Get local news delivered straight to your phone

Support City Paper!

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Is Ward 5 councilmember Vincent B. Orange tangling with the Founding Fathers? In a Nov. 22 letter, Brookland resident Jacqueline Young complained to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that at an emergency meeting at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land held in response to the Nov. 13 murder of a wedding guest near the monastery, Orange prayed to Jesus. The councilmember denies praying at the public meeting, and Young now admits she isn’t clear on the events. Orange, however, says, “I don’t think it would have been off base if I did [say a prayer]….If you’re going to be in a religious facility, you should expect that there’s going to be some prayer.” Though his office has yet to receive Young’s letter, Stephen Block, legislative counsel for the ACLU of the National Capital Area, takes a different view. “If it’s a public meeting…in which a government official addresses [those present] in his official capacity,” he says, “then prayer is not appropriate.” —Mike Kanin