Church-State Separation Group Wants Prayer Plaques Removed From Ohio Veterans, Police, Fire Memorial

EVENDALE, Ohio — One of the nation’s most conspicuous church-state separation groups has requested that a village in Ohio remove several plaques from a veterans, police and fire memorial display because they contain Christian prayers.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on Wednesday to the mayor of Evendale after being notified by a local resident that the plaques on the Baxter Park memorial contain a prayer for each branch of the Armed Forces, as well as a prayer for the police and for firefighters.

“O eternal Father, we commend to Thy protection and care the members of the Marine Corps,” one of the plaques reads. “Guide and direct them in the defense of our country and in the maintenance of justice among nations. Protect them in the hour of danger. Grant that wherever they serve they may be loyal to their high traditions and that at all times they may put their trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

“Dear Lord, please be with us in our work this day and every day. Grant us strength that each weary task we do may ease a brother’s way. May we be protective of the aged and both strong and inspirational to the young,” the police department’s plaque states. “We ask Your guidance to be with us to be triumphant over those whose acts are mean and cruel. And when our final summons comes and we must all account, Lord, may we forever be in your presence and our many transgressions forgiven. Amen.”

The military-related prayers are stated to have originated from the Armed Services Prayer Book, which was first distributed by the Episcopal Church in the 1950’s.

However, FFRF says that the plaques violate the U.S. Constitution and should be replaced by something more inclusive.

“The Village of Evendale, Ohio should recognize sacrifices without also endorsing one religion over all others in violation of the Constitution. Over 23% of military personnel express no religious preference or are atheists and they should not be made to feel excluded…,” the letter reads.

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“By placing sectarian prayers on its memorial, the Village sends the message that it values the service of nonreligious service members, police officers and firefighters less than their religious counterparts,” FFRF claimed.

It is not known if the village plans to respond.


As previously reported, throughout America’s early history, a number of Founding Fathers issued proclamations calling inhabitants to prayer, including in 1798, when the aforementioned President John Adams proclaimed a national day of humiliation, prayer and fasting.

“As the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him,” he wrote, “…this duty, at all times incumbent, is so especially in seasons of difficulty and of danger, when existing or threatening calamities—the just judgments of God against prevalent iniquity—are a loud call to repentance and reformation.”

President Abraham Lincoln also proclaimed a National Fast Day in 1863.

“[I]t is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord,” his proclamation read.

“[I]nsomuch we know that by His Divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people,” Lincoln said.

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  • Joe

    When the FFRF can show me where in the Constitution there is a separation of church and state, I’ll listen.

    • robert boe

      God never set up his two kingdoms church and state that he rules over to be Separate. God set them up to have different roles. The state is not to proclaim the Gospel its to maintain peace so the church can do its Job . instead its trying to Interfer with the church and the church in some ways is getting in the way of what the Government job is .. If they both kept to the Rolls God gave them .there wouldnt be all this bickering.

      • Adam Valentine

        Your God does not rule over the government. We have a constitution, laws and elected leaders. We don’t need your fairy tales

      • TheKingOfRhye

        It seems to me like a pretty good way to keep them in their “different roles” would be to keep them separated.

    • Adam Valentine

      No you won’t. Otherwise you would pay attention when people duscdis the establishment clause and the dozens of cases confirming it.

      I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t want muslin, Hindu or satanic prayers being emblazoned on government property.

      • Joe

        And yet Congress opens their sessions with a prayer. And this practice was upheld in the 1983 Supreme Court ruling of Marsh v. Chambers. They found that the opening prayer is not an ‘establishment of religion’ but a “a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.”

        So it’s okay for Congress to open with a prayer but not okay to display a plaque with a prayer on it?

        • Tom

          If an atheist, or Muslim in Congress wants to give an invocation, by law they would have to allow it because they allow Christian prayer. It’s all about legal standing. Only another congressional member will have standing to challenge congressional prayers. A fixed display like this one clearly focuses on one specific view as a permanent display. And, standing will be much easier to get in such a case. You are comparing apples and oranges.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      How about if the Founding Fathers themselves – including the guy who wrote the Constitution – showed you?

      “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American
      people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law
      respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” – Thomas Jefferson

      “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the
      Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by
      Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already
      furnished in their short history.” – Madison

      • Joe

        I will quote my reply to someone else on this thread:

        “And yet Congress opens their sessions with a prayer. And this practice was upheld in the 1983 Supreme Court ruling of Marsh v. Chambers. They found that the opening prayer is not an ‘establishment of religion’ but a “a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country.”

        I understand what the Founding Fathers said but the Congress opens their session with a prayer by the chaplain. It’s okay for Congress but not okay for Evendale Fire Department?

        • TheKingOfRhye

          Well, I guess I’m okay with the prayers, under two conditions: It’s completely voluntary if people want to join in or not (since if it’s not, it would be a clear violation of “no religious test” clause), and other religions or other people are allowed to offer prayers or invocations or whatever. I’ve seen a few stories around here lately about that sort of thing, like the one about the humanist chaplain, or there’s been a few about the Satanic Temple trying to do an invocation or such things.

      • John O

        “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American
        people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law
        respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” – Thomas Jefferson
        what u call a wall, I call a swinging door. u can’t prohibit prayer either.

        • TheKingOfRhye

          What I call a wall? No, that was Jefferson that called it that. But he wasn’t talking about prohibiting prayer, because that’s not what separation of church and state means. It’s like with the stories about prayer in schools we see here every so often: No one is trying to ban prayer, it’s just when there’s staff-led prayer in a public school, that’s where we get into violating separation.

          • John O

            like I said b-4, u have the mindset of a lawyer. nobody leading prayer when it is just posted on a memorial. all choice, but the selfish wish to prohibit any reference to God and pretend it is the constitution. doctors know we have left the constitution and are now a socialist country. in any police state u need government approval. the pansy pastors who volunteered to be 501 gave up church status and are legally organizations. but u know that. God Bless

          • TheKingOfRhye

            u have the mindset of a lawyer.

            Since we are talking about law here, that should be a good thing.

            we have left the constitution and are now a socialist country

            No, we’re not. If you want to see a socialist country, go to Europe. They’re at least a lot more socialist than we are. Everyone (including himself) was calling Bernie Sanders a socialist back in 2016, he’d probably be considered a moderate in most European countries.

  • robert boe

    Yes Some founding fathers were enemies of Christianity they were little anti-,Chists..Thomas Jefferson rejected that Jesus was God .And came out with the Jefferson bible. He was one of these (smaller type of )anti – Christs .

  • Jesusdidnttap

    Get behind me Satan!

  • Susan Perelka

    They think they can stop prayer by doing things like this. But in the scriptures it tells us to go to the Father in private prayer and He will reward us in the open. They can tell us not to pray in the name of Jesus openly, but our Father hears our silent prayers and they are just as powerful. Rise up army of God, pray even more to Your heavenly Father privately. Rise up people of God, every time they try and stop us, double, triple your private prayers to the Father. Do not cease praying with thanksgiving, letting Your petitions be known to our Father in Heaven. His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is a spiritual battle, fight it with spiritual weapons, PRAY always, do not stop, FIGHT the good fight of FAITH.

    • cobalt100

      In a few days, all Christians shall bow their heads and admit that it is quite appropriate to have April Fools day on this particular Sunday.

      • Susan Perelka

        The fool says in his heart, there is no God.

  • Susan Perelka

    God Almighty is the One True God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! So what if others want to pray to their gods, let them. Their gods are made by their own hands and imaginations. For those who worship satan, NEWS FLASH, God is the Creator and satan is the created, satan never has been, nor ever will be greater than the One who created him. The prophet Elijah had a face off with the prophets of Baal. The prophets of Baal prayed and prayed and prayed for hours and nothing happened. The prophet of the One True God said one simple prayer and BAM God answered. Christians, wake up, Your God is more powerful than all their so-called gods. Be like Elijah! Go back and read 1 Kings chapter 18!

  • Susan Perelka

    Abba Father, I thank You for the privilege, that You have granted me because of Jesus sacrifice, to come before Your Throne of Grace to ask my petitions of You. I thank You for the help You offer to Your people who will come to You by faith, believing the promises in Your Word. LORD you said the gates of hell shall not prevail against Your church. LORD speak to the hearts of Your people through Your Holy Spirit. Teach us how to wield the armor of God. Teach us how to pray as we should. Father, forgive us our sins against you, help us to forgive those who have sinned against us. Keep us from the evil one just as Jesus prayed for us the night of His arrest. Keep us united in love and let not the enemy divide us. Let Your truth go forth across this nation. The more they try and silence us, let our prayers increase to You. Father, fight for us against the wicked. Let the wicked’s feet get caught in their own traps, which they set for the innocent. For every lie of the enemy told, let Your truth be told as well. Expose the hypocrites who pretend to be Yours, yet who are not. Give Your people discernment to spot the wolves in sheeps clothing. Give Your people a hunger for Your Word, open Your Word to us so that we can bear more fruit for Your Glory. Thank You LORD for the help You will give us. Grant us boldness and confidence to proclaim Your truth, in Jesus Name. AMEN!

  • voyager1413

    They wanted prayer out of the schools years ago, along with anything to do with God or Jesus. Taught the children that they came from apes and lower lifeforms – not created. The got what they wanted then. Now, with no hope or belief in an afterlife with God, people seek instant gratification and anything to give their life meaning. Some become evil and extremely violent with no morals. No morality to the extent that some want to kill. Then when some do kill and do it with a gun, their empty and Godless heart is not blamed, but guns are blamed. Take away the gun and the person with a bitter heart and soul will still be a killer inside. People’s hearts can only be changed with Christ living inside. Deny it all you want and things only get worse. Now these same type of people want to eradicate God from everything. Rejecting God is what put us in such a mess to begin with. These people think Christians are foolish idiots. They are the ones that are idiots because they can’t even see the destruction they already caused.

  • I’ve got a great idea……….TELL THEM “NO”.