Atheist group sues Texas judge for ‘unconstitutional’ opening prayer


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tx. (FOX) — An anti-religious group is suing a Texas judge for opening prayer — for the second time.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing Montgomery County Judge Wayne Mack, who is Justice of the Peace for a precinct about 50 miles north of Houston, for an opening ceremony that includes pledges and prayer. The Wisconsin-based group said the practice violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

“Judge Mack’s actions remain unconstitutional,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, said in a statement. “We’re relitigating to safeguard the U.S. Constitution and to keep our country’s courtrooms equally accessible to all people, regardless of their personal religious or nonreligious beliefs.”

When Mack began serving in 2014, he started a volunteer chaplaincy program for religious leaders of all faiths, including 60 chaplains across “every mosque, temple, and synagogue” represented. But FFRF argues the program coerces judges and people involved in the cases to participate in state-sponsored prayer.

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