Supreme Court upholds legislative prayer at council meetings – Greg J. Dixon
After a long series of defeats at the appellate and Supreme Court level, anyone who has any concern for our national wellbeing, should certainly rejoice and give thanks to the Lord, and to the five Justices, who ruled yesterday in this matter of opening town council meetings with prayer. This means that the highest court in the land has said that God and His Son Jesus is now welcome back into the public arena where other courts have said they are to be banned. This is a small step back for all of the ground that has been lost for Christianity in America and we have a long way to go. Until nativity scenes are welcome back on town squares, voluntary prayers and bible reading is invited back into our public schools and until the Ten Commandments are back on our school and court room walls, we aren’t there and won’t be. Let us not stop until we are all the way back. And while we are at it, let’s repeal Roe v Wade.
A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that legislative bodies such as city councils can begin their meetings with prayer, even if it plainly favors a specific religion.
The court ruled 5 to 4 that Christian prayers said before meetings of an Upstate New York town council did not violate the constitutional prohibition against government establishment of religion; the justices cited history and tradition.
“Ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this Nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond the authority of government,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court’s conservative majority.
The ruling reflected a Supreme Court that has become more lenient on how government may accommodate religion in civic life without crossing the line into an endorsement of a particular faith. All nine justices endorsed the concept of legislative prayer,
The court’s five conservatives said legislative prayers need not be stripped of references to a specific religion — the prayers at issue often invoked Jesus Christ and the resurrection — and said those given the opportunity to pray before legislative meetings should be “unfettered” by what government officials find appropriate.
The case involved the New York town of Greece, just outside Rochester, where the council regularly opened its meetings with a prayer delivered by someone from the community. The speakers were recruited from local houses of worship, which were overwhelmingly Christian.