Atheists challenge Birmingham council prayer - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Atheists challenge Birmingham council prayer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A group representing atheists and agnostics is challenging the prayer said at the beginning of the Birmingham City Council's weekly meetings.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation recently sent a letter to Council President Roderick Royal that called the practice divisive and unnecessary.

The Wisconsin-based group's co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor says that the proceedings have overwhelming religious themes that is "really overstepping the line of state and church."

Royal says that the council is open to allowing different groups to deliver the opening prayer. He says he recently invited a Muslim minister to deliver the prayer.

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Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews

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