Original post AND COMMENTS are from March 5, 2013. It should be noted that Marilyn has been awarded damages by the judge, which she has contributed to the ACLU. Can anyone enlighten us as to what took place in Franklin this year?
It’s that time of year again and we would like to know how Marilyn Hackett’s neighbors are treating her these days. Marilyn, if you’re out there somewhere, we’d love to hear from you, first hand.
Town Meeting Day wouldn’t be complete without a look back on what was Marilyn Hackett’s annual clash with her Franklin neighbors over public prayer. We’ve revisited that drama many times here on GMD.
Last year, prayer was suspended in anticipation of a decision favoring Ms. Hackett’s position. Now that that decision has specifically ended prayer on the premises of Town Meeting, the community faces the challenge
of creating new traditions within the bounds of law.
So once again this year, there was no prayer at Town Meeting.
Instead, Ms. Hackett’s pious neighbors gathered at an interfaith prayer meeting at St. Mary’s church, half-an-hour before commencement of the traditional public meeting at Franklin Central School.
Referring to Ms. Hackett, a defiant Father Roger Charbonneau was quoted by the Messenger as saying
…We decided to have it at church where she can’t interfere with our prayer. She can’t prevent us from praying in our own churches.
Ms. Hackett’s own response to the arrangements was considerably more gracious:
This is just the right thing for those who feel the need to pray on Town Meeting Day. I think it’s great.
Nicely said, Ms. Hackett.
We hope that, in time, the people who gathered today at St. Mary’s will embrace the freedom from religion for which you fought so valiantly, because it really is the grand bargain that must be preserved in order to protect their own freedom of religion.
When they do, maybe you’ll even get the “thank you” which you so richly deserve.