Like a prayer

Orlando Weekly recently received a torrent of e-mails from a City Beautiful resident peeved at the city's practice of prayers before council meetings. "When I was forced to sit in on prayer during a public city meeting, watch Jesus being promoted and the audience being told to say 'amen' ... I decided it was time to challenge the discrimination practices of Orlando," wrote said resident.

Though the practice dates to the 1920s, Orlando has no official policy on pre-meeting prayers. Mayor Glenda Hood has stated only that all such prayer should be uplifting and inspirational.

But she's on her way out. What do the two candidates for her job have to say about the issue?

"I'm in favor of prayer," says Pete Barr. "As long as they do it in Congress, we ought to do it here."

"I wouldn't stop the practice," says Buddy Dyer. "What we did [in the state Senate] was ask that it be nondenominational, that it not refer to Jesus, Allah or any other identifying factor. I would rather it be like that."

Down on your knees, voters.

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