Skip to comments.Supreme Court could give landmark ruling on public prayer
Posted on 05/22/2013 6:21:31 AM PDT by NYer
.- In a move that could have national consequences for prayer in public life, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a federal case challenging the constitutionality of opening prayers at the town council meetings of Greece, New York.
“It is perfectly constitutional to allow community members to ask for God's blessing according to their conscience,” Brett Harvey, Senior Counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, told CNA May 21.
“A Supreme Court ruling reaffirming this historic tradition and making clear that prayer givers are permitted to pray consistent with the dictates of their own conscience would both uphold the original understanding of the Constitution and provide needed clarity to put an end to these attacks on our American heritage.”
Greece is a Rochester suburb with 90,000 people. The Alliance Defending Freedom is supporting the town’s defense against two plaintiffs, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens.
The two claim that the public prayers which open local town council meetings unconstitutionally privilege Christianity. Since the prayers began in 1999, they objected, almost all of those who delivered prayers have been Christians.
Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include a Jewish layperson, a local Baha'i leader, a Wiccan priestess and an atheist.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against the town. Judge Guido Calabresi, who authored the opinion, said that although the town allows anyone to volunteer it did not solicit volunteers or inform the general public that volunteers would be considered or accepted.
He emphasized that the court did not say that government bodies can never open a session with prayer, Reuters reports.
Rev. Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State, opposed the prayers. He said that a town council meeting is not a church service and “shouldn’t seem like one.”
Harvey, however, said the case “defends a historic practice of opening public meetings by seeking divine guidance.” He added that the Supreme Court has ruled public prayer a part of the “history and tradition” of the United States.
“The founders prayed while drafting our constitution’s Bill of Rights,” he said. “America continues this cherished practice, and a few people should not be able to extinguish the traditions of our nation merely because they heard something they didn’t like.”
Harvey said there have been 20 different federal lawsuits filed against local governments asking that they abandon their traditions of prayer.
“A ruling against the Town of Greece would multiply the attacks on the historic practice of seeking divine guidance at public meetings and would suggest that the authors of the Bill of Rights were violating the Constitution, even as they were writing it,” he said.
A decision on the case will likely take place during the court’s next term, which lasts from October 2013 to June 2014.
Slippery slope, ping! If this passes, expect more stringent rulings to follow, such as religious processions. etc.
“Non-Christians who have delivered prayers include a Jewish layperson, a local Baha’i leader, a Wiccan priestess and an atheist.”
An ATHEIST prayer??
The prayer at the meeting actually reveals the intention of the amendment. The antagonist is just another religious rival....in other words...there is more than one religion...and if you silence one...you MUST silence both.
We are in a spiritual battle for the soul of America. Now is the time for all believers to pray for our nation to turn to GOD.
BIBLE PROMISES FOR AMERICA
Even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your hearts, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your GOD, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyonefor kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15
Blessed is the nation whose GOD is the LORD. Psalm 32:12
May YOUR unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in YOU. Psalm 33:22
If MY people, who are called by MY name, will humble themselves and pray and seek MY face and change their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive them and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
For those who honor ME, I will honor, and those who despise ME shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Samuel 2:30b
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Matthew 5:12-15
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD, have mercy on me and answer. YOU have said, Seek my face, and my heart says to YOU, YOUR presence, O LORD, I seek. Psalm 27: 7-8
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalm 35:17-19
May YOUR unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in YOU. Psalm 33:22
"Dear non-existent Supreme Being..."
When we began, Town meeting were held IN THE CHURCHES or in the saloons!!
Re: Atheists...John Adams said it best...”That’s their problem”.
Italian hill towns usually have at least one such procession per year ~ with band, priest, etc. ~ and you can watch videos of these parades on the internet.
The mafia continues to dispatch 'soldiers' to these processions lest the crowd get out of hand and speak evil things of the mafia. They, too, show up in the videos. However, at least once a year the town council grows a pair and authorizes a religious procession which the criminal class (read that as atheists, murderers, thieves and commies) allows.
Religious processions in the US simply haven't been as common. We also haven't had until recently a reason to go up in the face of the domestic criminal class, but now that it includes the Obama Regime we probably ought to get with it!
Am I correct? Is there one guy with his back to the minister with his hands covering his ears?
If you wanted to ensure that the US was imposed with Islam, what would you do?
I think that man is leaning on a support in front of him, and his hands are over his face. That’s the curls of his wig over his ears.
Our Founders were tough guys: listening to opinions or sentiments different from their own didn’t cause them to fall to pieces and run to Mommy.
true, so unlike the populace, in general.
“An ATHEIST prayer??”
What do they pray to?
They cared enough about their differences to fight over them - verbally and physically - but they weren’t paralyzed by the very existence of people who disagreed, nor emotionally traumatized by the simple expression of contrary beliefs.
Anyone who really does react that way would simply be driven from public spaces or washed out of the gene pool, if they weren’t useful to the Communists as a distraction from real knowledge and debate of issues.
no the back of his left hand is over his eyes, and he has a halo of hair on the back of his head which almost merges with the left hand to make it appear that way. Overall your assessment is correct on the pluralistic nature of the group.
Thank you both!
I heard a neat story from a member of our prayer group last night. She is a librarian at a middle school in a nearby public school district. One day last week, a group of kids were in the library when one of them looked around and said, “Hey, we’re all Christians here, aren’t we?” It turns out they were, so they gathered in a circle and prayed the Our Father.
So...what did the atheist do? Stand there and be silent for two minutes?
I figured that was what you meant.
Thanks for the ping, BT.
I used to live in Greece, and there were a lot of fruit-cakes living there - seems they’re still there!
As noted, other than strictly Christian leaders have provided opening ‘prayers’, so that point doesn’t hold water. Note also - in the picture NYer shows above, some are kneeling, others standing, and some seated - all in contemplation in their own way. I hope the USSC smacks down the 2nd USCCA!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.