They're praying again at Ga. senior center

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PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. -- After a brief fall from grace, mealtime prayer was restored Monday at Port Wentworth's Ed Young Senior Citizens Center.

After initially telling members last week that they could no longer pray out loud before meals because the meals are partially funded by the federal government, Senior Citizens Inc. reversed course to the relief of the center's members.

"I thank the Lord for that," said Ruby Neesmith. "We should have the freedom to speak up and pray."

Port Wentworth Mayor Glenn "Pig" Jones announced the news late in the afternoon during a press conference at the center packed full of members.

"I think everything is good now," Jones said. "We're happy."

'Part of a full life'

Jones shared a statement he said was provided by Patricia Lyons, the president of Senior Citizens Inc.

Lyons said the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services clarified and reversed the position Monday, after the state had instructed the organization for years that verbal prayer was not allowed at any senior center.

"As an organization, we feel that spirituality is an important and necessary part of a full life and we are thankful that this interpretation of the regulation makes prayer possible in all of its forms," Lyons said.

Senior Citizens Inc. officials said last week that people could not pray out loud because of the federal government's rules regarding the separation of church and state. The company provides meals for about $6 a plate. Seniors taking the meals pay 55 cents and federal money foots the rest of the bill.

"I think it's wonderful," said Doris Allen, who is a regular at the center. "If it wasn't for God, you wouldn't have nothing."

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johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 05/11/10 - 05:44 am
0
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Political correctness causes

Political correctness causes a lot of needless stress. I'm glad to see the stupidity of this case is resolved.

Ushouldnthave
0
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Ushouldnthave 05/11/10 - 06:17 am
0
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What part of the 1st

What part of the 1st amendment do these people not understand? "Shall not prohibit the free exercise there of"

Little Lamb
47966
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Little Lamb 05/11/10 - 06:55 am
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I'm still looking for the

I'm still looking for the constitutional provision that allows my tax money to feed those seniors.

speeding
0
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speeding 05/11/10 - 07:20 am
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Our freedom doesn't end just

Our freedom doesn't end just because OUR money kicks in.

Riverman1
90581
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Riverman1 05/11/10 - 08:08 am
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Pig fixed it. Pig for

Pig fixed it. Pig for Governor.

disssman
6
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disssman 05/11/10 - 08:38 am
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I would sure like to see a

I would sure like to see a picture of the parking lot at meal time. That would give us a better picture of the actual need for 55 cent meals.

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 05/11/10 - 09:15 am
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Are you kidding me??!! You

Are you kidding me??!! You are quabbling over feeding retired seniors who have probably contributed to the meager amount of money being spent, for decades?! We feed kids breakfast and lunch for free at school while their parents drive decent cars, carry nice cell phones, subscribe to cable television, spend $$ on acrylic nails and hair product, just to name SOME of what could be eliminated in a budget requiring our tax dollars to feed their children! This is ridiculous! Maybe we should spend the tax dollars on 'financial management' for people needing handouts and get them OFF the chuck wagon instead of allowing them to become more dependent.

baronvonreich
0
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baronvonreich 05/11/10 - 10:50 am
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Little LambTuesday, May 11

Little LambTuesday, May 11 7:55 AM I'm still looking for the constitutional provision that allows my tax money to feed those seniors.
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Ain't that the truth. Will our government leaders ever stop wasting taxpayer money?

I wonder why the state "reversed" their position after several years?

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 05/11/10 - 03:09 pm
0
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Praise the Lord for

Praise the Lord for Metamucil!

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