Bideford Council in the lovely rural county of Devon, England, always opened meetings with a prayer - and that stuck in the craw of an atheistic councillor. He complained to the National Secular Society - and they won a High Court judgement saying the prayers were unlawful. Now the Conservatives in government have smacked down the judgement by giving local councils the power to carry on praying.
Bideford (pronounced Bidd-eh-furd) Council is still opening with prayer - but the legal battles rage on as secularists continue their fight. They claim that the praying was 'a breach of human rights.'
Bideford Mayor Trevor Johns is reported as saying that until he has a writ or a document with the Queen's seal on it, he will not ban anything. He said he wanted the prayers to continue, and it would be disrespectful of people to wait outside or leave the room during prayers.
The Christian Institute, which provides help for cases in which Christianity is threatened, is supporting the council. Without their help, the council might not have had the muscle to fight their case, because of the high costs involved.
The government's Community Secretary, Mr Eric Pickles, has signed an order giving local councils sweeping powers in what he claims is a blow against political correctness.
The fight continues ... there is a lot of political correctness out there. What a disgrace that a free country should have to fight expensive legal battles just to reinstate common sense values.
Read more about the Bideford battle on The Christian Institute website link below: