Peter Martin is championing a woman suing to enforce the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the California Constitution against what she says is the active government promotion of religion.

The Times Standard coverage.

According to Martin, Jager testified that city staff drafted a proclamation and prepared a letter promoting the 2012 prayer breakfast.

”These two documents were prepared by city staff during working hours,” Martin said. “He may not feel that is inappropriate, but I think we will leave that up to a court to decide.”

Jager confirmed Friday that he had asked Deputy City Clerk Suzanne Ziemer to type up a letter promoting the breakfast, but said he doesn’t see that as a misuse of city time.

”It maybe took her two minutes to type up,” he said. “I mean God Almighty, we are really splitting hairs here.”

As a matter of law, I’m not certain that the time is relevant, only that public resources were used to promote a religion.  It comes down to the details of the prayer breakfast.  Public prayers have been upheld at the Federal level, but Peter Martin is arguing that California law is tougher.

The complaint cites a Hindu prayer delivered last summer as in violation.  Is the City of Eureka really promoting Hinduism?  In the movie Slackers it was suggested that the cartoon Smurfs was part of a plot acclimating us all to blue people – so we can deal with the return of Govinda.

Hmmmm.

 

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