Supreme Court Rules 5-4 on Public Prayer
by Cal Thomas
Ever since the
Take Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). The case, The
The recent 5-4 ruling by the Court upholding prayer at government meetings may have stretched the Lemon test.
Writing for the majority, Justice
If prayer is largely "ceremonial" and "traditional" then it has lost all meaning. One might as well chant "2-4-6-8 who do we appreciate!"
Since 1999, the
This case reinforces what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment. Having experienced the negative effects on religion from a state church in
When the state defines what constitutes legitimate religion, the free exercise of faith suffers and the government violates the establishment clause by defining legitimate religious practice. Just ask
Justices tried to draw distinctions between the prayers said before opening sessions of
There is nothing to prevent and much to recommend elected officials praying in private before a meeting. If the intent is to seek God and His direction, that is the proper way to do it, according to no less an authority than Jesus of Nazareth, who said: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:6)
Jesus also rebuked the Pharisees when He said in verse 5 of the same chapter: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full."
While public prayers may be constitutionally acceptable, according to the 5-4 majority, there is a
God save (and put some common sense into) this honorable court and town councils everywhere. Maybe we should pray, privately, toward that end.
Available at Amazon.com: The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
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"Supreme Court Rules 5-4 on Public Prayer "