Rogers, Springdale mayors criticized for sponsoring prayer events | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rogers, Springdale mayors criticized for sponsoring prayer events

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 6:49 AM

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has criticized several cities, including the mayors of Rogers and Springdale, for sponsoring prayer breakfasts on the National Day of Prayer last week.

The Northwest Arkansas adjunct of the Democrat-Gazette has reported further (pay wall) on the story. Unsurprisingly, the cities are not too concerned about complaints of First Amendment violations. Rogers Mayor Greg Hines told the newspaper "if the organization has a problem with the Rogers Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, it can 'bring a team of lawyers and sue us.'"

The mayors claim they didn't really sponsor the events, though they do devote time to organizing and selling tickets. There, of course, comes the rub, which even Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse gingerly acknowledged. If there's a problem with his taxpayer-paid secretary selling tickets for the Christian event and "taking minutes," he said he'd make adjustments. Let us hope. Or else maybe she could sell tickets to the mosque's bean pie supper, too.

The prayer breakfasts last week were observances of the National Day of Prayer, as proclaimed by the president and governor. Rather than celebrate pluralism, however, they've tended to become organizing points for evangelical Christians, the Foundation says.

The National Day of Prayer Taskforce annually organizes numerous evangelical Christian events, often on public property with government speakers, which exclude non-evangelicals and nonChristians.

“We are shocked at the bad manners of these mayors who align themselves with events advertised as ‘Christian evangelicals need only apply.’ This kind of meddling in religion and promotion of one religion over another is what one would expect in a theocracy, not in our secular republic,” said Gaylor.

Rogers and Springdale officials insist their participation is a volunteer effort and not a government event. Rogers held its breakfast at the Cross Church, with Ryan Hale of the Walton Family Foundation as speaker. Former Hog football coach Ken Hatfield spoke to the Springdale breakfast at the Holiday Inn. Both events' tickets paid for costs and excess went to charity.

Tags: , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (29)

Showing 1-29 of 29

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-29 of 29

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Suddenly, Rutledge is interested in state's terrible landlord-tenant law

    Crocodile tears from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on the state's terrible landlord-tenant law. Given a chance to do something meaningful about it before, however, she didn't.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Reports filed on casino amendment

    Initial financial reports have been filed by groups pushing a casino expansion amendment and the major financial force so far is the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma, which is in the casino business. Another Oklahoma tribe, a gambling machine organization and a Mississippi gambling enterprise also are listed.
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • Re Trump: The Arkies say......

    Trump getting trashed for cozying up to Putin, from Fox News to John McCain. Now Arkansans are being heard from. Example from Sen. John Boozman: "Russia is not our friend."
    • Jul 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation