U.S. top court endorses prayers before town meetings

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Revmitchell, May 5, 2014.

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  1. Revmitchell

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    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right of government entities across the United States to allow sectarian prayers prior to public meetings.

    The court said on a 5-4 vote that the town of Greece in New York state did not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion by allowing prayers before its monthly meetings.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-court-prayer-20140505,0,7624101.story
     
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    A win for religion: SCOTUS says public meetings may open with prayer

    They can't get healthcare right, but they got this one right. That's one.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    While I'm OK with this, I have to wonder .... whose god will be prayed to? They said there had to be "inclusion".

    So does that mean if an evangelical Christian is praying that anyone who is not an evangelical Christian must remain silent in respect of the prayer?

    And does that mean if a Muslim, Jew, Catholic, or Mormon is leading the opening prayer that the evangelical Christian has to remain silent in respect of the prayer.

    I don't know ... I just see some potential for trouble here.

    Everyone is going to want an opening prayer in honor of their own god. It's has already happened in this country that prayers to other gods have been uttered at political meetings where the majority present are Christians.
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No, you misread. Here's what Justice Mr. Kennedy said in his supporting brief:
    He referred to the inclusion of the prayer in a public meeting, not that the prayer had to be inclusive of anything. Justice Ms. Kagen wrote in dissent that ...
    ... which is why she took issue with the ruling. Today's decision upholds a 1983 SCOTUS decision in a Nebraska case in which the court ruled that the state legislature's daily opening prayer was "part of the nation's fabric," and therefore could be predominantly sectarian as the body invoking the prayer so desires.
     
    #4 thisnumbersdisconnected, May 5, 2014
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  5. Scarlett O.

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    OK .... Thanks.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    A good news, bad news situation. Christians can have a prayer before town meetings but so can Muslims, Buddhists, and other religions. Plus, atheists will surely offer a prayer to the "Flying Spaghetti Monster."
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    This is not a new scenario. It has been so since the founding of this country.
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    No prob. I've misread stuff myself. For me, it comes from trying to see the tiny, tiny screen without my readers on. :laugh: :thumbsup:
     
  9. Zaac

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    I think they got it wrong and probably should not have even heard this case. The way the decision is written, it does open the door for a kind ecumenicalism that is as equally dangerous as is allowing everyone to open in prayer to his own god.

    I think, and maybe I'm looking ahead too much, but I think this is almost sinister and that in the long run, it will do exactly the opposite of what the group wanted. In order to keep from letting folks pray to any and everything, the council will probably end up stopping the prayer all together.
     
    #9 Zaac, May 5, 2014
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  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Oops, Rev, my apologies. I didn't see your thread before I started this one. My bad.
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    I haven't had time to read the entire decision yet, only Kennedy's opinion (with Thomas' additions) since it is around 80 pages, but this case is of a very limited scope and is hardly a win for Christian prayer.

    Kennedy's views of these prayers can be summed up by the following two quotes from his decision:

    For Kennedy, the audience is not God, but the public officials. Moreover, the "prayers" are merely ceremonial.

    That's hardly a biblical view of prayer and it flies in the face of our Baptist heritage of protesting government trivialization of religious practices by co-opting them to promote civil religion.
     
  12. Zaac

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    Didn't see this one either. :laugh: I think this is an AWFUL ruling and will lead the council eventually, for the reasons you mentioned above, to stop having the prayer period.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Two threads on the same topic merged to the first one posted.
     
    #13 NaasPreacher (C4K), May 5, 2014
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  14. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    The way I read it, this does not open public body up the need to have multiple opening prayers. It is the type of prayer most acceptable to the members of the public body present. Some day, I suppose, that could mean an Islamic prayer, but I don't have a problem with that, and here's why.

    Neither SCOTUS nor the Constitution can dictate to me what I pray I or to Whom I pray. The justices aren't in the business of sanctioning prayer. They are in the business of enforcing the First Amendment, and the First Amendment covers everyone, not just Christians. If by approving public prayer by governmental bodies, Christians, Muslims, Native Americans, etc., who meet as a public body and agree to a certain type of prayer to open their meetings, so be it. That means Christians can pray publically, and so can others.

    This is not a Christian nation, but a nation founded by Christians on Christian principles, and our two most important commandments are "Love God, love others." If we were to forbid others to pray as we have the right, then we are not being Christlike.
     
    #14 thisnumbersdisconnected, May 5, 2014
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  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Okay - is the moon full?!?

    TND and I agree on a POLITICS/NEWS/CURRENT EVENTS story!?!?
     
    #15 NaasPreacher (C4K), May 5, 2014
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  16. Zaac

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    WHich again is why I say it will in the long run do just the opposite of what the council intended. Christian prayer before the meetings was a way to acknowledge corporately their dependence upon the CHRISTIAN God. They wanted to make sure they were allowed to continue to do so. But by challenging that right, what had been a platform for Christian expression will now either be shut down or opened up for expressions to any god.

    This was not an issue of forbidding others to pray. This was an issue of folks wanting to not be subjected to the name of Jesus. It's a brand of manipulation that's become quite popular on the left.

    The ruling gives them what they wanted in the first place: Either room for their gods on equal footing with Jesus or removal of the Jesus. Being nonsectarian does both. And rather than give the impression that I was not praying to Jesus, I would have stopped the prayer before I gave them a platform to pray to a god who isn't Jesus.
     
    #16 Zaac, May 5, 2014
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  17. Bro. Curtis

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    The whole public group prayer thing always weirded me out. Prayer is a private matter, not to be made into a show. There is no reason for a group prayer before a town meeting, and you could make a case for it being banned in scripture with the commands against ecumenism, and the warnings concerning irreverent and prideful prayer. I certainly wouldn't participate in one, and wouldn't lead one, if asked.
     
  18. Zaac

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    It does seem to be a bad practice today and opens up the door for everyone to want a platform to do the same.
     
  19. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    That is a statement that fails to understand the nature of today's ruling. It does not demand inclusiveness, as I pointed out to Scarlett early on. What it does is assure that each body is able to determine that it will open it's meetings with sectarian prayer if it so desires, and it will be the type of prayer the majority of the public body's membership chooses.

    We are a long, long way, in this country, from such a local, or even statewide body, being made up of mostly Muslims, or mostly Buddhists. This affirms Christian prayer. It also affirms Muslim prayer. It affirms Buddhist prayer. It affirms Shinto prayer.

    But the vast majority of Americans being Christians, it most affirms Christian prayer, and the right for the governing bodies of this nation to open their meetings in Christian prayer. If we get a majority of Muslims or others in some such body in the future, let them deal with it as they see fit. But if a few Muslims manage to gain seats on a public body and decide to pray to Allah, they probably won't hold the office past the next election. Because, again, we're largely Christian in makeup of our citizenship. A Muslim prayer won't fly in Possum Trot, Missouri. (Ask me about that some time. :laugh: )
     
    #19 thisnumbersdisconnected, May 5, 2014
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  20. Revmitchell

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    Anyone who does not like this ruling does not get it. This country was founded on doing this very thing. Congress has always opened with prayer since the founding of this country. To not allow this would be to go against the very founding of America. If you do not like that I am sure Putin will make room for you along with Snowden.
     
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