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Glendale council mulls prayers before meetings

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Glendale City Council will vote next month on whether to change the way it begins its meetings.

Currently, each meeting starts with the Pledge of Allegiance, but Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers wants to change the moment of silence that follows to a prayer.

Church leaders in the area would be invited to give a generic invocation that could be acceptable to people of all faiths.

“Everybody knows how many problems that elected officials have in today’s world,” Weiers said. “Why in the world would we not want to take a couple of minutes and ask for a little help from whoever the particular people happen to believe in or worship? Any divine guidance certainly is better than what we’ve been getting.

To basically step up and say ‘We can handle it on our own,’ obviously history doesn’t show that. The city’s made some errors and some mistakes.”

Weiers said that prayer works in government.

“In my opinion, it works for the state legislature,” he said. “It’s worked for state legislators and cities all over the United States, and why we would not allow something that we are Constitutionally allowed to do doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Glendale City Councilman Manny Martinez said he prays during the moment of silence that the council has now but he opposes the council changing that moment to a prayer.

“I’m opposed to it,” he said. “When it first came up, I said that I feel that I’m as religious as the next person. However, I don’t think that it’s appropriate to have a prayer. A moment of silence, to me, takes care of it.”

But Martinez said he’s in the minority and believes the council will approve the prayer next month.