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Maryland County Commissioner defies federal judge’s prayer restriction

Maryland County Commissioner defies federal judge’s prayer restriction

“I’m willing to go to jail over it.”

From a local NBC affiliate in Westminister, MD (h/t HotAir)

After a federal judge issued a temporary injunction telling Carroll County board members not to refer to Jesus, any specific deity or any specific date during meetings, Commissioner Robin Frazier did just that at the start of Thursday’s board meeting.

“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.

After Frazier’s prayer on Thursday, the attorneys for the plaintiffs sent a letter saying they would refrain from seeking contempt charges in that one instance but warned that there would be consequences if the defiance continued.

The next Carroll County commissioners meeting is Tuesday, April 1 at 10a.m. Unlike last time, the attorney for the American Humanist Association has indicated they will seek contempt charges if the Commissioner mentions Jesus’ name in prayer again.

The next step is, if they do this again, we will file a motion for contempt.

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners has issued a statement articulating its position.

Within the next few months, the United States Supreme Court will be issuing a ruling on legislative prayer that the Board believes will supersede and overturn this temporary injunction. If the Supreme Court rules as the Board and its legal counsel believes it will, this lawsuit will soon be over in favor of our county. In legislative prayer cases similar to this case, other federal court judges have made very different decisions. The only legislative prayer case ever decided by the United States Supreme Court, in 1983, allowed prayers in Jesus’ name at legislative meetings.

Looks like we have a showdown in Carroll County, Maryland.

We’ll have to wait until Tuesday to see if anyone flinches.

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Juba Doobai! | March 28, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Why do the heathen rage at the sound of Jesus’ name?

They don’t want to hear it, so we must shut up lest they hear and be converted and live. What a bunch of weak sisters these atheists are!

Robin Frazier is right. Better to be jailed than to not pray and call upon Christ.

The utterance of Christ’s name is permissible everywhere as a curse, and often by the same atheists who don’t want it uttered in prayer. Enough of that hypocrisy. If they can curse it, we can pray it. Let them sue.

    She’s free to use his name, just not during the course of governmental functions. Invoking his name during the opening prayer is inappropriate for a venue that represents more than just christians (ie. the few Catholics in Carroll County, tsk tsk)

    I hope by some cosmic accident a worshipper of satan or even a muslim is elected to her position one day. The howls and moaning will be *epic*

      ThomasD in reply to Vince. | March 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Your ignorance of free speech is perhaps only exceeded by your stereotyping of people who support her defiance of the petty tyrant on the bench.

      It is not merely a violation of the First Amendment, it is also a direct assault on representative government to attempt to dictate the scope of speech permitted an elected representative of the people when speaking within the scope of her individual position.

      That you think all the support for her is predicated on her specific religion outs you as the narrow index bigot, with no appreciation of, or support for individual liberty.

      What are you complaining about, Vince? The US government routinely refuses to enforce immigration laws. Heck – Obama is refusing to enforce Obamacare! So why all the fuss about a prayer?

      Doug Wright Old Grouchy in reply to Vince. | March 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Vince: Perhaps the answer for you and yours is to re-phase the 1st Amendment in a language you might understand.

      OTH, which part of the following plain English language statement do you fail to understand? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Vince. | March 29, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Atheist. Satan worship per. Muslim. Dou yiyang.

      Dagwat in reply to Vince. | March 29, 2014 at 8:44 am

      your howls and moans in hell will be no less epic.

        AConsidiot in reply to Dagwat. | March 29, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        Then humor him. His time on this earth will be short. If you are so sure you are right, he shouldn’t matter to you at all.


      So… Mr Vince… Pray tell… Share with everyone rewrite of the 1st Amendment.

    AConsidiot in reply to Juba Doobai!. | March 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Well, if she is determined to proclaim her superstition in a secular, public, official forum, there is not much that can be done about it. That is all she can do to compel others to acknowledge her beliefs. It isn’t exactly the Inquisition. In that sense her power is quite diminished. But those of us who believe in liberty should remember that once Christians compelled acceptance of the religion of by torture and/or death.

    Gee, I guess none of you ‘believes’ were upset at 9/11. The plane hijaakers weren’t killers. They were just proclaiming their believe in Allah. Whatever you think of the act, there is little doubt they were sincere in their beliefs and they weren’t going to let any stinkin’ government stop them.

      Karen Sacandy in reply to AConsidiot. | March 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Typical epicly stupid comment. We have actual honor killings by Muslims in this country. We have this totalitarian ideology infesting our cities and building monuments at Ground Zero to boast about their exploits and humiliate America.

      Christianity has undergone the Reformation. Learn a little history. Just a smidgen.

      Frankly, you aren’t worth the blood and treasure that’s been expended on your behalf.

        AConsidiot in reply to Karen Sacandy. | March 31, 2014 at 1:00 am

        Ms. Frazier was trying to assert the dominance of her religious beliefs to a captive audience. That is not a call for religious freedom. True, it is weak tea when compared with the methods christianity used in the past. But her reasons were the same. If she really was just praying, she could have done that silently or gathered believers before the meeting.

        What monument to ‘totalitarian ideology’ was proposed? Surely you are not trying to perpetuate phony outrage about a building which is not at Ground Zero. The person who proposed it did not share the ideology of the 911 attackers. Why don’t you try intellectual honesty for a change? There must be some argument you can make without the need to distort the facts.

      Shehas Noname in reply to AConsidiot. | March 31, 2014 at 7:58 am

      Good morning AConsidiot,

      I’d like to ask, have you read Thomas Jefferson’s personal notes he made while constructing the Declaration of Independence?

Richard Aubrey | March 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Somewhere I read about the “free exercise thereof”. And making a law respecting an establishment of religion doesn’t seem to be the case where an individual happens to be praying, public meeting as a venue notwithstanding.

    NavyMustang in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    I know I’m being a bit flippant here, but aren’t the people who are fighting against these prayers “making a law respecting an establishment of religion?”

    And being flippant for a second time, as a Marylander, I can honestly say that I am proud of one of my state’s leaders “for the first time in my life!”

      Karen Sacandy in reply to NavyMustang. | March 30, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      No. “Establishment” is support and required support. For example, the state paying the salaries of the clergy or requiring citizens to pay it under legal command. Or requiring a citizen to actually be a member of a religion.

      In mussy countries for example, one that leaves muslim is an apostate and is subject to execution.

DavidJackSmith | March 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association thinks mentioning Jesus in public “violates” the “constitution”.

Just… WOW….

buckeyeminuteman | March 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

DINORightMarie | March 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

“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.

Ignoring the poor grammar, what Constitution is the woman reading? The one the Framers wrote, the one that contains the Bill of Rights clearly states in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;….” as well as the “freedom of speech” portion of that same amendment. Activists are so tedious, so oppressive.

There are also numerous court decisions and rulings which show this woman (and that MD court) are WAY off base, although it’s obvious that she (nor that judge) cares not what the Constitution, the law, or precedent says.

    Howard Roark in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 28, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    The same people who wrote freedom of religion into the 1st Amendment also approved Congress’s hiring and paying a minister for daily prayers which regularly and reverently mentioned Jesus Christ when opening daily proceedings of the first Congress.

    Radical humanists and atheists are simply trying to throw that inconvenient history down Orwell’s memory hole.

    Shehas Noname in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 29, 2014 at 9:23 am

    …or, reading Maryland’s Constitution before commenting on this topic would be wise. For the preamble states:

    “We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare: …”

    (as a side note, only two states exclude any reference in acknowledging God in their preambles)

    .. just saying.

Carroll county is one of 5 counties that should secede from the People’s Republic of Maryland. They really don’t have much in common with the leeches in Baltimore or Annapolis.

    NavyMustang in reply to AYFKM. | March 28, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    And hopefully Frederick County will be right behind them.

    Maryland is a beautiful state and I love the people. At least the ones in western MD, but these jokers, led by that abomination O’Malley, are the ones pushing me out of this state.

assemblerhead | March 28, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Theses humanists need to have their belief system called what it is.

Its a religion ( to them. )

Forcing Christianity out and replacing it with “Humanism” is NOT “Separation of Church and State” — Its religious favoritism.

Their version of “Separation of Church and State” completely ignores why the Protestants left England, and started the colonization of the North American continent. ( Anyone remember a ship called the Mayflower? )

For those who don’t know ….

King Henry VIII was the reason.

After he created the “Church of England” ( by splitting the British Catholics away from the Roman Catholic Church ) he installed himself as the “Head of Church”.

Why? So he could grant himself a divorce. ( The Pope refused. )

At that time it was believed the female determined the sex of any offspring. He wanted sons.

The Protestants were very critical of the resulting string of marriages, divorces and executions.

They left England to get away from persecution instigated against them by King Henry.

To the Protestants “Separation of Church and State” meant that the State cannot take control of the Church.

Ignorance IS dangerous.

    DINORightMarie in reply to assemblerhead. | March 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Well…….your history is a bit off, although I agree that Henry VIII is the king who started the Church of England because he wanted to divorce his first wife.

    The original “Pilgrims” who settled in Plymouth, MA (Plimoth Plantation today) were actually struggling with James I of England – who was Protestant, but he didn’t allow any other Protestant sects to worship outside the Church of England….of which he, as king, was the head.

    The Pilgrims (as we call them – they were actually known as “Separatists”, a break-away sect of the Puritan Protestants) chose to leave England to live in the religiously more tolerant Holland. However, as time went on, their children became more secularized, as the society in Holland was rapidly adopting more secular ways.

    So, they chose to leave Holland, but rather than stay in England and live under the religious oppression of the king, they petitioned to start a colony in the “New World” – and thus they sailed on the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock and settled the first RELIGIOUS colony in what would become Massachusetts Colony. (The first colony in the New World was, of course, Jamestown Settlement, in Virginia, in 1607.)

    Many states have roots in religious persecution: Pennsylvania has a Quaker founder (William Penn); Maryland was settled as a Catholic colony originally, starting with Lord Baltimore; I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea…….

    There are many primary sources which cover this history, and books – most of which were published prior to 1960 (which is why leftists decry anything published prior – it is because it contains TRUTH they want to erase, re-write, or merely ignore), including William Bradford’s Of Plimoth (Plymouth) Plantation.

    So much of our country’s history is rooted in Judeo-Christian faith, fleeing religious persecution (against MANY religions), including several Protestant denominations. Sadly, our country doesn’t teach history anymore – especially any of this; thus our youth do not remember those roots, our heritage, and why liberty was so precious it was worth dying for.

If this is a public meeting there is likely a time for public comment. What would happen if many of the public comments included a reference to Jesus bible quotes etc. Would the judge issue an order prohibiting such speech from all who attend the meeting?

Howard Roark | March 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm

That is what principled leadership looks like

    It’s about time that people understood that our government is now a Christian religious institution. We will no longer elect politicians but faithful believers in Christ.

    All of those damned muslim countries are damned. Murica, F*** yeah.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Vince. | March 29, 2014 at 2:24 am

      Better a faithful believer than an atheist, baby-killing-supporting, anti-Constitution, pro-Islam, Communist Democrat, which is what we have in the WH.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to Howard Roark. | March 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Hear! Hear!!

1. I call on Senators Akin and Mourdock to sponsor a Congressional resolution supporting Commissioner Frazier. “Blessed are ye when ye lose elections for causes ye purport to support.”

2. Nobody seems eager to point out that the injunction in question was issued by Judge william Quarles Jr., who was nominated by George W. Bush.

    yeah bush, the man who signed patriot act, is someone we all look up to for his conservative creds.

      murkyv in reply to dmacleo. | March 28, 2014 at 6:27 pm


      Only George Bush had anything to do with the Patriot Act.


      Passed the House on October 24, 2001 (Yeas: 357; Nays: 66)

      Passed the Senate on October 25, 2001 (Yeas: 98; Nays: 1

      Shehas Noname in reply to dmacleo. | March 29, 2014 at 9:21 am

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but George Bush did not write the Maryland Constitution, ever reside in Maryland, ever legislate in Maryland, sit on the bench in Maryland, etc., etc., etc.

      That aside and if there is a need to go off into this ‘left’ field, from current events it seems that same patriot act is being used quite often by someone not named George Bush.

      … again, just saying.

      Karen Sacandy in reply to dmacleo. | March 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Also, McCain-Feingold.

      Told us islam is a “Religion of Peace.”

      Didn’t protect the States from invasion, per the U.S. Constitution, per I believe, Article IV, Sec. 4.

    healthguyfsu in reply to gs. | March 29, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Unlike “your side”, we don’t blindly follow elected officials into whatever mad rabbit hole they descend.

    You have strayed too far from the confines of motherjones. Run along now.

The thinking behind the Constitution seems to have been avoidance of the schism between the Roman Catholics and the various Protestant religions. The complications resulting from that schism had caused serious perversions of public and political life in England for more than two centuries by the time the Constitution was drafted, and the framers were well aware of that. They had no plans to solve the problem; they thought it sufficient to avoid it. Seen in that light, the prohibition in the 1st Amendment seems a pretty good idea. However the text of the ammendment was perhaps too succinct, and handled the problem a bit vaguely. Jefferson (who, as we all know, was not at the Constitutional Convention, but was in Paris at the time) later reformulated the principle in a clearer (albeit more heavy-handed) manner as “separation of church and state”. And, as ideas go, that doesn’t seem like a terribly bad one, either. There’s an imaginary fence, religion stays on one side of it, government stays on the other, and everybody should be happy. Or happier than they were in Europe, at least.

The question persists today, and the original solution – simple avoidance – still has merit. If you’re “on the clock” doing government work, leave your religion hanging on the coat rack next to your hair shirt. Take it with you when you leave, and be as religious as you like the rest of the day. And if you can’t manage that, admit that you can’t do the work the government requires, and go into some other field.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to tom swift. | March 29, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Bogus BS. States, such as VA, had this in their Constituion, for the teaching of religion and morality schools shall be established.

    Shehas Noname in reply to tom swift. | March 29, 2014 at 9:16 am

    …or, reading Maryland’s Constitution before commenting on this topic would be wise. For the preamble states:

    “We, the People of the State of Maryland, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberty, and taking into our serious consideration the best means of establishing a good Constitution in this State for the sure foundation and more permanent security thereof, declare: …”

    (as a side note, only two states exclude any reference in acknowledging God in their preambles)

    .. just saying.

    iowan2 in reply to tom swift. | March 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

    tom swift, yours seems to be the most lucid of those supporting the judge.

    You ignore the totality of history in favor of judicial rulings that only in the last 70 years started to limit religious freedom.

    You ask me to believe that the utterance of Jesus Christ at a local govt session is somehow “making a law establishing a religion.”

    But a federal Judge prohibiting speech is somehow not infringing on the freedom of speech, and, the free expression of religion.

    This from the Northwest Ordinance. Voted on by both houses and signed into law by the president

    “In the Northwest Territory, various legal and property rights were enshrined, religious tolerance was proclaimed, and it was enunciated that since “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    Shehas Noname in reply to tom swift. | March 31, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Christ’s definition of the word religion is “… take care of widows of orphans …”.

    Perhaps the word religion has been distorted or redefined over time which could, unfortunately, cause negative feelings of oppression.

    It would seem only two know what is in Ms. Frazier’s heart, one of which is Ms. Frazier.

    For me, it is good to see open discussion.

    Shehas Noname in reply to tom swift. | March 31, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Good morning Tom Swift,

    I’ll ask the same question I asked someone else, have you read Thomas Jefferson’s personal notes while writing the Declaration of Independence?

    ..also his letters of debate to John Adams, etc. regarding the meaning of the intent behind the construction of the 1st Amendment?

    That aside, Jefferson wrote his own epitaph, part being: “Author of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom”.

“And if you can’t manage that, admit that you can’t do the work the government requires, and go into some other field.”

Except that, historically, that’s NOT the way things have worked. And the atheists (or humanists) are looking to get *their* religion preferential treatment in the public square.

I have a suggestion as to what they can do with themselves.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | March 28, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Eh gads, the concept that a judge’s warning, or his threat of dire consequences, could be ignored seems to be outrageous!

Outrageous yet not as much as that judge’s inability to understand the plain English language text of the First Amendment!

Does that judge even comprehend what Constitution he’s sworn to uphold? Or, does his belief in his own beliefs (Whatever they are!)outweigh our Constitution?

We’re at the point, and have been for decades, where a judge is allowed to substitute his own opinions over written law. So, why do we even pretend to still be a nation of laws not man? Yet, I do not feel that we’re at the point where Jefferson’s dictum, about the need for blood, really applies.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to Doug Wright Old Grouchy. | March 30, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Let’s see…. 50 million South American illegal aliens and their progeny….

    A federal reserve that renders our currency worthless, for what motive we cannot be sure, but which clearly benefits those in the stock market and some of the larger financial institutions, but devastates savers and wage earners….

    A debt of $17 trillion and NO PLAN in sight to address it….

    Tax and social “welfare” policies that render Americans hesitant to procreate, while policies unendingly subsidizing birth tourism and anchor children shoot us into a demographic death spiral….

    Elected representatives, such as Madame Pelosi, who spend $80,000 on liquor for themselves while flying across the country as they wish… and who routinely waste millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars, which ZERO, ZERO, ZERO accountability.

    The Founding Fathers were unhappy about a stamp tax and a TEA TAX. A Tax on ONE beverage….

    If only we could be so free….

    The time for legal insurrection has come and gone.

What the modern state cannot comprehend is that our allegiance is not to them, but to God.

Henry Hawkins | March 28, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I have never soured on the American people and the fact you may only push us so far. Connecticut rifle owners are refusing to register. The primary rifle assoc in New Jersey is threatening to do the same. The targeted populations to fund the wealth redistribution machine called Obamacare are refusing to sign up or are signing up and refusing to pay.

This administration is powerless before large numbers of the civilly disobedient because all administrations are. It is the last trench in defense of our freedoms. I’ve been saying since 2008, and I mean it – I will not comply with Obamacare or any gun control laws, ever, damn the risks. Beyond the lives of my family, what could I possibly value more than our freedoms?

We need to extend popular civil disobedience towards the IRS next.

Finally, we need to vote against any candidate who doesn’t both speak and act in full support of protecting constitutional rights, regardless of party or incumbency.

The fight is not between parties anymore. It’s between the people and the current slate of government officials and officeholders.

The only two ways left us to express our positions and our commitment to them are voting and civil disobedience.

We need to be old conservative hippies, basically.


In keeping with tradition, Judge William Quarles, Jr. was appointed to the federal bench in 2002 by George W. Bush upon recommendation of both Maryland Senators.

If Harry Reid keeps destroying the Senate traditions, we may be able to avoid such travesties in the future.

JackRussellTerrierist | March 28, 2014 at 6:44 pm

You go, girl! Hang tough. Don’t give the bastards an inch.

As a Marylander it’s not often that I’m proud of a Maryland politician. She’s fighting the good fight.

Shehas Noname | March 31, 2014 at 8:01 am

Maybe a question to ask Ms. Frazier is, why do you believe Jesus Christ over man?

I do not understand the uproar, have you folks not read the Bill of Rights? It is right there for everyone to read.

Thou shalt not be religious if you are elected to government, if you are elected, thou shalt be secular and bow down to our Marxist religion.

Geez, I do not understand our religious brethren completely misinterpreting this basic clause in our Constitution. Next thing you know, you are going to argue against the Peter Stark “The government can do most anything clause.”

You folks are scientific and Constitution deniers!

    Shehas Noname in reply to 3/4 Dome. | March 31, 2014 at 8:38 am

    According to the author of the Bill of Rights, the exact opposite is their meaning 3/4 Dome.

    Preventing by law, the establishment of a state (federal) sponsored ‘religion’ was part of the purpose of the 1st Amendment, as was explained in the Declaration of Independence.

    If that is a falsehood then the Declaration would not have included God in its proclamations.