Christians in Texas on Tuesday called for all Killeen ISD school board meetings be opened with prayer in response to complaints from a secularist group.
In August, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) contacted the Killeen ISD Board of Trustees after a parent notified the group that a Christian prayer was used to open a recent board meeting.
"It’s important that the school district recognizes that it has minority students in the community,” FFRF attorney Sam Grover told KXXV. “Those who practice non-religion or practice a minority faith, and for that reason it should cease conducting invocations at its meetings."
This week, about 100 members of the Concerned Christian Citizens of Central Texas showed up to pray before Tuesday's meeting.
“If you’re a Christian, gather in now,” Concerned Christian Citizens President Joe Goodson called to the crowd. “This looks like heaven... We are in a country that has lost its soul... We want to thank God for a school board who is willing to pray.”
Goodson presented the board with a petition demanding that a prayer open all future meetings.
“We collected 2,574 signatures in a week’s time,” Goodson told the board. “We urge [the board] to resist [Freedom from Religion Foundation’s] effort in the attempt to silence or regulate your prayers.”
"Nobody's trying to coerce anybody to pray and we're not trying to establish a religion by praying we're simply exercising what the Constitution says is our freedom of religion,” Goodson told KXXV. “It says that congress shall make no law that respecting and establishes a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
FFRF warned that it could sue the district if the prayers continued.
"FFRF respects everyone's private right to hold the religious beliefs that they choose and even to express them in a public forum. The only time we get involved is when the government is promoting one religion over others in violation of the constitution," Grover explained to KWTX.
Watch the video below from KWTX, broadcast Oct. 14, 2015.