Quote of the day comes from Yes! Weekly editorial that takes a unique stance by contrasting prayer and video poker policies:
Either way, in voting to appeal, the county is committing to feed the lawyers on this one. So far it’s being underwritten by the NC Partnership for Religious Liberty, which is accepting donations through its website and a series of billboards that also accuse the ACLU of stifling free speech. It’s a study in fear and reactionary politics in the face of rapid change, which is another way of saying that the church folks are taking a stand — some of them, anyway. A healthy contingent supports a moment of silence before commission meetings, which would allow all present to pray — or not — to whatever deities they wished. This, apparently, was not good enough for Jesus, as channeled through eight of 10 speakers from the floor and four members of the Forsyth County Commission.
I'm with the Winston-Salem Journal on the issue of whether or not the county should appeal the ruling against it's prayer policy. I'm philosophically against the county's stance anyway, but this part of the story seals it for me:
In making his ruling Thursday, Judge James A. Beaty Jr. of U.S. District Court said that the plaintiffs may now pursue attorney's fees. Their expenses have come to about $100,000 but would likely double if the county takes the case to the next level, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, their ACLU lawyer, Katherine Parker, told the Journal's Wesley Young. The tab would rise if the case were to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The local partnership backing the county has raised about $55,000 to pay the plaintiff's legal costs in the event of a loss.
If you go back and look at the stories about this case a couple of years ago you'll find lots of chest thumping from the folks who wanted to fight it and you'll also find assurances that taxpayer money wouldn't be at risk. Well, if the folks that wanted to fight the case were only able to raise $55,000 when the case was "hot" and before the full brunt of the recession had hit what sensible person would think they can raise another $45,000 now that the case has been lost AND another $100,000 when the county loses on appeal?
So when county commissioner Debra Conrad says "Appeal, appeal, appeal" my reply is: "Fine, but do it with your own money please."