The City That Prays Together

March 7, 2007 at 7:35 pm | Posted in Jesus Christ!, Lowell | 1 Comment

two-headed pigFor 40 years, City Councilors here in Lowell have opened their meetings by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.  I’ve only attended one of those meetings, and that part was pretty uncomfortable.  Most days, being an infidel is easy – and made easier by the fact that I rarely leave the house.  The only time it can be a drag is weddings or funerals, when you have to put on your nice pants and sit upright while everyone else kneels on the kneeling bar thing.  And the person in the pew behind you is breathing down your neck and Jesus Christ is hanging up there on the crucifix all sad and skinny.  I doubt He finds those sculptures too flattering.

That slight discomfort is expected at a wedding or a funeral or a Christmas Eve mass.  No biggie.  But it should not be expected at a government meeting.  Apparently the Lowell City Council finally gets that.  Kind of.  Maybe.

After months of contemplating the issue and securing a legal opinion saying the practice violates the First Amendment, a formal sub-committee voted last night to put the Lord’s Prayer to bed.  According to the Lowell Sun, Councilor Rita Mercier told the meeting:

“I love the Lord’s Prayer, and I want to keep it … however, I know that I’m not above the law. You can’t imagine how it hurts me.”

Rachelle Comtois, of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance, had this to say:

“I find it sad to see the Lord’s Prayer go myself, being a practicing Catholic, but at the same time, I know it’s the right thing to do. We have to trust when that change happens that God is there.”


It seemed that for once, logic and reason had prevailed.  With the situation soundly resolved, the Councilors could now move on to more important issues.  But not yet!  As they say in the Beast Lair, More Mindbending Melodrama Awaits!  Believe it!

City Solicitor Christine O’Connor told councilors they had the option to drop the prayer altogether, replace it with a moment of silence, or come up with a “nonsectarian” or nondenominational prayer.  Unanimously, the three subcommittee members voted for the nondenominational prayer.

So now the subcommittee, along with the city’s crack legal team and that interfaith group, will spend 60 days coming up with a prayer that covers all and none of the bases.  Our tax money will pay a lawyer to write a prayer that gives adequate shout-outs to Allah, J.C., Brahma, Buddha, and whoever else religious types pray to.

In the meantime?  Yes, the City Council will continue to say the Lord’s Prayer.

Additional Coverage Here: “Is It Time To Stop Praying?”

Elsewhere In the Noose:  A pig was born with two faces and Kanye doesn’t care about curry. At least not as much as we thought.  Go figure.


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  1. […] Take, for instance, the Lowell City Council and the Greater Lowell Interfaith Leadership Alliance (GLILA).  At the behest of GLILA, and more importantly, the city’s lawyer, the City Council recently agreed to stop reciting the Lord’s Prayer before its meetings.  (Click here for prior coverage on Lucy the Blog.) […]

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