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Courtís prayer case: A revolutionary tale
NY Post ^ | May 22, 2013 | SETH LIPSKY

Posted on 05/24/2013 4:45:16 AM PDT by Pharmboy

The US Supreme Court announced this week that it will take up the question of whether it’s OK for Greece, New York, to open meetings of the town board by letting citizens voluntarily offer a prayer. It’s a potential landmark case in the contest over religion in the public square.

But it’s not the first time this question has arisen. The moment invites a telling of the story of the Reverend Jacob Duché. It was he who, in 1774, gave the most famous prayer ever delivered at a governmental meeting in America. His tale takes a surprise turn that could not be more timely.


Duché: Led Congress in prayer but died in disgrace as an early traitor.

Duché’s prayer was delivered at the start of the First Continental Congress. Boston was occupied by the British, and war was about to break out. The Congress met at Philadelphia, where Duché was rector of Christ Church. In its graveyard, seven signers of the Declaration of Independence would eventually be laid to rest.

Yet there were cries of protest when a suggestion was made that the Congress be opened with a prayer. For the delegates included Episcopalians, Quakers, Anabaptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Catholics, and maybe followers of other religions or none.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: government; prayer; revwar
Lipsky starts out seemingly dealing with the issue of prayer in the public arena, then at the end drifts off into prayers link to patriotism. This is a muddled piece, but I post it for its historical value.
1 posted on 05/24/2013 4:45:16 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: indcons; Chani; thefactor; blam; aculeus; ELS; Doctor Raoul; mainepatsfan; timpad; ...

As I read the First Amendment, no where does it prohibit prayer in school...just call me crazy.

Ye Olde RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping lifte

Your Humble & Obdt. Svt.,
P_____y

2 posted on 05/24/2013 4:54:00 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy
There were plenty of loyalists in 1774....and pacifists.

Remember that Washington himself was a British soldier early on.

3 posted on 05/24/2013 4:56:22 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Pharmboy

“The Constitution, after all, prohibits Congress from making any law either respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Prohibiting the free exercise thereof...If I want to open a meeting with a prayer, then I have the right to do so under the constitution.


4 posted on 05/24/2013 4:58:20 AM PDT by k4gypsyrose
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To: k4gypsyrose

‘Zackly the way I see it...they over-interpret the first part, and under-interpret the second.


5 posted on 05/24/2013 5:03:05 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Sacajaweau
In 1774, the road to revolution had not been clearly staked out. We did not declare ourselves separate until '76.

The seeds of Washington's discontent with the British (and in the 1750s, essentially all Americans considered themselves British subjects) was how he--as a colonial--was treated by British Army regulars. In 1758 he took the long ride to Boston to personally complain to General Shirley.

It was not until after the end of the French and Indian War (1763)--when the Brits started to tax us in order to recoup the great expense of defending us colonials. The first organized show of resistance--as you know--wasn't until the Stamp Act Congress held in NYC in 1765.

Duche was with us when he gave that prayer, but as the article states he wanted the RevWar to end in 1777 because of the hardships he saw his countrymen suffering.

6 posted on 05/24/2013 5:12:09 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy
meetings of the town board

The 1st Amendment to the Constitution contains the answer.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Congress of the Federal government shall make no law! It does not say, State governments, County governments, or Local governments; it says Congress, only Congress.

The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to legislate religion therefore prayers at a local town meetings are not the business of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can only rule on issues that the Congress is empowered to legislate.

7 posted on 05/24/2013 5:26:20 AM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: Pharmboy
read the First Amendment, no where does it prohibit prayer in school

The prohibition of prayer in the Public Schools began with a Supreme Court ruling in 1947.

However, what I find questionable is why the Supreme Court can rule on the conduct of the Public School system since Congress has no power to legislate Public Schools.

The answer is because of another unconstitutional action of Congress; funding Public Schools. If the Federal government provides funding, guidance, and influence then prayer can be interpreted as an attempt to establish a religion by an agenda driven Supreme Court and Congress.

8 posted on 05/24/2013 5:39:21 AM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: Pharmboy

What happens when a whole bunch of people show up to do it? Draw straws?


9 posted on 05/24/2013 6:05:04 AM PDT by Zeta Beam
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To: MosesKnows
Yes...of course; but the strangest part of the whole story, is why Madison put the First Amendment in after getting pushback from (mainly) Patrick Henry and George Mason (those wascally Virginians again).

At this time (1787), each colony/state had their own laws about office-holders and religious requirements (the only exception was VA, and they were in the middle of writing theirs). Some required a belief in God, but some were more restrictive and written to prevent Catholics and/or Jews from holding office. 1A was really a states' rights issue. And, those restrictive laws were repealed in fairly short order.

10 posted on 05/24/2013 6:10:47 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

“letting citizens voluntarily offer a prayer.”

Fine thing when this exact situation becomes a point of contention.

I won’t comment on my pathetic commie-atheist-envirnut cousin who cheers on every effort to make war on every little reference to God in “the public arena”.


11 posted on 05/24/2013 6:38:22 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: the OlLine Rebel

We all have those ignorant people in our families. What we are seeing now is what happens when they are in charge.


12 posted on 05/24/2013 6:59:03 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

I’m afraid it’s more than just he. He’s just the most open about it on Facebook. Yuck. How do you “dislike” what someone posts?


13 posted on 05/24/2013 7:09:01 AM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: MosesKnows

You say —

The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to legislate religion therefore prayers at a local town meetings are not the business of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can only rule on issues that the Congress is empowered to legislate.

This is just SO Wrong.

F’rinstance ... The ‘sovereign’ States ( and any ‘contained’ jurisdiction ) may NOT enact laws that contravene the Constitution. Otherwise, selectively, any State may enact laws that deprive its OWN citizens of essential rights or privileges reserved to them by the Constitution and diminish them from the status enjoyed by citizens of OTHER States. ( Article IV, Section 2 ) The Supreme Court CERTAINLY has jurisdiction to overturn such practices, despite the non-involvement of the Congress.

The Constitution specifically states —

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.” ( Article VI )

To say that the Supreme Court may ONLY “ ... rule on issues that the Congress is empowered to legislate ...” is beyond ridiculous.

Was your ‘Constitutional Law’ tutor, by any chance, a certain ‘Professor’ Soetoro ???

One Man’s Opinion

21stCenturion


14 posted on 05/24/2013 7:14:50 AM PDT by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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To: the OlLine Rebel

I would take that as a positive—he’s showing the world what an idiot he is. As these criminal, anti-American activities of this administration play out, he will paint himself into a corner and the paint will never dry.


15 posted on 05/24/2013 7:16:16 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must.)
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To: Pharmboy

Totally agree with you Pharmboy. Things are reaching a flashpoint.


16 posted on 05/24/2013 9:23:12 AM PDT by ZULU ((See: http://gatesofvienna.net/))
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To: 21stCenturion
This is just SO Wrong.

I can accept that much.

The topic was “prayer” and I assumed people with a working knowledge of the Constitution would read my post in that context. To that end let me rephrase my observations.

Do you disagree with this statement? The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to legislate religion therefore prayers at a local town meetings are not the business of the Supreme Court.

I can see your problem with this statement. The Supreme Court can only rule on issues that the Congress is empowered to legislate.

I’ll reword that to seek a more acceptable response. “The Supreme Court can only rule on legislation that Congress has passed whether Congress were constitutionally empowered to legislate or not and all other legislation to determine if that legislation conflicts with the Constitution.”

Article III charges the Supreme Court in Section 2 .to contain its judicial Power to the Constitution. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution…

17 posted on 05/24/2013 4:10:44 PM PDT by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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To: MosesKnows

I’m not in this to merely ‘quibble’. Your original assertion — “ ... The Supreme Court can only rule on issues that the Congress is empowered to legislate ...” — was and still IS the point I questioned.

The SCOTUS is NOT constrained to respond ONLY to issues originating in some act of Congress. That’s what you said and that’s what I questioned.

The issue you raised, as far as I am concerned, is NOT simply concerned with ‘prayer’ or ‘religion’. You may want to fold back around to that constraint but you opened this door and I’m walking in.

Consider something ELSE your amendment STILL overlooks: ANY case arising within a State or Inferior Federal Court which may, somehow, be ‘lawyered’ into an argument merely referring to a topic within the Constitution ( especially within the Bill of Rights or the infinitely ‘expansive’ 14th ) MAY very well end up calendared by the SCOTUS for review / appeal. I am unaware of a successful challenge to inhibit the working of this process since Marbury v. Madison.

How did y’all miss that’n ???

When you cite Article II, Section 2, you encompass ALL of it, not merely a phrase you ‘quote’ out of context. This Article outlines the scope of the Judicial Power and contains NOT one word or phrase indicating your preferred construction — ‘can only review laws enacted in Congress’. Mr Justice Marshall ruled explicitly that SCOTUS CAN review Acts of Congress and rule on their Constitutionality. That understanding was, previously, NOT operative and became the essence of the ‘system of checks and balances’ we understand the Constitution to have originated. Before then, some held that only Congress was the judge of it’s Acts and only the President was the judge of the means by which the Executive Power was exercised. Mr Justice Marshall thought otherwise.

One Man’s Opinion

21stCenturion


18 posted on 05/24/2013 6:05:17 PM PDT by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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