KNOXVILLE (AP) — Knox County Commission members have adopted a written policy on public prayer before their meetings.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported commissioners voted 10-1 Monday to put the policy in writing.
About 10 people spoke against the measure, most saying a moment of silence would be appropriate.
Among the majority on the commission was member Mike Brown.
“Each person has the opportunity to opt out (of participating), but I don’t see anyone up here offering a specific religion,” Brown said. “If (someone finds it) offensive, then they can leave or wait until after the devotion is over to come into the meeting.”
Commissioners agreed to put into writing that an invocation will be listed on meeting agendas. The policy states that no one on the commission or in the audience will be required to participate and says the practice is not intended to affiliate the commission with any one faith or religious denomination. Commissioners are assigned a month during which they can offer the prayers at the beginning of the meetings.