Monday, May 5, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Supports Prayer ~by Legal Pub

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings.   Prayers are okay as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or try to win converts according to the court's 5-4 decision in Greece v. .
The decision seems to follow a 1983 decision in which the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska Legislature.  Justice Anthony Kennedy said that forcing clergy to scrub the prayers of references to Jesus Christ and other sectarian religious figures would turn officials into censors. Instead, Justice Kennedy suggested that prayers should be seen as ceremonial and consistent with traditions. "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," Justice Kennedy said. 
A federal appeals court in New York had previously ruled that Greece violated the Constitution by opening nearly every meeting with prayers that focused on Christianity.  Similarly, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that even with the high court's 1983 ruling, the practice of having one Christian prayer after another amounted to the town's endorsement of Christianity.
Justice Elena Kagan, led the dissent. Kagan was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. 


Anonymous said...

Back to educational articles...

Anonymous said...

Prayer can be a good thing!