A small Texas town has taken a bold stand for prayer and patriotism. CBS News reported that on June 12 the city council of Weatherford, a west-central Texas community, voted four to one to bring back the tradition of a regular invocation, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance to both the state and U.S. flags, following a 37-year absence of the rituals.

The move was pushed by the Parker County Ministerial Alliance, a local group of Protestant ministers, who said they were saddened by the nearly four-decade omission. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the group has taken the responsibility of arranging for local religious leaders to offer the one-minute invocation at the council meetings, and has promised to allow leaders of other faiths in the area to participate if they wish.

The Star-Telegram noted that some residents had proposed a moment of silence instead of the prayer, which Father Scott Wilson, rector of Weatherford’s All Saints Episcopal Church, aggressively opposed before the council. “While we understand this effort to satisfy a variety of citizens — for us it’s not adequate,” testified Wilson, a member of the Ministerial Alliance. “We know that members of the city council pray privately before they begin their sessions and certainly that should be beneficial for those that pray. But a corporate prayer goes a great deal further; it becomes beneficial to the whole city.”

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