Despite the threats from an atheist group, the Memphis City
Council intends to continue opening its meetings with prayer.
The council members refused to be intimidated in 2009 when the
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a threatening letter
against the practice. Now, one of FFRF's attorneys has announced
plans to sue. Attorney Allan Wade is representing Memphis.
"We don't promote any particular denomination, religion or
irreligion," he asserts. "We have rabbis, we have bishops, we have
prominent citizens provide an invocation. Sometimes it's
prayer-based; sometimes it's not."
Wade says the practice is completely within legal boundaries, so
it is one that the City Council will continue.
"In fact, I think invocations are used in Congress and have been
used in Congress since Congress began, and I think the Supreme
Court has allowed that to continue," the attorney notes. "We're
confident that the law will allow us to continue what we're
FFRF contends that Memphis is favoring religion, but Wade
suggests the city will not be intimidated into favoring
"irreligion." He believes the Tennessee municipality has remained
balanced, which is all the law requires.
This is one of the latest threats of legal action from