Well, it’s town meeting season again in Vermont. And with it comes a journalistic revisit to the prayer controversy in the town of Franklin that was finally resolved last year, when a judge ruled that the town couldn’t open its annual meeting with a prayer. It was a victory for local resident Marilyn Hackett, after years of protestations.
The good people of Franklin, being solid Christian folk, have responded with all the love, charity, and forgiveness– ahh, who am I kidding? As the Mitchell Family Organ reports, they’re still angry.
End of story? Not for Hackett, who’s still taunted by critics in the mail and on the street.
“I’m a little afraid I’m going to go to town meeting and there’s going to be anger,” she says. “People are ruing the loss of a tradition. …The majority of people still don’t get the constitution.”
The town’s annual report even notes that the court decision came “to the disappointment of the Select Board.” Nice of them not to hold a grudge. Real Christians, they are.
And Hackett fears that, in line with their views on what it means to be a good Christian, the Select Board might try to sneak the prayer in the back way:
She recalls a past suggestion simply to change the order of proceedings – from gavel/prayer to prayer/gavel – and has heard talk of a gathering beforehand at the meeting site, the Franklin Central School, for some sort of invocation.
Yup, vindictiveness, anger, and deception. Just like Jesus!