Maryland county commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier has declared she is willing to go to jail if it means standing by her faith.
The Carroll County commissioner was sworn in in January 2011; since then, she had been praying before board meetings alongside fellow board members. But prayer to Jesus before a government meeting was prohibited through U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles’ ban. When Frazier was told she had to stop, the longtime Christian took a stand.
“Thinking of what Jesus did for me on the cross, I would not say his name because I might go to jail? I just couldn’t do that,” she said.
In March, Frazier made a public announcement after a commission hearing. “I think that is an infringement on my freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and I think it’s a wrong ruling…But out of respect for my colleagues, I’m not sure how strongly they feel about it, I’m willing to go to jail over it. I believe this is a fundamental of America. And if we cease to believe that our rights come from God, we cease to be America. We’ve been told to be careful, but we’re going to be careful all the way to communism if we don’t start standing up and saying ‘no.’ So, I say no to this ruling.”
A lawsuit is ongoing between Frazier and several Carroll county residents that call the prayers “divisive.” Frazier is hopeful that the suit rules in favor of sectarian prayers, as the Supreme Court ruled in June. However, Frazier would no longer be praying as a member of the board of commissioners; she lost to her Republican opponent in the most recent election.
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