Praying for the First Amendment?

praying HandsFor some Supreme Court watchers, it seemed like a no-brainer that the court would decide that public town meetings could not be opened with Christian prayers.  You know, the First Amendment’s call for separation of church and state an all that?

Sadly, if you’re not Christian you might be feeling a little left out after SCOTUS’ ruling in Greece v. Galloway, in which Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “The town of Greece (New York) does not violate the First Amendment by opening its meetings with prayer that comports with our traditionand does not coerce participation by nonadherents.”

Except here’s the problem — a Christian prayer is only “our” tradition for Christians, and “nonadherents” do feel coereced, even if no one is forcing them to actually say the prayers out loud, because it imposes on the rights of non-Christians in their religious freedoms.

But regardless of your religious inclinations, there might be one prayer we could agree on:

Praying hands image in the public domain

  • Beverly Uhlmer

    The First Amendment does NOT call for the separation of church and state; it says the government shall not ESTABLISH a state religion. It further says that the government will not prohibit the free exercise of religion. A prayer offered by an individual in a public place is neither required nor prohibited, it is offered at the discretion of the person doing the praying. A Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan or Atheist is also afforded this same freedom.

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