The US Supreme Court has made a very important and significant decision regarding Christian prayer in public places, namely at a town meeting. The United States constitution guarantees our free exercise of religion as well as free speech so any court’s decision that inhibits those things should never have been handed down in the first place. We applaud the decision and pray it sets precedence for any further actions in the future.
The US Supreme Court has ruled that even overtly Christian opening prayers at town council meetings do not violate the US constitution.
The court ruled 5-4 that the town of Greece, New York, had made a good-faith effort at religious inclusion.
They rejected arguments the council was violating the separation of church and state and should require prayers to be “inclusive and ecumenical”.
A dissenting opinion found the prayers were inappropriately sectarian.
Risk of censorship
Since 1999, the town of Greece, New York, has opened council meetings with prayers led by volunteer ministers from within the community.
In 2007, two residents, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, complained the prayers violated their religious and philosophical views, and soon after, the council invited a Jewish layman and a Wiccan priestess to give opening invocations.
Nevertheless, the two sued. A federal district court ruled against them, but an appeals court ruled the practice violated the US constitution.
In the Supreme Court opinion overturning the appeals court decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted most of the town’s residents were Christian, while writing that non-Christians were in no way penalised or coerced into joining the prayers.
“To hold that invocations must be non-sectarian would force the legislatures sponsoring prayers and the courts deciding these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, thus involving government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice,” he wrote.
“The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers.”
Finish this article here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27284941
The US Supreme Court made a good decision on this case. It is troubling that some people would want to stop the free expression of faith in a public place when our nation was founded on the very principles of God’s Word. The free exercise of religion in public places is our constitutional right, let alone our God-given right. Let no man obstruct or hinder it in any way. Christians rejoice over this very significant