regimes that kill and torture people who don't believe as they do, but there are militant radicals in all religions, including Buddhists, Hindus and yes, even so-called Christians.

    By the way, isn't our government telling us to believe by preaching its message of tolerance and political correctness through the public schools and such and passing laws and hindering free speech?

    Stop complaining about how a little prayer is somehow "forcing" someone to believe something and start being thankful that God still works in the affairs of men in spite of the way we've been treating Him lately. God is long-suffering, but eventually, He will just leave us to our own, and that's when all hell will break loose. Better to call on Him while he is NEAR.

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  36. Jeff, with all due respect, stop preaching to people. You have very little knowledge of "world" religions or the history of Christianity. The fact is, in the eyes of the law, religion is a personal decision and should not be accepted in any public setting. To science,it is a story, an idea created by man to add a "meaning" to life. Faith can not be proven. Don't act as though Christians are all peaceful, following the words of God. Many "Christians" are as ignorant and as hatefilled as their "Islamic" brethern. The vast majority of Muslims are as peaceful as most Christians. You, amongst others, are trying to get people to follow your beliefs. No, Christians, in America, are not being persecuted, or having their freedoms controlled. A certain segment of Christians are paranoid and believe everyone is out to get them. God gave us a brain, it would be nice if we all used the brain to think. Christian extremists will always argue that God belongs everywhere. They falsely believe that America wass created as a Christian nation. Prayer before council meetings is inappropriate, regardless of what many of the so-called "Christians" claim. I believe in God, and I live by the teachings of Christ. I also use the brain God gave me to think, and analyze. I don't believe God should be banished, but I also know that God, in any form, does not belong in politics.

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  37. This is a free country. So if I ride down your block one night on my Harley, and happen to make enough noise to wake up your sick child just after you workded so hard to get her to fall asleep, then that's just your tough luck. Why should I care about what you think?

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  38. Religion, hypocrisy, extremism, violence, war etc. etc. etc.

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  39. Anonymous at 5:14pm: You obviously aren't the brightest bulb, but I will try to explain. If your trendy Harley can be heard from more than 50 ft, it is illegal. Now most law enforcement and citizens don't care that much because most people are repectful. You are a sad person who feels more manley waking up sick children. I gues Freud was right. Some men do make up for other inadequacies by buying big trucks, sport cars, and Harleys. You are proof of it.

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  40. "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God." John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence

    "I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as satisfied that it is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament." Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence..
    "We've staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us, to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.” James Madison, father of our Constitution.

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  41. I think it's funny how closed minded some "Christians" are. One call to the ACLU and this is the next segment on the Hanity & Colmes show. Mellow out people. You know if it was a small town in Alabama we would all be ok with it, but this is the whopper soon to be Menifee with aspirations of greatness and prosperity. Therefore, let us pray on our own time not using our government to guide us prayer. Denver is a councilman not a priest or a pastor or shawman, etc. I don't go to meetings to become spiritually motivated by a councilman, I want to discuss politics not religion.Keep your faith and beliefs to yourself/family and to those that want to share.No one is losing any rights by asking Denver to not pray at meetings. They are simply saying it has absolutely nothing to do with the council as a governing entity. S.O.M.

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  42. City Council meetings are not the place for prayer. If you want to pray, go to church. Keep the meetings professional!!!

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  43. If you don't like the prayer don't bow your head, just practice keeping your mouth shut for a minute and show a little respect (hard for some people). I'm sure most, If not all of you against prayer don't mind voicing your opinions and the rest of us have to listen to them. Of course If you would keep your mouths shut and your opinions to yourselves, then there wouldn't be any reason for the rest of us to pray.

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  44. Need an example of Christian nastiness? Here it is:

    f you don't like the prayer don't bow your head, just practice keeping your mouth shut for a minute and show a little respect (hard for some people). I'm sure most, If not all of you against prayer don't mind voicing your opinions and the rest of us have to listen to them. Of course If you would keep your mouths shut and your opinions to yourselves, then there wouldn't be any reason for the rest of us to pray.

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  45. Yeah isn't that a good one?

    I love the one about how having an opinion is the reason why people need to pray.

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  46. WOW, I can't believe how petty and nasty this whole thing has gotten.
    Even if you don't believe in God doesn't mean he doesn't exist and even if you don't pray doesn't mean it doesn't work. God will bless Denver because he admitted he can't do this on his own. I for one ,hope that the others can ask for help too. Man has tried to do everything on his own and look where this nation has gone. I just pray that Denver continues to pray and asks for guidance in building this new city.

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  47. Ok Bible Thumpers, you gonna loose this one. As a City elected official he can not impose his personal beliefs on others. He has every right to silent prayer but not when he Unites others in that belief. I think prayer is important inall that I do, but I let my actions speak louder than a symbol. If John Denver is praying openly, that means something is truly brewing on his heels and he needs it. I am Bible believer and it says Paraphrased "Do not pray like the hypocrites for they do it to be seen."

    Bring back prayer in the schools, they do it at MUSD already, they even bring in a local Pastor. I have a problem with convenient pray, or prayer to establish your on beliefs. You will spend countless dollars fighting this because as In God We Trust, The Legal system does not agree.

    Good Luck and God Bless

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  48. Yes, Mark, I am trying to get people to believe as I do, because my faith is worth sharing, my country is worth saving, and what people think about me is not more important as what God has called me to do.

    If you (or anyone else) would like to further discuss the topic of what is the appropriate approach to living out our faith, and the role of the believer in society, please email me directly.

    Regarding prayer, the fact is, if we, as a nation don't honor our Creator, we will be reduced to a captive people, governed by man's rules, opinions and whims, and our freedom, which our founders stated comes from God, and not any governing body, will be diminished. It's already happening.

    Look around the world and see how countries whose God is not the LORD fare. The United States an extraordinary exception because we, until recently have publicly acknowledged God. See how nations with Judeo/Christian roots have been blessed. See how some of those nations are also now declining.

    Our Creator has revealed Himself in the Bible and through the Person of Jesus Christ, and has continually worked through believers to affect His will in the world since the events recorded in the book of Acts. Praying and asking Him to intervene and guide our public forums and political decisions is not religion, it's a matter of national security and a matter of survival for our nation as we have known it. If we don't acknowledge Him, we are left to our own devices, our own understanding, and that will eventually lead to our destruction as a nation.

    That nation is blessed, whose God is the LORD.

    Thank you, Dani, for those quotes, and they are merely a few in a vast library of evidence of the faith of our fathers.

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  49. A friendly warning to the guy with the Harley:

    It is because of attitudes like yours that we are continually encumbered with more and more rules, restrictions and regulations by government authorities.

    Because you have no regard for other people, and because it is now the government's job to provide a peaceful atmosphere for the citizens, the government's obligation is to try to out-weigh your personal freedom with a law that would dissuade you from doing what would cause discomfort to the citizens of my street.

    In other words, because you choose to be a self-centered jackass, they enact rules to try to make you stop. If you still don't stop, they make the rules tougher and tougher until the risk of getting caught outweighs your desire to be a self-centered jackass.

    If you tried your little stunt 150 years ago, someone would just come out and shoot you right off your horse, and the problem would stop right there.

    Today, it's getting to the point where people are tired of your kind, and since the police/sheriffs can't always be around, someone might decide they've had enough, and you'd go down. Then I'm sure you'd be wishing someone would pray for you.

    Here's the solution: Stop being a self-centered jackass. Think of it as self-preservation: Some of your neighbors own guns, and they may just have had enough of your kind so that the desire to put you down outweigh the risk of getting caught.

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  50. i AM GLAD THAT THE RESPONSES WERE AS THEY WHERE. Too many liberal, mentaly thin ideas have made it into common practice over the years. The young these day's have no respect for authority, civil or a much higher one. No self identity or sense of purpose or our history. In a lot of instances they don't even respect their parents! Much of this is due to economic necesity at the home level. I know many will ask "what are you smokeing?", but for one. I would like to see many of the older way's of educating our kids ( includes American and world history), as well as disciplinning them.

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  51. Christian "nastiness":

    1. The act, on the part of a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ), of saying or doing something that world can use as evidence that you're not perfect, and that can also be used as excuse to dismiss out of hand the opinions, thoughts or arguments of the perpetrator, or for that matter, the teachings of Christ Himself, without a second thought.

    2. Anything a Christian says or does that resembles a non-believer's own behavior, yet, because of the Christians' status as a Christian, is labeled 'nasty' for the reasons stated in definition 1.

    Hint to Christians: don't give them a reason to call you 'nasty', let them make these allegations based on their own pretense. ;)

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  52. Jeff, spare me the praching. I am glad you have faith, but your faith is your faith. You have no right, or business, preaching your word to anyone. Faith is personal, and needs to stay personal. Christianity has done good, but to try and claim that Christianity has a peaceful record historically, is ludicrous. Your faith is not the only faith, and prayer of any kind isn't appropriate. And by the way, all of you claiming that Christians are persecuted and having their rights violated, give me a break. Your rights aren't being violated and nobody is persecuting you. You are all just being small-minded. I love God, but many "Christians' are the most close-minded, ignorant, and judgemental people in our society. So many of you preach about Jesus, but you know so little about his true message. Many of you are nothing like your Lord.

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  53. To all of you who think that a lack of God is what has caused societies ills, wake up. It isn't a lack of faith, it is a lack in judgement. We elect indivuals who cut funding to the poor and needy, we fail to fund programs that would educate and strengthen the youth, and we don't provide enogh opportunity or education on social skills and social responsibility. Don't look to faith for your answers, look at yourselves and the decisions you make.

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  54. Mark said: "You have no right, or business, preaching your word to anyone."

    While it is tempting to further address the error in Mark's worldview concerning Christ's teachings and the nature of persecution in the world, I dare not respond except with this:

    Last I checked, Mark, as a citizen of the United States of America, my speech is protected by the First Amendment; but have you some new law you've discovered or would like to impose that would make speech such as mine exempt from such protection?

    More important than that, Mark, I have a right because Jesus Christ gave me the right, and has called me to obey His word, and to preach the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on our behalf! This isn't 'my' word, Mark, it's God's word, which was once for all delivered to the saints at the beginning. It is the historical message of the church, the same message preached by the apostles and prophets.

    He's called me to love my neighbor as myself, and to love God supremely. I obey because He is my King, Lord and Savior and he saved me from eternal damnation in hell precisely because I am so not like him.

    Salvation is through Christ alone: there is no other name given by which we can be saved. No other 'religion' guarantees eternal life based solely upon our faith in the work of a Savior who died the death we all deserve because of our rebellion against our loving Creator. What a gracious, loving and good God we have! For God so loved the world, Mark, that He gave His Son Jesus to be our savior, that if anyone would believe on Him, they would be saved and have everlasting life! Mark, THIS SPEECH IS PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

    Citizens, particularly Christians, take heed, scary people like Mark who want to silence their opposition are all around us, and some are running for public office and many are already in our courts deciding that some people's speech is not 'constitutional'. Some work at Google editing your posts and will not allow certain things to be seen, some work in the Main-Stream Media, and they edit the news to fit their own worldview. They're the same people who don't want any acknowledgment of God or Faith in public, but if you've ever been to Washington D.C. and seen the Bible verses all over the buildings there, you'll see that our founders were of a Christian persuasion, as was our citizenry. Mark, THIS SPEECH IS PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

    The true faith of Jesus Christ is tolerant, loving and subservient to people in order to win them to God (not force them, as in some religions), but it is Men who distort the true faith and turn it into a curse and a byword.

    2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

    Everyone in America has a choice in what they believe, I'm just trying to give people their best option for all eternity. Take it or leave it, but don't say I can't say it.

    Yes, Mark, this speech is protected too, unless you know something we all don't?

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  55. This Is great. I've been In Menifee since 1997 and have watched It grow and also watched the problems get bigger. I've thought of getting out of here but I thought after we became a city we might be able to work together and make this a great place to live. I guess I was worng, If a real problem came up that effected most of us I can see now that we wouldn't be able to work It out. Every time I mention moving my teenage daughter goes carzy, she doesn't want to. All her friends are here. Tomorrow I'm going to have her read this page, I'll bet she changes her mind. For all of you that will say good-bye, I'll be out of here as soon as I can. I hope you can learn to work together, but I doubt It , to much hate!!

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  56. Jeff, your paranoia shines through. I never once said you didn't have a right to speak your mind, my argument was that a public setting isn't appropriate for any religious prayer. You are an example of everything wrong with Christianity today. You have let faith distort your ability to think, a trait I believe God would be ashamed of. He gave us a mind, but people like you refuse to use that mind. You and people like you are no different from extremists around the world. You can't argue any point other than through biblical references and misstatements on history. You have no knowledge of the origins of Christianity, so don't preach to me. You don't speak for Christians, and most Christians are not as simple minded as you. Stop embarrassing Christians and stop standing on a pulpit. Whenever politics and religion mix, the end result is always misery. Individualy they thrive and help people grow, but when close-minded people like you dive into politics, everyone suffers. I put my money and actions where my mouth is. I don't preach to anyone, but I will help my fellow man, because that is what Christ would want. Treat everyone the way he treated us. You and the rest of the judgemental extremists forget this. You expose what we all must be wary of. Religious extremists trying to infuse themselves into every facet of peoples' lives.

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  57. Well said Mark. S.O.M.

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  58. Mark, surely, wisdom will die with you.

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  59. Quote from Steve: "Denver gets the priviledge (sic) of doing this at the start of the council meeting because he earned earned that priviledge (sic) on election day."

    Which is exactly why this family did not vote for him. Mr. Denver has a history of forcing his personal views into city/county matters. Prayer belongs in the church, in your home, in your personal surroundings - not to be injected onto others of different religions during a public government meeting. For shame that some of you believe for the sake of christianity, prayer should be part of the meetings. How about if my Muslim neighbor takes his 3 or 4 minutes to read from the Koran; or how about my Jewish friend reciting a passage from the Torah - would John Denver like that? I bet you there would be 10 times the amount of complaints here on this board from that meeting! I agree with the others who say religion does NOT belong in government business. Let Mr. Denver prayer elsewhere.

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  60. Personally, I believe what John Denver is doing by praying at the start of the meetings is disrespectful to members of other faiths (or non-faith). It's only a matter of time before a constituent notifies the ACLU or files a lawsuit on their own.

    It has repeatedly been ruled in the courts that to pray before a public government meeting is "establishing a national religion". (4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, North Carolina)

    Excerpt:
    The three-judge panel ruled "that the practice of members of Town Council invoking names specifically associated with the Christian faith at Town Council meetings violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution."

    This is just one of many that can be located in any law journal.

    I would highly suggest the Menifee Council either willingly back off the prayers at their public meetings before the topic becomes a thorn in its side or they should seek the legal advice of their city attorney.

    Why can't the city council just acknowledge a moment of 1 minute silence at the start of the meeting at which time John Denver can observe his prayer in his mind? Seems like a rational alternative that would not offend and more importantly, not bring on a lawsuit.

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  61. Jeff, your lack of class and Christian values shines through clearly with your statements.Plwease defer from refering to yourself as a Christian, because you are a Christian in name only. You don't live by Christian values and don't deserve the title.

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  62. I disagree with Steve's take on this situation. If John Denver is saying a prayer while acting in the capacity as an elected official on the Menifee City Council at a public meeting, then the entire council is indirectly endorsing the action and, as such, can be held liable.

    It is ridiculous to justify the prayer just because the council didn't vote on it. Furthermore, by not participating in or acting to stop the prayer does not make the other council members any less liable.

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  63. That is why OUR Country is in such a mess now! So many fellow Americans (if you want to call them Americans) want prayer out of everyhting we do. If it wasn't for Prayer you wouldn't be able to express you opinon. God Bless America and God Bless Menifee!

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  64. That is why OUR Country is in such a mess now! So many fellow Americans (if you want to call them Americans) want prayer out of everyhting we do. If it wasn't for Prayer you wouldn't be able to express you opinon. God Bless America and God Bless Menifee!

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  65. Brother Pete, Learn you History. The U.S. isn't messed up due to a lack of God in our lives, it is messed up because simple minded folk like you reley on a diety for change rather than making change through your own sweat and blood. I am Christian, but God isn't going to fix the problems on earth. He gave us a brain, in hopes that we would use it. God would rather see us use the gift he gave us, rather than through blind devotion and fear, which is what you do. Don't blame the lack of God for our problems, blame yourself.

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  66. I express my opinion just fine without prayer, Brother Pete.

    My opinion is that an elected official should not designate the faith for the City of Menifee. That is not his job.

    You see, Brother Pete - I expressed my opinion without praying to any spiritual entity.

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  67. Since Jeff has injected his personal religious views to this blog and John Denver has polluted the council meetings with his personal religious beliefs, here's my share:

    ". . . In all parts of our globe, fanatics have cut each other's throats, publicly burnt each other, committed without a scruple and even as a duty, the greatest crimes, and shed torrents of blood. . . .

    Savage and furious nations, perpetually at war, adore, under divers names, some God, conformable to their ideas, that is to say, cruel, carnivorous, selfish, blood-thirsty. We find, in all the religions, 'a God of armies,' a 'jealous God,' an 'avenging God,' a 'destroying God,' a 'God,' who is pleased with carnage, and whom his worshippers consider it a duty to serve. Lambs, bulls, children, men, and women, are sacrificed to him. Zealous servants of this barbarous God think themselves obliged even to offer up themselves as a sacrifice to him. Madmen may everywhere be seen, who, after meditating upon their terrible God, imagine that to please him they must inflict on themselves, the most exquisite torments. The gloomy ideas formed of the deity, far from consoling them, have every where disquieted their minds, and prejudiced follies destructive to happiness.

    How could the human mind progress, while tormented with frightful phantoms, and guided by men, interested in perpetuating its ignorance and fears? Man has been forced to vegetate in his primitive stupidity: he has been taught stories about invisible powers upon whom his happiness was supposed to depend. Occupied solely by his fears, and by unintelligible reveries, he has always been at the mercy of priests, who have reserved to themselves the right of thinking for him, and of directing his actions."
    – Baron d'Holbach, Common Sense, 1772

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  68. Comment #69

    Sweeeeeeeet

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  69. Mark, (and anyone else who's reading this) I'm a Christian, and only because Jesus saw fit to save me, not because of anything I've done. I am an ambassador of Christ as is every other born-again believer, according to John 3:16.

    The Bible is my standard, so I defer to the Word of God in matters great and small. I believe in objective truth, and Jesus said the Bible is truth in John 17:17, so I believe Him. You don't have a problem with me, you have a problem with Jesus and the Gospel, which was once for all delivered to the saints in Christ according to Jude 1:3. I'm trying to represent in words, (since that's all I have here) true Christianity. What you hate so much about me is the fact that my faith isn't what YOU think it should be, but then, Jesus wasn't what the Pharisees thought He should be either, so it goes back to verification of facts and evidence.

    Basically, you don't know who you're talking to and accusing, yet you have attacked my character, my Constitutional rights, and my faith, which you have the 'right' to do in this country, but when we stand before God, you and I as well as every other person will give an account to Him for the way we lived our lives. To know this is to 'fear' or reverence God. I fear God, I'm not lying, as God is my witness.

    I have to laugh when you tell me I don't know my Lord's 'true message'. How can I not know the one who sacrificed himself for me, a wretched sinner bound for hell for all eternity, since He has promised to reveal Himself to those who come to Him? (Revelation 3:20) No I know my Lord, and His message of Love and Grace for all mankind, and I will share it over and over again, even if the stones come falling on my head, like they did my brother Stephen in the book of Acts, 7:59. He was stoned by religious fascists!

    I think I know who you are, Mark, and where you come from. I could be wrong, but you remind me of a religious group that masquerades as a Christian denomination; but they're arrogant in their faith, and harsh with their words, because they think their church is the only way and 'every other church is wrong' (but they won't tell you that unless you corner them on their lack of sound biblical doctrine, and it gets pretty ugly, too) and they don't know the Love of Christ because they don't know Him, or the way of the Spirit (Jude 1:10-19). They are bound up in laws and judgment and guilt, and they have added man's philosophy and the doctrines of demons to the Bible, and the Bible takes a back seat.

    Their doctrine is false and damning because it promises what it cannot deliver: peace with God through man's own efforts. Or has Christ died for nothing? The blood of Christ alone washes our guilty sin away, and makes us clean and holy in His sight! Glory to God!

    You can attack me, but you do so to your own hurt. You also lead others away from the Biblical truth, which is open and available in this country for everyone to read and verify for themselves, because we have freedom; and we have freedom because our Creator has given us freedom.

    The whole point of public prayer is so that people will know that this nation honors God, and give praise, honor and glory to the only one who deserves it, our God through Jesus Christ our Lord. You can expect further decline the more you exclude the living God or try to replace Him with some idol or fantasy.

    I am a disciple of my Teacher through discipline, a servant of my Master in servanthood, a son of my Father by adoption, and a subject of my King in my submission, who is Jesus Christ my Lord. Jesus has served me by taking my place in death, and I cannot deny my Lord.

    He is the One God, and He is dishonored when man and his 'wisdom' is given glory for the blessings in our nation that only come from God as you have done. To give place to any other 'god' besides Him is idolatry.

    I have been and will continue to intercede for our nation, and for you, and for our new city, not because I'm better than you, because I'm not; but because God is gracious and He has promised to hear the prayers of a humble heart before Him.

    I've spent a lot of time here, I hope it bears some good fruit among you.

    Love to you from Jesus Christ and from me, your servant,
    Jeff

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  70. to the guy quoting Baron d'Holbach:

    Respectfully disagree:

    The basic premise is fatally flawed: It's not the belief in God that causes problems, it's the belief in man-centered gods, ideas, and ideologies.

    Christianity is not man-centered in its actual form, it's Christ-centered; centered on the person of Jesus Christ and His teachings and actions revealed in the Bible, the Miraculous, historically-accurate, prophesy-filled, verifiable Word of the living God. All other world religions and philosophies are opposed to Christianity in some form or another because they are man-centered and not God-centered or Christ-centered as I said before: It cannot be rationally stated that all religions are basically the same.

    The muslims who hate serve a 'god', but it's not the God of the Bible, they say allah has no son, and that clearly contradicts the Bible and their god tells them to kill people: Theirs is the kind of 'god' that causes the things that Baron d'Holbach is blaming on his generic reference to "God". This is logically inconsistent and in fact, false. There have been many so-called Christians that have done horrific things while professing to be Christians, but without going into a lot of Biblical references, Jesus said they're not necessarily Christians.

    On the other hand, the vast majority of good and decent things in this world are the result of people who know they are accountable to a power higher than themselves. For example, we slow down on the freeway when we see a police car because we don't want to get caught speeding: we know we are accountable to our Government, our Boss, our families, friends, what have you. Thus, our sense of accountability governs our actions because we 'fear' or 'reverence' that authority enough to change what we want to do in favor of what will keep us out of trouble.

    THE SANE PERSON ONLY BREAKS THE LAW WHEN HE THINKS HE WON'T GET CAUGHT.

    Extend this to your argument: if there is no accountability to the omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent God of Creation revealed in the Bible, then what keeps people from acting any way they want when there is no one to see or stop them? The result is anarchy, which results in tyranny and dominance by the ones with the most power. We've seen this before, haven't we? We are beginning to see it now in our country in small increments, only because people no longer 'fear' or 'reverence' the God of the Bible.

    Ever watch TV Land? Andy Griffith? That was no fantasy, it really used to be you could leave your keys in your car overnight, your doors unlocked and us kids could run around the town without worries about child predators and other evil things. The fear of God, the knowledge of God, the sense of the presence of authority kept people from doing wrong things, plain and simple. The more the sense of the presence of God is removed, the more dangerous our world becomes. Instead of God as the Governor of our lives and communities, we have to have other men governing us. This has historically been the downfall of nations throughout history because men are basically selfish, depraved people. We are all self-oriented by nature of the fall from grace, and we're constantly trying to cover our guilt with pride, or distract ourselves from the knowledge of it.

    The suggestion that God should be removed is destructive and dangerous to a civilized society, and its origins are in the pit of Hell itself. Think of it this way, would you rather be accountable to a good, gracious, benevolent God who is revealed in the Bible, whose existence can be rationally and historically verified, or would you rather be accountable to a power-hungry politician whose only goal in life is to gain more power and money at any cost?

    I know God is good, and has our best interests at heart. I choose Christ.

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  71. It is interesting that the cut and paste "Christians" fumble or overlap themselves in scripture. Please, refrain from repeating or restating your same slanted point of view. How about actually discussing the situation of my sect coming to request a 5 minute pre-meeting prayer....we will be there on December 5th the holiest of days. Praise be to the council and their sanctimonious goblidagook

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  72. By the way we [Those Who May Eat Ground Squirrel Meat If they Cross Our Paths] T.W.M.E.G.S.M.I.T.C.O.P. are completly opposed to any council memeber who does not account for the normal 12 minutes that is accustomed to our normal prayer time which shall include the throwing of hazel nuts towards twenty percent of the governing body that claims to be SERIOUS or at least some what of a serious govening entity , blah, blah, blah. S.O.M.

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  73. Jeff,

    You are a blabber blogger! No you are misguided bible blabber blooger, and right on to the right on Mark. Jeff get some blog therapy!

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  74. Jeff, you have the nerve to insult other religions when you and your insane devotion is flawed. You fail to use God's greatest gift, your brain. And if you are refering to Catholicism as a fake religion, keep this in mind. When the bible refers to "Christians", they are refering to Catholicism, not your new version of Christianity. You make yourself sound like an extremesit, no differnt than the Muslims who bastardize the true meaning of faith. I can look back on my life and be proud that I followed the word of God,in action, not just words. You take the bible literally when it is meant to be interpreted, that is why God gave you a brain. Blind devotion is blind, for you don't truly understand the word. Quoting the bible means nothing. They are words, no more. Lessons to be learned, not followed like a slave. Action speaks louder than words, so when you are judgmental toward others, calling their religions false, passing judgment on those who don't believe what you believe, you have misinterpreted the true meaning of God. You lack knowledge on the Constitution, you lack knowledge on the history of your religion, so don't claim to be a spokesperson for God. You are a spokesman for your particular Christian belief, not Christianity. If you want a country controlled by religion, move to the Middle East. Leave our nation for those who understand the true meaning of faith and love, understand the meaning of our forefathers, and understand the true meaning of what it means to be a Christian.

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  75. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff,

    I too enjoy reading the bible. It is one of my favorite pieces of fiction. Maybe you should become a literature professor so you can delve into the fantastic literary qualities of a book that has captivated so much controversy and hypocritical and homophobic followers.

    How about opening the city council meetings with a variety of "scripture". Let's include the "versus" from the tales of The Divinci Code and the Harry Potter series?

    Oh, you don't like that..well if you don't want those pieces of fiction included in our city council's meetings than OUR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS SHOULDN'T involve reciting quotes from YOUR favorite piece of fiction either.

    I agree with Mark--keep the religion out of public government and we may all save ourselves a huge economic loss in the form of lawsuits that our city will not, nor should not, win.

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  76. Jeff - You go guy I'd love to meet you. You are very loving in your comments and right on. Thank God there are places we can voice our thoughts still in this contry. I grew up knowing in the last days the USA isn't going to be a force in the end times....It's becoming so clear now that we will be distroyed by ourselves.

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  77. Jeff and Linda, you both sound as though you have "issues". You are no different than some of the other doomsday cults around the world. The end of the world will come one day because we put our faith in a fictional God. A myth to make the weak feel better about death. Live your life, make good choices, and love one another, because this is it. No heaven, hell, or anything else. Just blackness. The world was around 2 million years before you were born, and it will be here after you die. Sad truth for some, enlightening moment for others.

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  78. Dear Anonymous, You know for a fact the world is 2 million years old you were there I presume. Just a thought - What if you are wrong & there really is a Hell & Heaven? Have you given that any thought? Just because you think one way dosn't make it so. I Know you're going to say same for you. I'd rather error on the safe side not the other. I have nothing to lose for my beliefs what if you do?

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  79. BLAH BLAH BLAH, enough already!! This post is getting old. No prayer at City Coucil meetings. Simple as that. Take a moment of silence if you need something. Or just get down to business. This isn't the Social Hour.

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  80. Linda, there is no safe side, just a figment of your imagination. Use your head, don't be a slave to a myth. Religion is a way to control weak people's minds and it seems to work well. At the end of the day I will live my life to the fullest and die, knowing I lived a good life. You will die and be dissapointed. So Sad.

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  81. I wish Mr. Denver would comment on his actions on this post!I wonder what he would have to say for himself after reading all of the comments...

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  82. I am glad to see a prayer given at my city council meetings. Tradition means something. Change for the sake of change? No thanks.
    Our traditions are what has made us strong. We have saved people in diverse places throughout the world because our traditions tell us that this is right and good. This truly is a great nation. It is great BECAUSE of our founding documents and values, NOT in spite of them.
    There is nothing written regarding the separation church and state except that the government may not establish our country's religion.
    I am a patriot and a Christian. These are not mutually exclusive words.
    If prefer not to have a prayer then at least allow others who do to thank our maker for our freedom.

    Thank you Jeff for your words. But, remember about throwing pearls before swine. It's a metaphor, people. I'm not calling people pigs.
    Your neighbor...

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  83. I am glad to see a prayer given at my city council meetings. Tradition means something. Change for the sake of change? No thanks.
    Our traditions are what has made us strong. We have saved people in diverse places throughout the world because our traditions tell us that this is right and good. This truly is a great nation. It is great BECAUSE of our founding documents and values, NOT in spite of them.
    There is nothing written regarding the separation church and state except that the government may not establish our country's religion.
    I am a patriot and a Christian. These are not mutually exclusive words.
    If prefer not to have a prayer then at least allow others who do to thank our maker for our freedom.

    Thank you Jeff for your words. But, remember about throwing pearls before swine. It's a metaphor, people. I'm not calling people pigs.
    Your neighbor...

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  84. I am glad to see a prayer given at my city council meetings. Tradition means something. Change for the sake of change? No thanks.
    Our traditions are what has made us strong. We have saved people in diverse places throughout the world because our traditions tell us that this is right and good. This truly is a great nation. It is great BECAUSE of our founding documents and values, NOT in spite of them.
    There is nothing written regarding the separation church and state except that the government may not establish our country's religion.
    I am a patriot and a Christian. These are not mutually exclusive words.
    If prefer not to have a prayer then at least allow others who do to thank our maker for our freedom.

    Thank you Jeff for your words. But, remember about throwing pearls before swine. It's a metaphor, people. I'm not calling people pigs.
    Your neighbor...

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  85. Mr. Denver won't post here unless he is assured a certain amount of future campaign fund money/speaking fee, typically in the amount of $1,000 or more, and preferrably by developers.


    No prayers at city council meetings, people! A moment of silence, sure - great idea! No prayers.

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  86. bark50jackie, please refrain from posting unless you actually know what you are saying. Yes the Constitution does explicitly state there should be a separation between church and state, an no the country was not based or developed on Christianity. Jefferson and quite a few of the original framers were deists. They believed in God, but believed God had no influence on our lives. Jefferson also believed that organized religions were bad and could not be trusted. He believed that organized religion prayed on the weak minded. How true he was.

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  87. Hey unknown poster who won't even give a name...kiss my grits.
    And I do know what I am talking about. And I don't think it's up to you to decide who posts here. So, once again. KMG!

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  88. Ya,bak50jackie is your real name, Whatever. You don't know what you are talking about. Most bible thumpers like to quote their version of history, so you aren't alone. You are a paranoid zealot, like Jeff, who honors a mythical figure, an object of your own imagination. You might as well pray to a head of lettuce, because it will get you the same results. Nothing. When you die, you die. Once you realize that, you can truly begin to live.

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  89. Real name JackieAugust 26, 2008 12:12 AM

    Pffffft!
    Oh. So only people with your same innane comments and limited perspective are allowed to post?
    If you're speaking of Jesus as a mythical creature, he was written about by both the Roman and Jewish historians, at the time of his life. It's common knowledge he walked the earth.
    I know exactly whereof I speak. I have been a religious (all religions)scholar for about 35 years. I might disagree with someone's tenet's but, I have no reason to tell them the facts of their belief's are false if I haven't educated myself in that regard.
    And who died and left you the decision maker for all theology?
    I'll leave you to your elementary conclusions.
    It's obvious we will never agree.
    So I guess we'll just wait and see.
    Love to have a true discussion some time if don't suddenly go all Zen and existential...

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  90. Jackie, If you are a religous scholar, it is sad. You don't pay enough attention to what is being said and you can't stay focused on the issue. As a scholar, I am sure you know that Jewish and Christian writings didn't refer to Jesus as a deity until after the time of Constantine. Why, because Jesus was a human, no more. A rebel, a political threat to Romans of his time. When Constantine needed a figure to center Christianity around, guess what, Jesus became a messiah. He died and rose from the dead, etc... It was made up. I am sure you know, as a scholar, that many writings were thrown out by Constantine and his "scholars". Which ones, oh yeah the ones that refer to Jesus as human, not as a messiah, possibly married, etc..., etc... Don't believe that just because you are Christian you are "scholarly". Religion is a joke, aused to control ther minds of the weak, such as yourself. Faith is a positive paart of life, blind faith is just flat out ignorant. Ignorance is bliss, so Jackie, I assume you are the most blissful person around.

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  91. You know what's wrong with this whole thing is if the Christians posting in this thread had been born in a Muslim country they'd be fundamentalist Muslims. But they were born and raised Christian so nothing else will do, and everyone else is dead wrong. It's this attitude that makes it impossible to fix the problems in the Middle East, to say nothing of other countries. Just because someone doesn't believe in the Christian god doesn't mean they're smaller people.

    And one more thing: I don't think it's very Christian to thump one's own chest about how great they are because they're Christian. Did Jesus not say the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

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  92. I'll amend the post I just made at 11:26 AM to say "some of the Christians" rather than refer to all of them as a group, since others have been pleasantly open-minded and I forgot to thank them.

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  93. Jesus may have walked the earth, but god did not. It is also not proven that god is the father of Jesus. His paternity is a matter of speculation brought on by those who wished to create a divine belief. It remains a mystery of how the world was created; however, science is getting closer everyday to a logical explanation along the lines of the big bang theory. Regardless of what scientists discover, there are those fanatics who will continue to belief falsities. I believe you to be among them.

    "Jackie" - nobody wants to take away your right to comment. There are just those of us who would prefer you comment in an intelligible manner. Not the "kiss your grits" manner that you write.

    My opinion is no prayer at council meetings.

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  94. Jackie,If you are a 'Religous Scholar" it is sad. You criticize, yet you don't even know, or acknowledge the history of your religion. What is more elementary in thought, believing in a childlike fairy tale that makes you feel more comfortable, or realizing that this is the one life we get and that we need to live as great a life as we can, because there is nothing after death. Religon attacks the simple minded. Those with intellect question faith, not blindly accept it.

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  95. Mr.Bill Lussenheide, the Candidate for the US Congress is sadly misinformed about the Constitution not saying that we have "freedom from relgion". We do because it is a part of religious liberty in our great country. Being religious is not the same as being patriotic. Even a non-denominational prayer be considered a religious one by others. That's why some people preferred not to have one at a city council meeting. Also, Mr. Lussenheide had said that even Presidents is sworn in on the Bible. What if we have a Jewish president, will he or she have the option of being sworn in on a Hebrew Bible? Does everything have to be Christian-oriented? Just because we live in a predominately Christian nation does not mean the the United States is a Christian nation. It is but only one of over 2000 relgions in this country. The Constitution in the Establishment Clause also protect the rights of minority religion adherents as well as non-believers. That is why I am weary of the religious right wackos insisting on forcing their religious beliefs on others. That is why we must keep speaking up for our relgious liberty for other religions and no religions even to the point of making a nuisance out of ourselves. Thank you.

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  96. Linda and Jackie, thanks for your support...

    To the rest of you who have commented since my last post, I have some things to say:

    Sorry for being a 'blabber-blogger', but these are important ideas and require some context. I will try to keep my comments shorter in the future, but don't expect 'sound-bites'.

    To Clint and Mark and anyone else that it applies to: your personal attacks show where you come from, and who you serve. God's nature is love and righteousness, not hate and bigotry.

    to the 'anonymous' post about if Christians were born in muslim countries: There are many Christians and Jews and others born in muslim countries, and they are either killed, persecuted or leave that country for fear of their lives. There is a huge difference between Christianity and Islam.

    To all who have done nothing but attack my character and call names, and make sweeping judgments about Christians in general, the Bible has this to say to you from Isaiah 5:20 -
    "Woe to those who call evil 'good', and good 'evil', who put light for darkness and darkness for light..." Basically, you've got it all backwards and it's going to cost you.

    Finally, for those who say I'm "forcing my religion on you", and I have no 'right' to speak:
    I challenge you to find out what it's like in a muslim country and see how it is living under sharia law or the taliban. On the other hand, aren't you all trying to force your atheism and political correct-ism on me? Think about it.

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  97. to anonymous of 11:36 AM:
    Those who don't have a rational argument tend to engage in character assassination, emotionalism and imaginary facts. Look back through the posts here and tell me who's who?

    On the contrary, I have given all glory to God for who and what I am in Christ. In and of myself, I'm as much hell-fodder as Satan himself, and I was actually a pretty 'good person' by the world's standards. But God saved me from destruction because He loved me, and because I took His offer of life through the death of His Son, Jesus, and He offers the same deal for everyone, but many seem to be unwilling to give Him the opportunity.

    By the way, I wasn't raised a Christian, I used to think like you, except I didn't have any Christians around to challenge my 'salad-bar' belief system, but even in that God had a purpose.

    As far as the Middle East, I lived there for 18 months, and based on your comment, you have no idea what's going on there, probably because you get your news from the Mainstream press. You should consider ALL sides of the argument before you decide to take sides and place blame. The fact is that muslims have been the scourge of the earth over there because of their hatred for Jews, Christians and anyone not like themselves for thousands of years, yet they make themselves out as the victims. It's sickening to even think about.

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  98. eve,

    nice straw man, AWESOME how you knocked it down! A job well done. I can tell you read a lot of fiction. Refer to my previous comments, and thanks for your input.

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  99. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  100. No name calling, and no personal attacks please.

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  101. All I have to say to these comments is AMEN!

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  102. So calling Jeff out on his ignorance is not OK, but Jeff spouting racism on this blog is ok.
    Shows the opinion of some of the "administrators" running this blog.

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  103. I guess my previous post was too harsh for some, truth hurts sometimes, huh> Let me restate my opinion on Jeff's recent posts. He did all of us a favor by finally, stating his true self. Islam is a scourge. Racism isn't acceptable, even by so-called "christians". I would have hoped that more real christians would have commented on his ignorant statements. Show us all what true christians are. I know your out there. You just need to speak up. Christianity isn't getting a bad rep based on spiritual beliefs, but on the hate that "christians" like Jeff spout off with. As an individual who spent 10 years,off and on, living in the Middle East with my family, I can tell you that the hatred toward Christians and Jews does exist, but not in the way that Jeff claims to know. There are racists in America and there are racists in the Middle East. Our neighbors knew we were Christian, and never once did they show us any hatred or violent acts. I learned more from my ten years there, than I ever could have by reading history books, et al... Jeff, on judgement day, God will want to know how you could use his love as a justification for hatred. I wonder if you will be able to quote bible verses to him and fool him. Probably not. No one is attacking your character. You did that yourself. You have more to worry about than anyone on this blog.

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  104. I am always amazed to find that there are people who are so self-absorbed, and arrogant, that they feel the need tell other adults what to think, what to say, and how and when to speak. Don't lecture me. I thought a blog was a free exchange of idea's.
    If someone disagree's with me then we exchange our thoughts. Adults can agree to disagree, agreeably. But, unless you have the key to all knowledge of the universe, and beyond. Don't tell me what to think. And if KMG bothers you. Oh well......

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  105. "I am always amazed to find that there are people who are so self-absorbed, and arrogant, that they feel the need tell other adults what to think, what to say, and how and when to speak."

    I didn't want to spark a general debate about religion, but rather having prayers lead by a city councilman at a city council meeting.

    The city council offers each citizen three minutes to address them on such matters. Just go to a city council meeting, and fill out a public comment card and tell them if you support it, or wish them to stop.

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  106. Steve,
    I understood your origina; intent. I felt the need to opine.

    I wasn't referring to the city council members as unwilling to listen. I was referring to the people here who seem more intent on setting someone straight than dealing with opposing thoughts.
    Actually, having worked with city councils, I am already familiar with speaking to them at a meeting, or by writing to them, which I have already done.
    Why would assume a poster would not know this?

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  107. The Menifee School Board opens with prayer at each meeting. Just FYI

    How interesting it was to read all of these posts. I think we had some ministers who were posting. That is good too.

    I remember in the bible somewhere it talks about how Paul the Apostle used to go down to the city streets daily and "argue" or "debate" with those of his day concerning Jesus; and who He was, and what He was all about. It think the bible says "some believed and some did not". I am convinced that it will be thus until the end of time.

    I believe that the Name of Jesus, or reference to the God of the Bible will always strike debate, and argument.

    That is not bad. Because it causes all of us to stop and think, whether while we are sitting at our keybords reading and typing, or later on when we are out for a drive or walk.

    If we are Christians are we acting in a manner that distinguishes us from others by our righteous behavior, and our love for all men, and especially other Christians? Or are we hiding behind the name of Christ while we continue to live selfishly, and critical of our fellow created beings?

    If we are Non Christians are we so adament (hard headed) abour our Non Christian beliefs that we have made ourselves "unpersuadable"?

    I have heard it said that God loves an "honest doubter" and will continually reach out to try to persuade such a one.

    History shows that the greatest growth in Christianity seems to come not in times of prosperity, but in times of persecution.

    It is really about each person expressing freely what they believe.

    I am grateful that we live in a country where we can express our differing beliefs without being thrown in jail for it.

    I say, "let the debate continue" because out of it will come growth in all of us who are not so numb to those around us that we forget that God loves THE WORLD; and if you are a Christian, then you know and believe that Christ died for YOU while you were yet a sinner. It was not that you decided to be a good person, and looked for a savior.

    So I will let God be God, and pray that the quality of my life will attract others to my words, and their offer of life.

    Because if that is not the case, I doubt my words are going to attract ANY to my quality life.

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  108. quote: "If we are Non Christians are we so adament (hard headed) abour our Non Christian beliefs that we have made ourselves "unpersuadable"?"

    I can easily turn this around to say, "If we are Christians, are we so adamant (hard-headed) about our Christian beliefs that we have made ourselves unpersuadable?"

    your quote: "It is really about each person expressing freely what they believe."

    EXACTLY! Tell your friends, your family, your neighbors...in church even! But PLEASE be respectful of THEIR TIME. Don't do it in a public government meeting where you have a captive audience to debate public community issues - NOT RELIGION. That is not the appropriate place.

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  109. Wow - wears me out just trying to scan all these comments! We neglect to admit that God is big enough to take care of himself; that's why He was wise enough to give man a choice! I just hope some of these doubters are not foolish enough to tell God to prove himself to them if He's real; He may just do that and you may pay a price for it. Mr. Denver, PLEASE don't jump in here and respond; they're just waiting to pound you. Thank you for offering prayer at the meetings; divine help is worth all the 'guff' you get. Keep your cool, you're respected for it.

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  110. Just leave it alone. all the opinions, and people trying to change things are the same ones causing all the drama..who approves these small groups of idiots to change the pledge anyways? give me a break..

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  111. Mr. Denver should say his prayers before he gets on the microphone. I agree with what Rich had to say regarding the first amendment and separation of church and state. All of you bible thumpers out there should take a second and step outside of your frame of reference, and consider the thoughts and feelings of others out there who don't share your beliefs. How would you feel if a Muslim or Buddhist prayer was spoken at each meeting? It's best to just leave prayer out altogether and stick to business.

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  112. Pray on John! But if you end up getting beat down on this one, maybe there could just be 60 seconds of silence prior to the start of the meeting. This would allow people to pray, not pray, close their eyes, leave their eyes open, prepare for the meeting, reflect on their day, thank themselves for the last breath they gave themself, chill out, or twiddle thumbs. Heaven forbid you pray, or Hell forbid it. Can I even say pray?

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  113. God created us, God blessed America that you currently live in. Have a little respect for your creator, you might learn something. For those who have foresaken God, that's your trouble in life. Keep up the fine example John.

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  114. Hey, got real busy and had to take a break.

    My hope is that as people read this whole thing they think about what constitutes 'racism', 'bigotry', 'intolerance' and 'truth'. See who's calling names, who's making personal attacks and who is simply stating their opinion.

    My main reason for commenting here is to counter and answer the anti-prayer people who think it's an abomination to pray in a city council meeting because they only know the public school version of our nation's history, our founding fathers, founding documents, or the circumstances surrounding our nation's founding. I can only assume that's because they are either willingly ignorant or they are content or have been constrained to believe in the nobility of neutrality and the so-called 'separation of church and state'.

    While an individual has a right to believe anything he/she wants, there are consequence both good and bad for taking a stand for what you believe. The nobility lies not in taking a stand, but in the value of the thing for which you stand. If one takes a stand and suffers for a lie, or if one is victorious in the defeat of the truth, that person is ultimately a loser. The truth will ultimately win, it's what is meant by the idea of 'justice'.

    If my opinion offends you, I'm sorry, but one's opinion is based on facts and on the experiences and information (whether true or false) available to them. My desire is to share what I know, and think I know, so that others can have the same information and make their own decisions, but to be honest, we all must also subject ourselves to facts we don't know, other people's experiences and knowledge, and verify that what we are being told is in fact true.

    I find that most of the time, people react with hatred, anger, name-calling, general dis-respect and ridicule because they are intellectually dishonest, or they feel they have something to lose.

    I can honestly say that no one who does these things has ever changed my mind about what I believe. Maybe you've had the same experience?

    If you read the Bible, you will see this reaction to truth is nothing new. Our (Christians') job as God's ambassadors is to endure this hatred and still love the one who is dishing it out.

    Political Correctness has destroyed conversation and debate by assigning certain words and ideas a value without context and without veracity. It replaces details with slogans, context with generalizations, and truth with assumptions. That's why I say it's a disease. It is destroying our country and our world.

    If any of you are interested, you can see where this disease comes from by googling the book, Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals". It's been the textbook for mostly leftist politics and entertainment for at least 30 years, and it is the main source of political correctness.

    I hope some of you will see I'm not a hater or a racist, but simply a plain speaker of the truth that political correctness will not want you to hear.

    If you feel compelled to reply I hope you will do so respectfully, as I have always endeavors to do, and leave your accusations of hate and racism at the door. It makes one look ignorant, except to the ignorant.

    You can email me directly if you'd like.

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  115. Jeff's comments are entertaining as a review of the posts will reveal that Jeff has been the most close-minded and judgmental poster of all. No one has made personal attacks that were not responses to Jeff's comments. To all people, Jeff is not representative of Christianity. As a Christian, I have adhered to the Word, but I also have a grasp of history, not the revisionist history of Jeff, but the true history of our nation. Christians can think and not all of us are judgmental and ignorant. The fact of the matrter is that a moment of silence is appropriate where all members of the Council and audience can pray to their God, or just reflect. It is easy for Jeff to claim the victim card and to claim that he knows the truth, but you can also find individuals that adhere to different sects of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc... who will claim that they have the truth and the way. Religion and Christianity has been bastardized by the misleading and judgmental beliefs of those who do not speak for the majority. Have faith, but faith is a personal issue and is not appropriate for any political setting.

    "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear."
    Thomas Jefferson

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  116. Grant and all: I challenge you to examine the Bible and nothing else to discern true Christianity and the true purpose of a Christian in this life. I give you 1 John 2:5 as a starting point. If you don't feel you can do this, I feel you have no basis for questioning my faith or telling anyone else what Christianity is. Your faith and my faith mean nothing if it is not "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." Jude 1:3

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  117. Jeff, if all you can quote are bible references, then you truly lack knowledge. If you don't understand the historical facts about Christianity, then you don't truly understand Christianity. Cry all you want, but you are blinded by religion, not uplifted by it. To truly understand, you have to accept the bible for what it is, and learn about the true factual origins of Christianity. Until you do, you have faith, but your faith is blind.

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  118. I'm sorry, Grant...

    Did you look up the verse?

    Christianity is not history, Grant. Christianity is a belief system that is defined solely on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ in the Bible, not on the history of the Christian Church. If there is a problem blamed on Christianity in history, it is not the fault of Christianity, it is the fault of men falsely claiming Christianity. Men who practice evil know nothing of Christianity or Christ.

    Furthermore, the ability of an individual to follow a given belief system is not the basis on which we judge the belief system. I see today that people bristle when Islam is defined by the actions of terrorists, yet Christianity is routinely defined by the actions of corrupt and biblically ignorant preachers on TV. That is a double-standard, to say the least.

    Most people willingly accept the stereotype because they don't even know any real Christians.

    Jesus himself said that we would be known by our Love for one another. So the mark of a true Christian is love. One can call himself a hamburger and hang out at Red Robin, but it doesn't make him a hamburger. So it lacks veracity to call ourselves Christians and live apart from Jesus' teachings, regardless of what history says.

    Since Christianity is based on the person and work of Jesus Christ, revealed in the Bible, I think Jesus should be the standard for what is Christian or not and CONTEXT is the main rule of Biblical interpretation, otherwise, it lacks veracity.

    I'm sorry you think I'm 'closed-minded' and 'judgmental' but again, my purpose here is to be my Lord's ambassador, and act on His behalf as He leads. If you don't think I'm doing a good job representing Him, I'm truly sorry. I love and fear God, so I would never knowingly misrepresent Him, but I think the problem is that most people have a distorted view of what love is.

    Perhaps you think I'm closed-minded because I have strong opinions? Yes, I've been convinced by years of life experience, biblical study and trials that what the Bible says is true, and that my faith true. So I love by sharing truth.

    Maybe you think I'm judgmental because I discriminate between what I consider to be truth and lies, fact and fiction, but judging something to be true or false has become a casualty of political correct, moral-relativism. I base my beliefs on the Bible, which has yet to be proved wrong in any of its history, teachings, doctrines or prophesies, so I have confidence in what it says. It has been the cornerstone and moral standard by which good and evil have been judged in Western Civilization for 2,000 years, and things go bad when the Bible is ignored or taken out of context. Our present situation is a case in point.

    As far as love, I believe we all will go to hell without forgiveness of our sin, and for me to neglect to share this fact with people for fear of rejection or reprisals would be self-centered and un-loving.

    I don't want people to go to hell. I hope you'll understand.

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  119. Jeff, you hhave the right to believe in any myth that you want to. The bible is part history book, part fiction. Whatever sect of Christianity apparently doesn't understand the history of its own religion. Understanding the history leads a follower to true faith. You can't save anyone from hell, only that individual can. We can pray, but the individual must see the light. You don't earn points in heaven by quoting bible verses, and following only the good aspects of Christianity. Christianity is a beautiful religion, but it's history is marred by fanatical actions of individuals who thought like you do. That by "spreading" Christianity, the would please God. Unfortunately, history shows that fanatics of every religion, can distort and destroy true meaning and faith. Live your life Jeff, and let others live their lives. In the end, we will be judged on the love and faith in our hearts and actions. Quoting bible verses is not an "act" of faith and love. Treating your fellow man with respect and loving them without judgement is.

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  120. I went to the 1st city coucil meeting. I was hoping for a meeting of the minds to work though the rough road to cityhood. Guess You could say I took Michelle's advice "if you don't like it leave" After the prayer I left. I'll come back when Sunday school is over!

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  121. I do not believe that prayer has a place at the City Council meetings. I am personally offended when one's believes are pushed onto me. I come to the meetings to be a part of the City and be involved with its actions. When John goes into prayer I want to get up and walk out.

    I personally wish that they would stick to the business.

    I know its beyond believe for some to think that others do not believe in God. It is true. Deal with it, and don't try and change my mind. Keep it in the church. Do they talk about City Council business in Church? Nope...

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  122. The United States Constitution reads:

    Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

    Note Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Did you get through this fully? Has it changed then prove it.

    Have a blessed day!

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  123. It is funny how anonymous tries to insult others while they, themselves have a lack of knowledge about the First Amendment. The purpose of the First Amendment was a lesson in duality. It was to keep government out of religion, and TO KEEP RELIGION OUT OF GOVERNMENT. Alone, government and religion do enough damage to our world. Together, they are certain death. Jefferson believed that organized religion was on par with voodoo, and that a relationship with God was needed, but highly personal. Keep your religion out of all of our government. Religion is personal choice, government is public domain.

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  124. Anon (above):

    I agree with you on the duality. I'll expand further to say that the 1st Amendment applies to all Americans, all the time, in every place in this country. Meaning, a court judge is free to express their religion in a courthouse, on the job, as long as it is his/her personal expression, and not a sanction of the government.

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  125. The 1st Amendment Reads just as it says... and where is the insult here?

    In other words, Freedom to speak what you wish as your own expression.

    Talk about issues, sounds like you have many!

    May God Bless YOU!

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  126. It is funny how some of you ignore 200 years of Supreme Court decisions to twist the First Amendment into what you want it to be. While our forefathers agreed that Faith was needed, they also believed in the importance of keeping God from the Government and keeping God out of Government. It doesn't matter whether it is a personal choice and not a government endorsement. The Courts have been extremely clear as to their belief that NO jurist should promote religion in a court setting, and no government official should promote any religion, Christian or otherwise. The First Amendment is one of the single greatest beliefs in our country's doctrine. Don't mutate and twist the meaning into something it isn't. The purpose was to protect churches fro the tyranny of the government and to protect the government from the tyranny and idiocy of religion.

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  127. For ALL of those who feel that a prayer should not be part of government. PLEASE NOTE, The prayer or invocation Has BEEN typed on many Cities agendas for years

    BEFORE a city meeting has come to order a prayer or invocation is spoken AND YES... many Cities have had this on their agendas for years. Research your data before throwing the first stone!

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  128. KEEP THE PRAYER!!!! There is nothing wrong mixing prayer and government, that is what our forfathers did!

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  129. If you think that our forefathers mixed religion/prayer with politics, then you truly have no clue about our nations political history.

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  130. God wants us to pray and ask for guidance, protection, wisdom, and a whole lot of other virtues that He values in us, both as individuals and as a nation. If you aren't praying, you're missing God's best for you, and if we don't honor God in the public arena, He will not honor us with His presence as a nation, and our nation will devolve just as the Roman empire did, as it rotted from the inside out, and became vulnerable to external attack. Just look at what's happening today! The evidence is all around us!

    There is only one Creator, and He loves all of His creation very much. He hates all evil, and will destroy evil in the end because He is good. There is no rational reason to hate God, but many people are irrational.

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  131. Irrational thought is what keeps organized religion alive. The reason the world is going to hell ina handbasket is not due to a lack of God in our lives, it's due to those who look for "God" to make change rather than stepping up and standing up for what is best in society.Faith and God is beautiful, but it belongs in one's own personal life, not in the public life of our politics.

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  132. But, Please don't take anything else away from our freedoms.Don't tell us what we an and can't do in public.We ALL need to be respectful of each other's beliefs and non-beliefs.

    By Anonymous, at August 15, 2008 11:55 AM

    but isn't it the Christians that want to take the homosexuals freedoms away? a little hypocritical dont you think? and dont get me wrong as far as this whole prayer thing is I dont like it at all but do what you will but doing it before the Pledge is wrong shouldn't the pledge be put before anything.

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  133. Gee craziness in these comments! Prayer is to ask for HELP not preach beliefs. May Heaven (or whom ever you please) help our community strive together to create the best environment for our families and ourselves to grow in peace, consideration, happiness. There I just said a prayer.

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  134. How sad it is that a simple prayer can raise such controversy! If they were requiring all attendees to tithe, or read a scripture or something, sure that would not be appropriate. But simply asking a higher being for guidance - if ANYONE attending those meetings think they have all the power it takes to do anything, they need to get real. Why don't some of you use all that energy you're wasting on complaining about your "rights and freedoms" and complaining about what others are doing that's "not fair" and do something positive for a change - something that will really make a difference in our community.

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  135. Yes... the eternal spiritual battle between good and evil continues!

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  136. Funny how a bunch of Muslims just won a recent lawsuit against a business/place of employment (I wish I could remember where I found the article)so that they can protect their religious rights and be entitled to prayer breaks to pray to their "god" and nobody is up in arms about that. A Christian man says one little prayer and it sets off sparks.... looks like tolerance is selective and one-sided. I say keep on praying- we need all the prayers we can get!

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  137. I happen to be an active community member in the menifee area and also a very busy member of a local church. However, I find it highly offensive that a "god" is mentioned within the confines of a political meeting place. You all continue to dwell upon the myth that the founding fathers were christian, however the framers of the US constitution were actually deists, admitting that "a god" may exist, however denying his specific place in governmental conduct. I find it greatly anti-american that such a practice is condoned by my neighborhood council,and a direct infringement upon citizens constitutional right to worship, or more importantly for some, to not worship.

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  138. Lets quote Thomas Paine, for this one. Someone who is practically sainted by any high school US history teacher as being a key component to the American Revolution: "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of...Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all."

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  139. I personally think we should keep prayer out of the meetings. Seeing that we witnessed enough nonsense from the "churches" on the corners of the streets during the "yes" on prop 8 dilemma.

    NOOOO THANKS!

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  140. R U kidding me? With all the violence, corrupt mania, deliquent kids, you would think that prayer would be a welcome refreshing idea. GOD BLESS the council members for doing what many should be doing on a daily basis. If you don't like it, there are plenty of other cities to live in.

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  141. I have been reading some of the posts here and I find it ironic that some accuse the "Bible thumpers" of "trying to force their beleifs". I think it's more like trying to uphold what our country was built on, prayer, belief in a Sovreign
    Im tired of people criticizing christians when they fight for what they believe, stating that "it's not Christ like".
    Just look at the news to see what happened to the Mormom Churches and many others when yes was voted on Prop. 8. PLEASEEEEEEEEEEe.... we don't need to think about fighting for what this country initially believed, we need to step it up.

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  142. For the person who said that people were standing on street corners for yes on prop on 8. I guess in your mind it was ok for the no on prop 8 people to stand on every street corner available and toot their horn. Are the opposing views supposed to stay silent during this "dilemna"? Was it was also ok that they trashed the Mormom Churches when they lost?
    It's astounding (and sad) to me how one little prayer before a council meeting could produce such anomosity. I wish we could go back to a simpler time when prayer was in the schools, and the worst things teachers had to deal with was chewing gum in class. Look how far we've come as a nation. SO SAD !!!!

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  143. the battle over Prop 8 did expose was the amount of moronic, non-rational, members of our society still exist. Now we should not condone violence against any church, but what did youy people expect. That you could discriminate and take away basic rights from people and they would stand there and take it? Give me a break. The fact is religion and politics are supposed to be seperate for a reason, and this is a prime example. If Christians, Mormons, etc... want to continue to be politically active, then all tax breaks given to those institutions should end. There is no excuse whatsoever, for allowing churches to reap the benefits of tax breaks if they continue to force their beliefs onto our nation's political system. There is more to fear from the Christian agenda, than the mythical Gay agenda. Go to church, worship God, and let the rest of society to believe what they want to believe. If we continue down our present path, we will be a Christian verison of Iran soon.

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  144. ^amen,
    our country was not built on christianity
    anyone who thinks otherwise is not wise.

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  145. a unanimous vote of the entire city to let out city officials to pray before every meeting should decide that.
    i mean they are representing the whole city, not just the christians.
    i for one would vote no!

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  146. i feel utterly offended that time should be set aside for prayer before our city meetings. lets remember that these are OUR city meetings, not a place for a handful of people to hold discussion, but something that we should hold sacred as a community safe zone for expressing and discussing issues of said community. Endorsing a prayer at such a meeting directly alienates a large demographic of our neighborhood! No Thanks.

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  147. So, a UNANIMOUS vote is now required to establish a law or policy? I guess that means one or the other side is going to have to take over the country and force their will upon the rest of us?

    That's what the liberal fascists are hoping for. A society where conservative opposition is silenced, discredited and demonized and the 'favored ones' are given a pass no matter how grievous their crimes are.

    America is dying, and you don't even recognize it because you don't know what America was in the first place. They don't teach you that in school anymore.

    Prop 8 is not about taking away anyone's rights. If you believe that, it just proves you've been properly programmed by your masters.

    If there's no God, the sins Hitler, Stalin, Osama bin Laden and the rest of the monsters go unpunished. Death is brief, but the judgment of God lasts forever. The fate of good people is the same as that of bad people. There is no justice without God.

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  148. A unanimous vote? How about a majority vote? I'd say prayer would win. Just like Prop 8. REGARDLESS of who believes what - we voted. Prop 8 lost. Period. It had its chance and a MAJORITY chose to uphold marriage between a man and a woman. So - you want to vote on prayer??? I say BRING IT ON. In a time where prople are poor, sad, lonley, anxious, afraid and unsure....I'd say there are a lot of people on their knees because they see what we should all be seeing. We need prayer.

    So - for those of you who choose to not believe in God - just think about it for a second. What if there is no God as you say - wouldnt you be better off thinking and living as if there were,rather then taking the chance that you just might be wrong???

    I have been so pleased since moving to Menifee. I have seen prayer at softball and soccer games and opening ceremonies for my children, school board meetings and city council meetings. I feel good about living here. It means people here just might be a little more loving, kind and compassionate. Try it. You just might like it.

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  149. Jeff, you are right. America is detroying itself and adherence to what Thomas Jefferson reffered to as the Christian "superstition" is the leading cause of it. You call the left fascists, yet you are a member of one of the leading fascists organizations in America. As Thomas Paine said, "Institutionalized religion, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, are no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." As for following our programmers, you are the only one who seems to follow programming. If you were a true individual, you would see that God's intention was for every human being to love one another. It is God's place to Judge, not yours. Jesus would and probably is embarrassed by idealouges who claim to "love" God and adhere to his teachings, when in fact you are raping his true intentions. It isn't about giving a pass to "sinners", it is about following the Teachings of Christ. We continue to love the sinner, and we let God determine the sinners judgement. As for Anonymous, we don't need a unanimous vote about prayer. As long as any "prayer" doesn't endorse any religion, or prohibit any religion, it is considered legal. Improper in political forums of elected individuals, but as long as the very strict guidelines are adhered to, "prayer" is legal. As for Prop 8, the constitution already protects the rights of gays and other minorities. The California courts gave us the opportunity to do right, and we screwed up, so it is back into the hands of the courts. I am sure that since your main argument was that marriage should be defined as man and woman, you would have no problem allowing gays to have Civil Unions with no restrictions from coast to coast. If you still don't like that idead, then face the facts, you have an issue with homosexuality, not gay marriage. I agree with you though, Menifee is a bueatiful place. We just need to keep hatred and religious fundamentalism out of our community, so it stay beautiful for all members of our community.

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  150. Is prayer hurting anyone? Prayer is a bond between you and God and gives us hope in a world that needs all it can get today. It is a bond our city needs.
    If you don't believe in God, then don't take part in our prayer.

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  151. If you believe in God, leave it at home and at church, where it belongs. Public meetings are for business, not prayers.

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  152. Grant, as much as you'd like me to be one, I'm not a 'fascist'. God gives everyone a choice in what they want to believe and do in their lives, and I do also. What I oppose is when real fascists tell me I can't say something or oppose something simply because they don't agree with it. Maybe it's the definition of fascism you don't understand. You should go look it up before you make ignorant comments about me, what kind of person I am, or what kind of people I associate with.

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  153. Jeff,

    Read before you comment. It isn't hard. Calling your organization fascist isn't hard and if it offends you so what. You and your fellow believers criticize, insult, and show intolerance toward anyone who doesn't bel;iev in your personal mythology, but we are suppossed to treat you with respect. Give me a break. Stop being a baby. You religion is your religion. It isn't the word, God doesn't speak through you or your book. It is a man made religion made to control the weak of mind. I do know your kind. I don't use my words lightly. You and your kind are fascists, are intolerant, are homophobes. You can blame the bible all you want, but you are what you are. My words were chosen wisely and they are on the mark. Write back with your bible quotes, and your prayer, but God isn't about religion, it is about the way you act and treat others. As long as you belong to a homophobic, fascist organization, you won't won't truly understand God. I have been where you are, I have learned and I had the strength to discover God on my own. I don't need organized religion to shape my faith. The bible is fake, religion is fake, but God is real, you will never truly understand unless you move away from your organized fluff.

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  154. Believers need to keep their faith in church and in their private lives. The US Constitution is a secular document, and government would be well advised to stay clear of sectarian practices.

    Open your eyes and Look at the outside world, and the Failure of Religious Governments. We are currently at War with them. They have been at War with each other for centuries. Remember the Christian Crusades? Probably not, but those who ignore history, are destined to repeat it.

    Religious atrocities are everywhere -all in the name of their god. It's all about power and control over other human beings, and it is discusting to me.

    This country cannot afford to be lead by, or into religious doctrine, control and continued proselytizing.

    Keep your religious beliefs and practices out of government.

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  155. Religion is for the weak-minded. Any one that believes the non-sensical mess of the bible which was written by man during the bronze age has no business in public office. He is free to pray at home but keep it there. Really? Virgin birth? Jonah being swallowed by a big fish? Come on people! It's the twentieth century. Go to college get a clue! Stop acting like lemmings and looking for a cause to your woes. Take ownership of you life and stop hiding behind god.

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  156. Watch out Inlanders Bill Lussenheide candidate for congress ca-45 is a religious zealot. Wishes to enact all kinds of radical ideals unto our community. He does not believe in public schools (his kid homeschooled) he believes in setting up some type of utopian world. (Personally I heard him speak and he sounds unstable) just getting the word out. I am voting for mary Bono mack..she may not be perfect but she beats the heck out of the rest.

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