JACKSON — The Jackson Town Council wants the Jackson Hole Rodeo to start with a non-sectarian prayer addressed to “Father” instead of Jesus.
The Jackson Hole News and Guide reported Wednesday the council plans to add a provision to the rodeo operator’s town contract spelling out the words of the prayer.
Some rodeo spectators complained to town officials last summer after the prayer offered by the announcer sometimes quoted Bible passages and mentioned Jesus Christ.
Two pastors who attended a Town Council meeting on Monday objected to the new language, citing the free speech provision of the First Amendment.
Council members responded that the First Amendment’s provision on the separation of church and state requires a prayer that doesn’t favor any religion.
Rodeo operator Phil Wilson’s contract runs through September 2013.