WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers released the following statement applauding the U.S. District Court's rejection of an atheist's challenge to opening prayer before Congress in Barker V. Conroy. The ruling dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and its co-president Dan Barker who aimed to deliver a secular invocation in place of the traditional opening prayer in Congress.
"This great nation was established as one nation under God and every day since the first Continental Congress, it has opened in prayer to God led by our elected Chaplain. I believe in the power of prayer and I'm grateful for everyone who uplifts this nation to the Almighty. The ruling itself is an answered prayer, rightfully favoring House Chaplain, Father Pat Conroy and upholding our freedom to conduct prayer before beginning critical business each day for our country."
Since the election of the first House Chaplain in 1789, the U.S. House of Representatives has been served by chaplains of various religious denominations, including Baptist, Christian, Congregationalist, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Unitarian, and Universalist.