Atheist-agnostic group sue to stop meeting prayers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A lawsuit on behalf of two Hamilton County residents seeks to stop the County Commission from praying at its meetings.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported the lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court. The suit follows a letter to the Commission from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis., in which the atheist and agnostic group asked the government body to discontinue opening meetings with prayer. The commissioners have taken no official action to change their practice or consider the request.

Last week, County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said he reviewed the letter and would advise the Commission at the appropriate time.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Robin Flores on behalf of Tommy Coleman and Brandon Jones and claims the practice is a constitutional violation.

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