Fairbanks leaders propose ending assembly meeting prayers

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Some Fairbanks officials have proposed removing prayers from the beginning of borough assembly meetings.

The Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/2nD8Vf9 ) that Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly members Shaun Tacke, Andrew Gray and Christopher Quist wrote a measure that would remove the nonsectarian invocation from the assembly’s meeting agendas.

Tacke says the assembly represents the entire community and should avoid prayers and invocations as part of a strict separation of church and state.

The Fairbanks proposal follows changes to the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s invocation policy that sparked two lawsuits, one by the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska and another by an assembly member.

Conservative Assemblyman Lance Roberts says he is opposed to getting rid of invocations, calling them a way to focus the meeting on creating good and balanced laws.

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