The Hanover County Board of Supervisors in Virginia passed a resolution Nov 24. that urged and encouraged citizens to pray on Thanksgiving.
Wayne Hazzard, the chairman of the board and a self-described “Christian conservative tea-party Republican," told the board: "Christians who formed our nation celebrated days of thanksgiving to God. The Jamestown and Plymouth colonists recognized that they were sustained only by God’s providence and celebrated Thanksgiving feasts," notes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Hazsard later added: “And these days of an enemy from outside of this country as well as people from within who would attempt to remove all recognition of God from public life, we offer this proclamation as a reminder that the United States has always acknowledged our nation is dependent on God’s grace and providence.”
However, the Friendly Atheist blog took offense to that statement: "Hazzard referred to ISIS in the same condemning breath as the atheists in America who believe the government should remain neutral on religious matters. He fails to see the irony of denouncing the faith-based terrorists by adopting a resolution telling everyone to believe in his God."
Hazzard called on the board to adopt a resolution that said: “Now, therefore be it resolved that the Hanover County Board of Supervisors does hereby urge and encourage the citizens of Hanover County, Virginia, to include prayer in their Thanksgiving celebrations,” which the board passed.
Claire Guthrie Gastanaga, of the ACLU of Virginia, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Government action encouraging prayer is antithetical to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of the United States. Our freedom of religion depends at its foundation on the fact that our Constitution ensures that America has no government-sponsored religion.”