Rather than being more inclusive of other religions in Lincoln County, North Carolina, it looks like the community leaders there have opted to throw a temper tantrum. Facing a proposal to allow prayers from faiths other than Christianity to open county proceedings, the Board of County Commissioners opted to end all prayer before meetings. When one member of the community tried to offer a Muslim prayer, one of the commissioners got up and left the proceeding.
When news reached the Lincoln County Board that a judge had ordered its neighbor, Rowan County, to stop the practice of beginning meetings with any prayer, Lincoln County responded by wanting to pass an ordinance that made Christian prayer the only prayer heard in chambers.
Monday, as Foothills Interfaith Assembly member Dustin Barto offered a Muslim prayer of tolerance to begin the assembly, county commissioner and chairman Carrol Mitchem stormed out.
Video from the occasion has been posted online. You will note that the chair beneath the county’s seal is empty, that is Mitchem’s chair.