User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


46° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Politics

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

City Rejects Second Request To End Prayers

February 19, 2013, 6:16 PM by Derek Olson

City Rejects Second Request To End Prayers
RAPID CITY, SD -

The push to end prayers before Rapid City City council meetings continues. A group wanting the change sent a second letter to the city. It's the latest development of a controversy that could end up being settled in court.

Many supporters of continuing the prayers see the request as an attack on religious beliefs.  But those who oppose the prayer say it infringes on their rights to not have religion imposed on them by government.

City council meetings in Rapid City open with a prayer.  Despite two requests to stop from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the city has no plans to stop praying.

"The stakes are high because if they succeed in taking prayer out of our council meetings, then what happens to the state legislature?  What happens to the city of Sioux Falls?  What happens to all the other communities that have been doing prayer for decades?" Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker said.

The second request came after a handful of complaints about the city's response to the first letter, which includes the drafting of an ordinance to make prayers official city policy.  The mayor is a vocal supporter of the prayer.  He says the city is ready to defend itself in court.

"We've had several offers of pro bono support in case this ends up in court, and we would accept that support," Kooiker said.

While the community is predominately Christian, not everybody feels that the prayers should continue.

"That it's been going on for a long time doesn't have any bearing to whether or not it's right or wrong, but the longer that it does go on, the harder it's going to be to have a discussion on whether it's right or wrong," Rapid City engineering student Cole Bedford said.

As an atheist, Bedford says he's tolerant of other people's religious beliefs in most settings, but not as official city business.

"I think there are plenty of arenas where people can do that, but to do it at city council meetings where everyone is brought together just by being community members, to divide people along religious lines is pretty inappropriate," Bedford said.

An attorney from the Freedom From Religion Foundation said the only way for the city to avoid court is to stop the prayers.

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View politics

You may also like

SD Dems Want To Know Why Joop Bollen Wasn't Fired

9/18/2014 5:57 PM

Former South Dakota EB-5 administrator Joop Bollen was filing legal documents on behalf of the state when he wasn't supposed to.

Full Story | Watch
Sioux Falls Leaders Learn From ND Boom Town

9/17/2014 5:07 PM

Williston is now working with the state to create a new sales tax that would be split between the city and county.

Full Story | Watch
Committee To Read Rounds, Daugaard Answers On EB-5

9/19/2014 12:54 PM

A legislative committee resumes its probe of the state's involvement in the federal EB-5 investment program next week.

Full Story
DOT: Election Signs Are Banned From Right Of Way

9/16/2014 7:23 PM

The South Dakota Department of Transportation is reminding the public that political campaign and ballot-issue signs can't be placed on state high...

Full Story
Absentee Voting For General Election Opens Friday

9/18/2014 7:01 AM

Absentee voting for the Nov. 4 general election opens Friday in South Dakota.

Full Story


Events