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To the editor:

Recent news articles and an editorial in the Deseret News have referred to those opposing public prayer at governmental meetings as "anti-prayer." That inaccurate description ignores the real concern. The recent litigation opposes government prayer and not prayer in general.Government should not be in the business of religion. When government sponsors religion as part of the political process, there is great potential for harm to religion and the rights of individuals.

Government-sponsored or endorsed prayer or religion may well lead to government-controlled religion. That specific concern guided the drafters of the Utah and federal constitutions.

There are good reasons for opposing government prayer. Opposition to government prayer does not mean opposition to prayer in general.

Brian M. Barnard

Attorney at law

Salt Lake City