Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Public prayer and the U.S. Supreme Court

Public prayer going to the Supreme Court

The hamlet of Greece, New York at times would open up their town council meetings with a prayer, usually a Christian prayer.  Around thirty years ago the Supreme Court ruled prayer at the beginning of legislative session did not violate the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The case with Greece, New York being claimed is unlike a Congressional session, or state legislative session, a city or town council meeting may be required to conduct certain local issues.  Basically the public attending a Congressional or state legislative session are optional, whereas it is not always optional on a city or town level.  Hence because of that prayers at the local level should not be held or if held should not be rooted in one area, in this case Christianity.         

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of;…..”   

Most victims of American public schools in the last 30 years are only aware of the first ten words.  Reciting a prayer at a town meeting does not establish or recognize a religion.  Objection to the prayer in effect violates the First Amendment part, “…or prohibiting the free exercise there of;…..”  

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or prohibiting the free exercise there of;…..”  

Americans United for Separation of Church and State – AU, filed the lawsuit.  For the defense Alliance Defending Freedom - ADF.

From the ADF website, some facts about public prayer in these here United States of America:

• The Founders prayed publicly while drafting our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
• 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public prayer is part of the
“history and tradition of this country.”
• Prayer is included as part of the presidential inauguration.
• Prayer is observed at the beginning of each session of Congress.
• The Supreme Court begins each session with prayer.
• Members of most of the 50 state legislatures open their meetings with prayer.
• Public invocations are offered at every level of government throughout
the country. Alliance Defending Freedom has assisted more than 150
municipalities, counties, and states in the defense of this American tradition.
• The town of Greece grants each volunteer the liberty to pray in a manner
consistent with their own unique faith tradition.
• Public prayer is just one of the many public acknowledgments of religion
that could be impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision in Greece v.

Related articles:

Related documents to the case:

Alliance Defending Freedom for Faith, for Justice website:

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