Pittsylvania Co., VA - The Pittsylvania County prayer debate has finally come to a close. Wednesday, a judge ruled in favor of the ACLU and plaintiff Barbara Hudson.
Both sides agreed to go into mediation, and when that failed, it went back to this judge.
The judge ruled that the board can pray just not to any specific religion. And to some, that's just as bad as not praying at all.
"This country was founded on what we practice. We are not trying to offend anybody but we have the right to believe what we believe," said Tim Barber, a member of Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors.
Barber, along with the other members of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors, have stayed strong for about two years. They've fought hard for what they see as tradition and what they believe is right.
"The tradition was attacked in Pittsylvania County," said Barber.
Barber believes the county has been saying these prayers for nearly 250 years. But now there will be a new chapter, one without prayer involving Jesus Christ.
"It hurts. We hate to lose a tradition we got," said Barber.
But not everyone appreciated their prayers.
"They made people who did not subscribe to that religion feel unwelcome and that they were less members of the community," said Rebecca Glenberg, the legal director of ACLU of Virginia.
Glenberg represents plaintiff Barbara Hudson. She says Hudson does not practice Christianity, so the judge's ruling means a big win.
"I believe that she is very pleased," said Glenberg.
Glenberg says this case remains most surprising to her because of how far it went. In similar cases, she says governing bodies quickly changed their practices. But as Barber puts it, he wanted to fight until the end.
"We stood up for what we believe in and we went down fighting," said Barber.
Glenberg says Barbara Hudson is not done with this case. In fact, she says Hudson will be asking the court to order the Board of Supervisors to reimburse her for all of her attorney fees. And Glenberg expects Hudson to win that case too.