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Salisbury church buys billboards to back prayer at Rowan meetings

By Michelle Boudin
WCNC-TV

A Salisbury church is getting ready to show support for Rowan County commissioners who are facing a legal battle because they pray before county meetings.

The church is buying 40 billboards that will go up throughout Rowan backing the board.

The signs will be “yellow, red and blue because we want it to be in your says,” says Pastor Bill Godair of Cornerstone Church.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Rowan County commissioners, saying the meeting prayers violate the First and Fourteenth amendments. The suit was filed on behalf of three Rowan residents.

But Godair said he feels “the constitution gives us freedom of religion not freedom from religion.”

The pastor said he tried to give the commissioners $10,000 in church money to fight the ACLU suite. But when he found how the donation would be against the rules, he decided to use the church money to buy billboards – 40 of them.

“I just don’t think we should be against other people praying to the god they want to pray to.”

And he’s hoping the billboards will make sure his message is heard.

“I would hope and pray it would generate enough publicity that we could just remain the land of the free for everybody."

Reached for comment, ACLU spokesman Mike Meno said in a statement that “by refusing to obey the law and insisting on opening meetings with prayers that are specific to only one religion, the Rowan County Commissioners have created an environment where citizens of different beliefs are made to feel alienated.”

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