Balich 'appalled' that Dems might cancel board meeting prayers
Will County Board member Steve Balich read that county Democrats, who now hold a 24-12 majority on the board, might want to do away with opening prayers at board meetings.
And he's appalled, he told the Will County Gazette.
“The election is over and we haven’t even had a meeting yet for the board, and I picked up this article from the Farmer’s Weekly, which is the countywide newspaper, and if you read the article that I wrote [for the Will County News] you see the quotes in it,” Balich said of growing talk that Democrats, now with a 24-12 majority on the board, plan to seek to outlaw prayer at board meetings.
“I’m like OK. I get it, they’re saying that there are people that are for it and against it probably,” Balich added. “But they’re pushing the idea of doing it, and I’m thinking to myself, 'Why, No. 1, would they?' It’s been a tradition with the county board forever, since the inception of the county board as far as I know. You say one prayer before the meeting, and it’s not a prayer like the Catholic prayer or Protestant—it’s a prayer to God. We're just asking God to bless our meeting and help us do what’s right as county board members.”
The idea of removing prayer from future board meetings was officially raised during a gathering of panel members earlier this month where Democrats also openly talked about replacing it with a moment of silence.
“It’s not like somebody’s saying we’re trying to push more religion,” Balich added. “Our country is based on a Judeo-Christian religion, which is a belief in a God. That’s what we’re doing, we’re just asking God to bless our meeting and help us do what’s right as county board members.”
At some point, Balich said, he expects that the issue will come up for a formal vote, and he plans to be front and center for the proceedings.
“I will be screaming like crazy, 'No!'” he said. “Of all the things to do, before you even walk in to the new offices, you want to eliminate prayer. In other words, out of every issue there is, that’s the No. 1 issue. That tells a lot about where these people are coming from.”