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North Carolina city council replaces prayer before meeting

September 19, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city council has temporarily ended the practice of opening its meetings with a prayer.

Local media sources report Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts told the audience at Monday’s meeting of the City Council that they had been talking with attorneys to discuss several court cases and the separation of church and state.

Instead of a prayer, the council recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this summer that Rowan County commissioners couldn’t open meetings with sectarian prayers from just one faith. After that, Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann has reviewed the case and Roberts has questioned whether the prayers should continue.

Hagemann said he didn’t tell the council that the practice was unconstitutional and didn’t advise that the prayers should be stopped.

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