Freethought Student Group at Virginia Tech Opposes Roanoke Board of Supervisors’ Prayer

Freethinkers at Virginia Tech (Free@VT), a group devoted to the separation of church and state, is stating its support for removing sectarian prayer from meetings of the Roanoke Board of Supervisors (Board). This statement comes after legal staff from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors on the part of an anonymous, local complainant.

The Board holds sectarian, Christian prayers officiated by local clergy prior to their meetings. Government endorsement of sectarian prayer has been deemed unlawful due to Federal court precedent as well as the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Due to its support of the separation of church and state, Free@VT is now stating their approval of the removal of the prayer. Free@VT is not against Board members holding or expressing religious views, nor are they opposed to religious leaders meeting with the Board to express the opinions of those clergy. Free@VT only requests that government officials do not endorse religious points of view in their capacity as government officials. It is the position of Free@VT that government officials should be in compliance with the law as it is presently interpreted by Federal courts.

“Government officials are free to be religious,” Beth Mutchler, Free@VT member stated. “They are free to pray on their own free time. Public meetings are not their own free time.”
For more information:
E-mail Dan Linford at dlinford@vt.edu
Free@VT Website: http://www.freeatvt.org/
Dan is available for interviews.

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