Video: County commissioner violates federal judge’s order, mentions Jesus at meeting

posted at 10:01 am on March 28, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Can a public official mention Jesus at an official meeting? According to a federal judge in Maryland, the answer is no. According to Carroll County commissioner Robin Frazier, it’s yes — and she’s willing to go to jail to defend what she sees is her right to free speech and religious expression:

“Out of respect for my colleagues — I’m not sure how strongly they feel about it. I’m willing to go to jail over it,” Frazier said during the meeting, referring to Jesus Christ twice despite the ruling.

“(Let) the Lord Jesus Christ to admit me to render these deserved thanks and praises for thy manifold mercies extended toward me. Let thy blessings guide this day, and forever, through Jesus Christ and his blessed form of prayer, I conclude my weak petitions,” she said during the meeting.

After receiving complaints, some Carroll County residents and a group called American Humanist Association issued a warning to the board about “sectarian prayer” during meetings in 2012 and then followed up with a lawsuit in April 2013.

“After the judge has already agreed with us that that’s what’s going on, I think it’s particularly troubling that one of the council members saw fit to violate not only the Constitution but the judge’s very specifically ruling that they can’t be doing this,” said Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association.

This fellow seemed to have the best take on the situation:

“My concern is, really, who cares? If they say Jesus, I mean, does it really offend anybody?” questioned resident Brian Resch.

The question is really this: do people have a right to be free from offense at board meetings? After all, Carroll County isn’t establishing a “county religion” by having one of its members pray openly. No one else’s rights to faith or lack thereof have been infringed; the local government isn’t taking roll at the local church to make sure everyone attends. The imposition of silence on religious expression by the judiciary, fueled by those who simply cannot abide the expression of faith, causes more egregious damage toward liberty than a prayer at a board meeting or school graduation does.

There is no doubt that Frazier’s act is deliberately provocative, and one can debate whether that’s an effective witness to faith or not in terms of charity and goodwill. However, isn’t the remedy at hand the next election, rather than a gag order from the federal government?


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Meow.

Bmore on March 29, 2014 at 12:25 AM

Meow.

Bmore on March 29, 2014 at 12:25 AM

That’s not the sound a sock makes.

Just saying.

Midas on March 29, 2014 at 1:02 AM

blink on March 28, 2014 at 8:30 PM

I have always been amused to people who feel they assume morality need not be bound to a religious authority. I’m not suggesting that one need to accept religious belief but rather that basing your morality on something less than religious authority isn’t really morality. Our amateur historian – who would be flunking miserably at this point – seems to feel there be no grounding to a moral compass outside of what he deems to be moral.

The logical fallacy again is that morality grounded in what I think is moral quickly devolves to my right to happiness requires that you cease to exist, i.e. murder is now a moral imperative. It is the slope under which all socialist/fascist/progressive left poltical systems – all which renounce god – eventually devolve to.

Zomcon JEM on March 29, 2014 at 4:56 AM

I’ve taken no position on any moral standard, I just don’t see how Dave can avoid demonstrating his hypocrisy on this issue – unless he disappears.
 
blink on March 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

 
Dave’s not here, man. Hopefully you at least got to the point where he was insulting you instead of replying to simple questions, though.

rogerb on March 29, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Just saying.

Midas on March 29, 2014 at 1:02 AM

Lol. No that is a shout out to our secret admirer. ; )

Bmore on March 29, 2014 at 9:45 AM

What’s the problem here. The President ignores Federal judge orders on a regular basis.

kjatexas on March 29, 2014 at 9:50 AM

The sectarian prayer issue should be settled when the Supreme Court rules in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway in June 2014.
https://www.au.org/content/town-of-greece-v-galloway

Dave Turson on March 29, 2014 at 9:57 AM

The sectarian prayer issue should be settled when the Supreme Court rules in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway in June 2014.
https://www.au.org/content/town-of-greece-v-galloway

Dave Turson on March 29, 2014 at 9:57 AM

I don’t recognize the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction in that issue. They have no power to overturn the 1st amendment.

gryphon202 on March 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Would Tuesday afternoon work?

RINO in Name Only on March 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I’m free.

davidk on March 29, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Meow.

Bmore on March 29, 2014 at 12:25 AM
.

That’s not the sound a sock makes.

Just saying.

Midas on March 29, 2014 at 1:02 AM

.
Lol. No that is a shout out to our secret admirer. ; )

Bmore on March 29, 2014 at 9:45 AM

.
Oh brother … (eye-roll) …

listens2glenn on March 29, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Carroll Co is a very small, mostly rural county in Maryland. These lawsuits and complaints are coming from deeply troubled people who feel it necessary to somehow justify their ignorant belief systems. I am Jewish and have been in many situations where Jesus name is used in public prayer in Government and School settings. So what? In Carroll Jews dont likely make up 1% of the population and Humanists are probably less than that. I respect Frazier and should she get arrested I will find some way to support her.

iam7545 on March 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

iam7545 on March 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

.
Amen. … I like your thinking.

listens2glenn on March 29, 2014 at 11:32 PM

Why is it so difficult to admit real diversity, not uniformity?
Depending who is in charge of the meeting, they will choose how to begin it.
That is it. It is that simple. If a Hindu is in charge he/she will pray according to Hindu tradition, or Christian, or Muslim, or… nothing if the chairperson chooses so.
Every one can join in directly, indirectly (maybe saying the Our Father in their mind), or not at all.
This is respect, everything else is trying to bully it.
As I said: it is that simple.

stecol on March 30, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Jesus Christ, just leave U.S. alone.

MSGTAS on March 30, 2014 at 11:15 AM

Now am I to be damned by those who wanted to have Commissioner Robin Frazier crucified for simply printing the name Jesus Christ – OH darn there I go again – and it is Sunday.

MSGTAS on March 30, 2014 at 11:18 AM

When I hire a cab driver I expect to be asked if I mind listening to his loud radio music or his prayers.

Dave Turson on March 30, 2014 at 1:55 PM

The reason freedom of speech is so central to our liberty is that it is human nature for tyranny to begin by well-meaning public-servants correcting the language of others, in the hopes of limiting their thoughts and actions, but when that, inevitably, fails they resort to physical force.

The judge clearly has already arrived at the notion that they can compel speech. In our system, they cannot, so the commissioner is correct and she is free to say anything she wants.

Those who prefer coercion are tyrants and enemies of civilization.

virgo on March 30, 2014 at 2:05 PM

I can easily find another cab driver, and I can always leave a church — but government officials and public school teachers hold captive audiences.

Dave Turson on March 31, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7