Federal judge rules National Day of Prayer unconstitutional

Judge Crabb, an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter, wrote in her decision that ‘”some forms of ‘ceremonial deism,’ such as legislative prayer, do not violate the establishment clause.” But she said the National Day of Prayer goes too far.

“It goes beyond mere acknowledgment of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,” she said. “In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.”

The suit was originally filed against then-President George W. Bush and members of his administration, but President Obama is now listed as the defendant because the president enforces the statute in question by issuing a proclamation each year declaring National Day of Prayer.

washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/15/wisc-court-national-prayer-day-unconstitutional/

I think Judge Crabb(y) needs to rethink her ruling. I don't see anything wrong with it as long as a particular religion is not being promoted. And there is nothing that requires anyone to pray if they don't want to.

It's freedom OF religion; not freedom FROM religion.

This does not matter. This judge will be overruled on appeal - even if it has to go up to the USSJC to get done.

  • Marty Lund

This "Judge" needs to stop wasting her time with such nonsense!

Freedom from religion is part of freedom of religion as I am free to not have a religion. Otherwise it would be illegal for me to not have a religion. If it's only freedom of religion then it could be meant to imply that you can have whatever religion you want, as long as you have a religion.

[quote="j1akey, post:5, topic:194936"]
Freedom from religion is part of freedom of religion as I am free to not have a religion. Otherwise it would be illegal for me to not have a religion. If it's only freedom of religion then it could be meant to imply that you can have whatever religion you want, as long as you have a religion.

[/quote]

I think you misunderstand the terms. Freedom OF religion means you can belong to any religion, or not, that you want. Which is what we have in the US.

Freedom FROM religion is what the atheists want. They want every symbol and mention of religion to be abolished in the public sphere. That's not the society we have and will not have. Atheists cannot have freedom from religion without infringing my right to freedom of religion.

[quote="momor, post:6, topic:194936"]
Freedom FROM religion is what the atheists want.

[/quote]

Actually, not just atheists. I want to be free of other folks religion, too. I particularly don't want public funds to pay for anyone's religion or religious practices.

This is a legal case, folks. Did anyone notice that there are few legal arguments on this thread, but much emotional breast-beating? I'm not sure if the judge's ruling will survive on appeal and I have my own opinions on it but let's discuss the legalities of the situation.

Supreme Court prediction:

SUSTAIN (4): Breyer, Ginsburg, (insert Stevens' replacement here), Sotomayor
OVERRULE (4): Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito

Once again, it's all up to Kennedy-DON'T LET US DOWN!

[quote="DeaconsSon87, post:8, topic:194936"]
Supreme Court prediction:

SUSTAIN (4): Breyer, Ginsburg, (insert Stevens' replacement here), Sotomayor
OVERRULE (4): Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito

Once again, it's all up to Kennedy-DON'T LET US DOWN!

[/quote]

This case is a long way from the Supreme Court and may never arrive there. And, I disagree with your predictions, too.

IMHO....It's not a law...so the judge is wrong - it doesn't go against the Constitution

[quote="kimmielittle, post:10, topic:194936"]
IMHO....It's not a law...so the judge is wrong - it doesn't go against the Constitution

[/quote]

If a governor started every cabinet meeting and every legislative session with readings from the Koran, that would not be a law, either.

Couldn't Congress just declare this to be a Buddhist country? That would not be a law.

it’s not a law - it’s not unconstitutional - no matter what spin you try to push :slight_smile:

Couldn’t Congress just declare this to be a Buddhist country? That would not be a law.

Congress would have to have the votes first and have it signed into law - THEN it would be unconstitutional

[quote="Beau_Ouiville, post:11, topic:194936"]
If a governor started every cabinet meeting and every legislative session with readings from the Koran, that would not be a law, either.

[/quote]

it's not a law - it's not unconstitutional - no matter what spin you try to push :)

Couldn't Congress just declare this to be a Buddhist country? That would not be a law.

Congress would have to have the votes first and have it signed into law

[quote="kimmielittle, post:13, topic:194936"]
it's not a law - it's not unconstitutional - no matter what spin you try to push

Congress would have to have the votes first and have it signed into law

[/quote]

I have a feeling that a lot of federal action could be unconstitutional under first amendment grounds without a law being passed.

[quote="momor, post:2, topic:194936"]
It's freedom OF religion; not freedom FROM religion.

[/quote]

You can't have freedom of religion without freedom from religion. Otherwise, the gov't could make a law forcing you to observe some other religion's practice.

If

1.) the Framers of the Constitution, who drafted, debated, and ratified the document, came to a consensus that a particular behavior did not violate the explicit or implicit meanings they laid down

And

2.) the pertinent passages of that Constitution have not been amended since then

Then

3.) the behavior can not licitly be ruled Unconstitutional without an Amendment to said Constitution

And

4.) any party acting otherwise within an office is ex facto violating the supreme law of the land and should be removed from office on the grounds of anything ranged from gross negligence or incompetence to high treason.

The first National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving was instituted by George Washington under the Constitution with the approval and consent of the Framers who wrote it and the states which ratified it. To read meaning into the passages of the Constitution that authors themselves did not assert is one of the worst kinds of abuse of jurisprudence. Judges are not law-makers and law-givers within the framework of our Constitution, not matter how opinionated or partisan they may be personally.

  • Marty Lund

[quote="Beau_Ouiville, post:11, topic:194936"]
If a governor started every cabinet meeting and every legislative session with readings from the Koran, that would not be a law, either.

Couldn't Congress just declare this to be a Buddhist country? That would not be a law.

[/quote]

You're missing the point. Prayer is not religion specific. If someone makes it a mandatory, religion specific occasion then they would be violating the Constitution.

That is a GROSS misrepresentation. What these people (they ain’t all atheists, I as a practicing Catholic want the same thing) want is to remove every symbol and mention of religion from the Government Sphere.

If you want to circulate an email petition encouraging everyone to observe a National Day of Prayer, I would endorse it and even participate. It’s when you try to enlist the government to coerce (for ALL government is coercion) others to do it that I object.

You are getting closer and closer to your wish. Do you think the morals and culture are getting better for it? Last I checked this country was founded on the idea that we have inalienable rights endowed by our Creator. I don’t see why God should be removed from the gov’t sphere.

[quote=Judge Barbara]’“some forms of ‘ceremonial deism,’ such as legislative prayer, do not violate the establishment clause. . . . It (national prayer) goes beyond mere acknowledgment of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,”
[/quote]

What? At least be consistent. Legislative prayer shouldn’t get a free pass because it’s traditional. If you feel that national prayer goes against the law then it does so in all cases, or no cases.

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