Action Alert!

Object to Prayers at Government Meetings in Lodi, Calif.!

July 15, 2009

Important Update

The Lodi City Council has decided to postpone the discussion about Christian prayers at its Aug. 5 meeting. We will send out a new action alert as soon as they announce the new date. In the meantime, please see our latest Lodi Action Alert.

Original Content

FFRF sent a letter in May 2009 to the city council of Lodi, Calif., asking them to drop unconstitutional sectarian references from prayers opening government meetings. This has since sparked a massive protest and petition from Christian fundamentalist groups like The Pray in Jesus Name Project and The Will of God Christian Center. It is crucial that freethinkers make their voices heard on and before the upcoming Aug. 5 Lodi City Council meeting in which this issue will be discussed.

FFRF attorney Rebecca Kratz wrote, "The City Council of Lodi cannot, under current law and the Council's own policy, permit any prayers that contain references to an explicit deity." The Council has, at least 39 times since 2007, invoked Jesus Christ at its meetings. The Lodi mayor pointed out, when he was previously a Council member, that the Council prayers are in violation of court precedent.

Lodi Councilman Bob Johnson recently called Lodi a "Christian community, regardless of whether people like it or not." FFRF urges you to let the Lodi City Council and Mayor know you object to prayers--Christian or otherwise--at government meetings!

Please call or send a short, polite, firm and signed message to the Lodi Mayor and letters to the editor. Concentrate on one or two major points, and write as an individual, not as someone responding to this action alert. (Do not forward our action alert message to the target!) We are pleased to receive "blind" duplicates of your letters or responses by email: , Freedom From Religion Foundation. If you are unable to attend this meeting, we still urge you to let your voice be heard!

Contact Information

Mayor Larry D. Hansen
(209) 333-6800 ext.9280

City Council Meeting

(for freethinkers in the area)

August 5, 2009–7:00PM
City Council Meeting
Carnegie Forum
305 W. Pine Street
Lodi CA 95240

Please note this time and date is subject to change! Please contact the Lodi City Clerk, Randi Johl (209-333-6702), to confirm the agenda for this date.

The Pray in Jesus Name Project has organized an "international prayer rally" at 6PM before the Aug. 5 City Council meeting. They are expecting a large turnout and their event has even been endorsed by James Dobson’s website.

One of our Lodi members is bravely willing to organize a presence at this rally, in the form of a peaceful counterpicket. It is important that media see local supporters of secular government, not just religious-right hysteria. If you can attend or help, please contact .

Media Contacts

Lodi-News Sentinel
Richard Hanner, Editor
125 N. Church St.
P.O. Box 1360
Lodi, CA 95241
(209) 369-2761
Fax: (209) 369-2761

Stockton Record
Opinion Page Editor
P.O. Box 900
Stockton, CA 95201
Email Form

Sacramento Bee
Reed Parsell
Letters to the Editor

Email Form

Read Coverage From the Stockton Record

Read Coverage From the Lodi-News Sentinel

Action Alert by Bonnie Gutsch

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., is a national association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics) that has been working since 1978 to keep church and state separate.

FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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