Praying is now back as part of League City council meetings.

In a 7-1 vote Tuesday, the City Council approved changing its policy and will allow prayers to be an official part of its meetings.

Last fall, the council adopted a policy to allow a prayer before the official start of its council meetings.

The move was made after Freedom From Religion Foundation questioned the city’s policy of allowing prayer to be part of its official proceedings.

There also were some threats of legal action concerning the city’s prayer policy.

The Liberty Institute, a Plano-based nonprofit law firm that regularly takes up religious issues, helped the city draft the ordinance. The group also offered to defend the city at no cost, should anyone sue.

After the U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled that prayers at governmental meetings did not violate the U.S. Constitution, Mayor Tim Paulissen quickly moved to return prayers as an official part of City Council meetings.

First, the council met in executive session.

Part of the closed-door council session Tuesday was to get advice from City Attorney Arnold Palonco on the Supreme Court decision and to find out if Liberty Institute would stand by the city if it changed its policy again.

With confirmation that the group would, indeed, pick up the legal fight for the city, Paulissen said the decision was easy.

The old policy “was too up-and-down and cumbersome,” Paulissen said. “I’d have to ask everybody to stand up to do the prayer, and then I’d have to tell everybody to sit back down, and then I’d call roll and then have the pledges and have everybody stand up again.

“Now it is going to be all uniformed. It will be a lot more fluid.”

The council also approved allowing the prayer to be listed as an item on its council agendas.

The revised ordinance includes language from the Supreme Court decision in the Town of Greece (N.Y.) v. Galloway, as backing for the revised policy.

The court’s decision supported the council in what it already knew — that prayer in meetings was right, Councilwoman Heidi Thiess said.

“I’m very, very proud of our mayor with moving with such (speed) on the issue and bringing it up on the very next opportunity,” Thiess said.

Paulissen said the new policy will be in effect for the next council session, which is in two weeks.

“Rather than having two separate parts separating our prayer from (the meeting), its better,” Councilwoman Geri Bentley said. “It’s as we had done for years, so I think it is a good thing.”

Only Councilman Dan Becker voted against the measure. He left the council chambers before The Daily News could ask him about his opposing vote.

Paulissen indicated that Becker believed that the system was working fine as it was and that a change wasn’t necessary.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

(43) comments

Richard Williams

Nice to see people fight back for a change. Amend!!!


Good news!!!! Praise God!!! Way to go League City!!! We prayed that
that your faith would not fail!!!
God still have people here who loves Him and His Son enough to fight and stand
against Satan and his people. That is encouraging! Encouraging indeed!!!!!

ole dad

It seems to me the Christian thing to do was leave it like it was. I doesn't matter to
God whether it was during the "official" meeting or not it only matters whether there is prayer. This is more like "I got what I wanted now and I'm going to shove in your face". In my opinion council should have been satisfied the way things were operating.

Carlos Ponce

"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Col. 3:17)
Good for them. This is the American tradition, done by the by the consent of the majority. It streamlines their meetings doing it this way

Lars Faltskog

I lift my hands to believe again! You are my refuge and my strength. Praise Jesus!!!!!!

Carlos Ponce

I just hope you mean the Jesus of the Bible (Yeshua Hamashiach). Scripture writes that God created man in His image. In your recent posts, sverige, it seems that you have created your own god in your image. Very common error but it doesn't work that way.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 10:03 am on Wed, May 14, 2014:'re so "old school". When it comes to communion, we must remember that it is Jesus' body and blood that we declare and that He is the Bread of Life. Not you or I.

Carlos Ponce

sverige, I've never said or wrote that you nor I were. Jesus is the Bread of Life. That is Old School, new school, all school. Where do you get the idea that I think otherwise? What I disagree with you is found in your Bucees' postings. Asides from the statement "Jesus is Love", everything else is a reflection of you and not Him.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 10:45 am on Wed, May 14, 2014:

That's just it.. I understand and practice the real relationship between Man and God. I know that Jesus is the Bread of Life and I also realize when we sometimes singlularly signify ourselves in God's place.

While I am no theologian, I have a working knowledge of religion...and no man, no woman need tell me how to praise our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, from now on when I post my love for the Lord, I will specify if I am being "old school" or "new school" so that you won't be confused. To clarify: My 7:59 am post was "new school".

Carlos Ponce

While No man, no woman can tell you how to praise God and Our Lord Jesus Christ, when you recreate God in your own image you are violating the First Commandment. You are praising yourself. Like Shirley Maclaine you are your own god. I can tell you, brother, that is not right.
Past postings from sverige:
"Let's just say that Jesus is OK with same sex marriage.""Have you read conjectural stories that said Jesus could have been LGBT? He certainly would have an "in" in that community, with his handsome features and 6-pak abs."
In these postings you have redesigned Jesus in your image not based on scripture but as a reflection of your beliefs.

Lars Faltskog

Oh well, may God strike me down and I shall "burn".

Maybe I should pray for forgiveness. Carrie's mom in "Carrie" told her daughter to do that, but she refused and went to the prom in that dress made by the Devil. [wink]

Carlos Ponce

Word of advice:
Ask for forgiveness. Don't read into the scripture that which isn't there. You tend to do that. Don't take scripture out of context. Compare different translations when looking for the meaning of scripture. That is why the Catholic Church discouraged translations into the vernacular. They tried translating into Latin and discovered a loss in meaning. Knowledge of Biblical Greek and Hebrew is helpful. I have a friend from my high school days who teaches Biblical Greek and Hebrew in a seminary in Illinois. Although Protestant he has also taught in Catholic Universities. Don't replace the God of the Bible with your own god just to be politically correct, trendy, or "new school".

Kevin Lang

Much of the bible, even in the "original" languages can easily be taken out of context, because it's quite possible it was written out of context. Most of the narrative parts were penned years, if not generations, after the events occurred. When the Pentateuch was written down, Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, and everyone else had long since passed on. The words attributed to Moses were written in a tongue that Moses may have never spoke.

Many, if not most, of the people telling us how we should interpret the Bible have never even seen anything other than an English translation.

Lars Faltskog


Pray without ceasing.

Robert Ford

Well, then....don't pray Dan. We'll pray for you.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 12:22 pm on Wed, May 14, 2014:

Well, carlos -
I believe that if one can lead a life of service and goodwill, then he/she can utilize the concept of God in any fashion that facilitates that goal. If an individual's "God" is trendy or contemporary, then so be it.

That's why I was a bit taken aback by the GDN article last month that applauded the traditional organist music, yet the story tried to say that God was somehow "lost" in the newer pieces of today. I believe that one can come closer to God in his/her own way.

Carlos Ponce

Yes, you can pray to your own god, its your right in this country, but when you refer to Jesus, that is a specific entity. You confuse people with non-Biblical attributes about Jesus, one of the Trinity, God the Son. Readers think you are referring to Jesus of the New Testament - Yeshua Hamashiach. If you are going to create your own god call him or her or it something else and avoid the confusion. As for me and my fellow Christians, we will continue to refer to the one and only God of the Bible. And we will follow the First Commandment "I am the LORD thy God. Thou shalt have no strange gods before Me."

Mojo Boogie

So they will be okay with Muslim prayer? Bahia?Jewish?Wiccan?Hindu?Buddism?
yeeahh riiight.

Carlos Ponce

It should be whatever appeals to the majority of those present. Majority rules. That's the American way. If it were not so then President Mitt Romney would have his turn at the White House too, 47.15% of the time. That's 688 days of Mitt, 745 days of Barack, 14 days of Libertarian Gary Johnson, 5 days of Green Jill Stein, and 9 days split up among the others on the ballot.

Kevin Lang

The majority decides who the leaders are. The expectation is that the leaders will govern for all, not just those that elected them. Regardless of their numbers, the minority are still citizens, humans, and voters, perhaps even among the majority that voted them in.

If these prayers help give them the guidance needed to run League City for the benefit of all citizens, I don't care which God they pray to. If they muck it up beyond repair, I still don't care which God they pray to. In fact, I really don't care whether, when, or to whom anyone prays. I just don't feel it's anyone's business.

George Croix

The Constitution gives us all freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.
The mythical 'separation of church and state' in the Constitution is exactly that...a myth...a falsehood...a prevarication...a subversion of the truth made popular precisely because so many people are willing to repeat without learning if it's fact...and, worse, often without caring.
Choosing not to participate is the recourse for avoiding that which one does not believe in. A little of that 'tolerance' so often demanded might be better shown by the same folks.
A prayer by anyone of any religion or even lack of religion does no harm to anyone else, and costs nothing.


If you don't want the government telling your church what to do, your church doesn't get to decide what your government does.

Lars Faltskog

Response to mojoboogie2 posted at 9:24 pm on Wed, May 14, 2014:

I've mentioned that before. And that would be interesting how the council would handle it if such a person came to pray. I would imagine if whatever prayer went on, as long as it didn't last too long, they'd have to sit and listen to it and then say "thank you".

I'm with kevinjlang on this one. I don't care what they pray as long as business gets done. All I know is that when I'm on the job, no one cares what, or if, I am praying. I do know that people got curious when they see the card I have on Isidore Bakanja. Prayer of any kind can invoke curiosity, and maybe some comraderie. I don't see anything wrong with that, and if I was running a meeting and a wicca or buddist came to pray, I'd welcome it and hope some of their blessing wears off on the rest of us.

Carlos Ponce

Siddhartha Gautama, who is commonly known as the Buddha, never considered himself a god. When taught in social studies, we describe Buddhism as a philosophy and not a religion. Wicca is just a politically correct term term for witches. They do exist and the the Bible tells us to avoid them.

Kevin Lang

The Wiccan's are probably told to avoid Christians, too.

Carlos Ponce

I wish they would!

Kevin Lang

Yeah, you probably wish that everyone that believes anything different than you would go away. I tend to think that God put us all on the earth together for a reason, and I don't think that reason was to live in isolation.

Carlos Ponce

What they do in the privacy of their covens or homes is between them and God. It's when they lure the young by offering "power" that I have problems. Jesus condemns them. "It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble." Luke 17:2
And have we forgotten what a Wicca did to Mark Kilroy of Santa Fe? She lured the young pre-Med student and killed him. She wanted his spinal cord to use as a necklace to give her power.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 8:10 am on Thu, May 15, 2014,
Response to kevjlang posted at 11:06 am on Thu, May 15, 2014:

Sounds like religious intolerance shares a similar psyche as racial and social class intolerances do. The Beatles' "Imagine" sounds better and better all the time.

Kevin Lang

Having never talked to the man, but understanding that Lennon did enjoy many of the aspects of posession, religion, and country, my take on his writing is not that we should all just be one communal non-theistic commune, but that carrying any of them too far, such as the over-the-top my car is better than your car, I have more bling than you, my God can beat up your god, and my country can make your country squeal kind of stuff--the power grabbing and fear-mongering side of things--is what he's trying to get people to imagine.

A homogeneous world would certainly not be one worth imagining. Differences are perfectly fine, as long as we don't feel the need to declare thermonuclear war over them.

Carlos Ponce

Christians aren't intolerant but we do try to to proselytize and convert. We proselytize through example and showing the joys of Christ. If they chose not to we are saddened but move on."'Many are called but few are chosen" Matthew 22:14. On the other hand there is another religion that gives you three chances to convert or die. Now which is "intolerant"?
I "Imagine" John Lennon is now sing "HELP". There is a Heaven and a "Hell below us". Heaven is real. If you don't believe me ask Colton Burpo.

Kevin Lang

How do you know what John Lennon is singing now? Do you have more insight into a man's soul than humans are gifted with? Just because you might not support the way you perceive he lived his life doesn't mean that God saw him the same way you did.

George Croix

READ what he SAID, and you'll see that Carlos didn't say he KNEW, but rather postulated what Lennon MIGHT be singing now. Unless 'imagine' has become synonymous with 'know' since 16:26 hours this day.
I can see that all my efforts have worn off already....[wink][smile]

Kevin Lang

Feel free to translate that to "what makes you think he might be singing now". The point is still that it's presumptuous that John Lennon might be facing a harsh judgment when we all know that it's not us doing the judging, and we aren't the ones that can see into a man's soul. It seems that many people feel compelled to speculate the fate of others, despite the understanding that we aren't the judges. Almost makes me wonder what the reaction would be should he bump into Lennon, or, perhaps, Obama there, or worse, if he wound up elsewhere and found out THEY were up above.

Me, I'm going to focus on trying to be good myself, and not get caught up in what I think others might be doing or where they might be headed. I'll leave everyone else to the higher powers.

Carlos Ponce

If prior to death John Lennon professed a belief in God, Heaven, and asked for Jesus' Divine Mercy by His Grace he could make it. Based on what we know of his life I can only "Imagine" his fate. I really don't know. I can only speculate knowing how many have been misled by his lifestyle.Yet I still like most of his music. "Imagine" is a nice tune but its words mislead many. In the irreverent cartoon series"Robot Chicken" they even picture Adolph Hitler in Heaven. Most people, myself included, can only picture his fate in Hell for the atrocities he committed and initiated. But who's to say that he did not have a death bed conversion. He was an altar boy. Based on what we know I can only "Imagine" he is burning.

Kevin Lang

My belief is that there are certain sins that I can commit that would require more than just a death bed request for forgiveness. I personally don't think that Timothy McVeigh or Adolph Hitler could just make a simple apology and be forgiven. But that may very well be among the key reasons that I've never been named as one that can judge in God's name. I hope that by not killing people, that I'm making the road to redemption a bit easier. If Hitler just needed to ask for forgiveness, he's probably happy that he got to enjoy the thrill of killing 6 million. Myself, I can't envision a thrill in that, so I guess, I don't plan on having any regrets of activities missed.

Carlos Ponce

kevjlang, your belief is interesting but not based on anything found in scripture. Unfortunately, it is the view held by many. All sins are forgivable except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. All sin must be confessed and purged before you enter the Kingdom. Let your soul not be troubled, lay your burden at the cross of the risen Lord.

Kevin Lang

I don't think the Bible attempts to compare/contrast the sins of us run-of-the-mill folks versus the extreme cases. If a clean-souled kevjlang ran into Hitler and McVeigh in heaven, I'm sure I wouldn't think anything of it. However, the human-souled kevjlang would certainly find it odd and would wonder how someone that far out there would be able to be pull off that drastic of a reform in the eyes of God.

I guess the perception of atonement was burned into me well by the preachings I was exposed to when I was young.


Amen Mr. Ponce!! You said a mouth full. JOHN LENNON is the fool who bragged boldly that he was mpre popular than JESUS CHRIST!!!! I wonder if he still feels that way?

Lars Faltskog

Response to kevjlang posted at 11:36 pm on Thu, May 15, 2014:

I too think that the presumptions that an individual makes regarding anothers' potential or past fate is a quality that leaves much to be desired. I simply cannot understand why someone would say that God has (or will) punish someone for smoking weed, sleeping with a person who isn't his/her legal monogamous spouse. Or, sleeping with a person who happens to share the same "equipment", so to speak. It's all hogwash.

I think eventual inferno to the drug lords who murder many times over need much more moral scrutiny from you, me, carlos, and JBG than do the folks who get in the sack with someone of the same sex. Folks perhaps needing more scrutiny are abusers who slap, hit, and maim their "so called" loved ones.

I wonder what happened to the basic Christian tenet that says, "we are all sinners", and with that, we must let our Maker decide our fate. And, why is the answer always Well, it's the word of the Lord?" Why do people adhere to something (the Bible) that is a patchwork of dissasociative ideals, full of conflicting ideals?

The Bible is a framework of stories/parables that can be a guide to the development of good moral compass. It's no better or no worse than many self-help books that are created for human interest and self-improvement.

Carlos Ponce

Read the rule book, sverige, read the rule book. It's called the Bible. God forgives when forgiveness is asked for. To tell the world it's OK to do what you you feel without ramifications is simply wrong. Yes we are all sinners but I ask for God's mercy and forgiveness when I do sin. You see to be of the philosophy to do as you feel because we're all going to sin anyway. No one knows when his or her end will come. Prepare. Set yourself right with the Lord and sin no more. There are no conflicting ideas in the Bible if you read it from beginning to end. It is the Word of the Lord, far better than any "Self-help book".

George Croix

No matter how I try I still can't get 'know' to translate into 'imagine', or even 'might', much less 'maybe'.
Oh, if only I'd finished college...[wink]

Kevin Lang

No matter is enough said. It really doesn't matter.

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