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Christian prayer ends at firefighter graduation (September 8, 2016)

Christian prayers will not be scheduled at future city firefighter academy graduation in Littleton, Colo.

FFRF received a complaint from one of the city's firefighters after attending a graduation ceremony for firefighter recruits. At the end of the ceremony, graduates were invited to participate in a prayer given by a Christian pastor. The graduation was an official city event with attendance from several city officials.

"Including prayer at city events such as graduation ceremonies raises constitutional concerns, particularly if the event includes sectarian or proselytizing devotions. It is a fundamental constitutional principle that publicly funded institutions cannot support, promote, or otherwise endorse religion or engage in religious exercises," wrote Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel to Littleton Fire Rescue Department Chief Christopher Armstrong. '

A response was received on Sept. 8 from a Littleton city attorney informing FFRF that the city has discontinued the practice of scheduling prayer as part of any future firefighter graduation ceremonies.