Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings


WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers at government meetings.

The 5-4 decision in favor of the any-prayer-goes policy in the town of Greece, N.Y., avoided two alternatives that the justices clearly sought to avoid: having government leaders parse prayers, or outlawing them altogether.

It was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the court’s conservatives agreeing and its liberals, led by Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting.


Finally, a victory for religious freedom from the SCOTUS.




Reporting from Washington—

The Supreme Court said Monday that city councils and other public boards are free to open their meetings with an explicitly Christian prayer, ruling that judges may not act as “censors of religious speech” simply because the prayers reflect the views of the dominant faith.

The 5-4 decision rejected the idea that government-sponsored prayers violate the Constitution if officials regularly invite Christian clerics to offer the prayers.


Opinion here:




With graduation season right around the corner, it will be interesting to see if some school districts take this as applying to religious speech for commencement invocations/valedictory speeches.


Great point. I bet some do but most of those who have banned religious content in those speeches will not.




Amen, friend!


However, many of those bans publicly cited the Constitution as the reason for the ban. That won’t hold water anymore. :slight_smile: Being in Texas, most school districts have traditionally looked for ways to allow more religious speech rather than exclude it. Often this takes the place of some kind of disclaimer in the graduation program that the speeches aren’t endorsed by the school. I went to one graduation where there were four speeches - an invocation by a student, valedictory, salutatory, and a “student’s choice” speaker. All four invoked the name of Jesus. At the very least, this decision should take away some of the threats of lawsuits every time someone bows their head to pray on school grounds. (being only partially sarcastic)


This was a local story for me.

The town invites clergy of any religion to say the opening praryer. So, the town government isn’t really favoring any one religion.

The lady who broguht the suit was Jewish, and the town would have no problem bringing in a Rabbi.


This is good to hear! Maybe religious freedom isn’t a lost cause in our nation after all.


It will be interesting to see what happens when the first Muslim, Pagan or Satanist prayer is used.

‘Freedom of Religion’ often seems to mean ‘Freedom of my religion’, or at least ‘Freedom of Religion as long as my Reigion is dominant’:wink:


Yes, that is a possibility among progressives in the USA, where "tolerance’ means tolerance of me.

Over 30 years ago at my college graduation the prayer was given by a Buddhist without any problem. Catholics in the USA are very sensitive to the fact that freedom of religion means freedom of all religions. I would assume it would be the same in the UK considering the history of Catholicism there.


Well that didn’t take long! :stuck_out_tongue:

Not exactly the same thing, I’ll grant, but close enough to illustrate the point! If anything I am sure the objections would be even more strident if this were at a government meeting.


Ah, but Buddhism is a safe cuddly religion. :wink:


There are truths in Buddhism, as in other non-Christian religions as the Church teaches us.

Granted, they not have the fullness of truth, but we accept what is true in them, despite not being Catholic.



Schultz Show: ‘Scalia Law a Lot Like Sharia Law’

By: Kristine Marsh | May 8, 2014, 14:30 ET

Allowing a brief prayer to be said at the beginning of a court case is akin to stoning and beheading people for not following your religion, according to liberal comedian John Fugelsang. On MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” May 6, Fugelsang actually compared the recent Supreme Court decision in Greece v. Galloway to allow prayer in government as reminiscent to Muslim Sharia Law. Really?

Fugelsang called this case “not really about Christianity, it’s about Christian supremacy. This is about a whole different thing: establishing Christianity as the dominant religion.” The commentator went on to say, “The irony is, these are the guys that are praying for a separation of mosque and state over there, erasing the wall of church and state over here. And it’s interesting, with government in religion, Scalia law is a lot like Sharia law.” Get it? They rhyme. And Scalia is a conservative justice. And conservatives are the same as Islamic fundamentalists. Clever, clever, liberals!

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