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Group challenges Birmingham council prayer

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - A group representing atheists and
agnostics is challenging the prayer said at the beginning of the
Birmingham City Council's weekly meetings.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation recently sent a letter to
Council President Roderick Royal that called the practice divisive
and unnecessary.

The Wisconsin-based group's co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor
says that the proceedings have overwhelming religious themes that
is "really overstepping the line of state and church."

Royal says that the council is open to allowing different groups
to deliver the opening prayer. He says he recently invited a Muslim
minister to deliver the prayer.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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