The Buncombe County Commissioners met briefly today. It had been expected they would talk about eliminating prayer before their meetings. The matter was supposed to be scheduled after citizens complained about the county attorney advising other local governments to comply with the commissioners’ decision, which had been made in closed session. Later announcements said the attorney had misspoken, and the decision to replace prayer with a moment of silence would be decided publicly. Yesterday, news broke that the commissioners would leave the matter alone pending finalization of litigation in Forsyth County.

The matter dominated public comment, however. Citizens argued prayer did not constitute Congressional establishment of a state religion and that the Constitution protects the free exercise of religion. Others argued case law has interpreted the Constitution to mean the opposite.