CRANSTON, R.I. --
The Cranston School Committee voted Monday night to keep a prayer banner on public display at a city high school, even if it means a costly legal battle.
The controversy surrounds a prayer banner that starts "Our Heavenly Father ..." and ends with "Amen."
The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has said it will sue if the banner remains, because it violates the constitution's principle of separation of church and state. The banner has hung on the auditorium wall at Cranston West for about 50 years.
The banner's creator said it was meant to be non-denominational.
"I don't believe that prayer has hurt or injured or warped a single one of them. They are probably better citizens for having recited, read or even seen my prayer," David Bradley said.
The meeting of about 200 people was filled with mostly supporters, many who say it is religiously right to keep it up.
But there are opponents too, those who said defending a lawsuit will be too costly. Others said it isn't right to mix religion and education.
In the end, it came down to a close vote, 4-3 with last minute appeals on both sides coming before the final vote.
The result came back today, the school lost.