May 21, 2013

Supreme Court to Hear Public Prayer Case

US Supreme Court building, front elevation, st...
US Supreme Court building, front elevation, steps and portico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case out of New York involving public prayer at governmental meetings. The case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, may have important implications for efforts to preserve the separation of church and state.

Of particular interest in this case is that the town has adopted what sounds like an inclusive policy in which many different types of prayers or invocations are acceptable. Instead of the usual sectarian prayers in Jesus' name which are so common where I live, Greece's policy permits atheists and Wiccans to give invocations too.

Policy aside, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has noted that only two of the prayers given at these meetings during the past 10 years have been non-Christian. Moreover, most of the prayers given have not been nonsectarian but explicitly Christian.

The problem I have with this sort of thing is that while an inclusive policy is better than an exclusive one, it still amounts to the government promoting religion. Governmental meetings should not include prayer of any kind.

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