The attorney advised that the commissioners not invite clergy and if they wanted to continue prayers they should be led by the commissioners themselves and should not use language specific to one religion.
A huge outburst resulted. Most of the outspoken people protested loudly against a "generic" prayer. A flurry of letters to the editor of the local newspaper indicated that since "most" of the Buncombe County residents are Christian, it shouldn't matter if they invoke the name of Jesus Christ in the prayers at a public government meeting. Others insisted that there is "one true and living God manifested through our Lord Jesus Christ" and that any prayer not so directed is not a prayer. "There can't be a generic prayer since there is not a generic God."
Perhaps my favorite reasoning was the echo of similar concerns here in our county when the issue came up about school board meetings. One of the members insisted the prayers did not favor one religion...that they represented ALL religions...Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and even Episcopal. However, she failed to explain how "in Jesus name we pray" represented Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, or other non-Christian religions or even atheists or agnosics for that matter.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I have belonged to the ACLU for many, many years.