During its bi-monthly meeting Sept. 24, Council voted unanimously to hang framed copies of the Christian documents.
“We have all seen the response across America since the tragedy Sept.11,” said Councilman Bill McMillon, who made the motion. “We’ve seen our Congress singing ‘God Bless America’ on the steps of the Capitol. We’ve also seen our President and leaders praying openly at the Capitol.”
McMillon feels it is appropriate that Ringgold show that it stands on these same principles, but he did not want to leave out those with other beliefs.
“We will also display a blank frame to recognize other religious beliefs,” he said.
Councilwoman Martha Denton seconded the motion, which also adds prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to the agenda of their bi-monthly meetings.
Mayor Joe Barger said the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance will begin at their next meeting.
“We will be alternating prayer between people,” he said. “We expect to have the frames on display within a couple of weeks.”
In an interview the next day following the meeting, both the Mayor and Councilman McMillon said that representatives from other denominations will be welcome to open council meetings with prayer, whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish or other faiths.
“We are hoping we will not have to fight to uphold this decision, but we will if we have to,” McMillon said. “People have been trying to pull God out of America, and we are trying to put Him back.”
He also said the council is not trying to show preference to any one religion.
“We are recognizing that there is a Supreme Creator whom we call God,” McMillon said. “If other religions want to put something up here (City Hall), we are not against it.”
On the heels of the Sept. 19 Hamilton County Board of Commissioners mandate to post the Ten Commandments in the Hamilton County Courthouse in Chattanooga, McMillon said he wanted to move quickly.
“I believe Ringgold is the first city in Georgia to adopt such a resolution,” he said.
No residents who attended the meeting voiced opposition to the decision