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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Christian Prayer at Government Functions

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The conservative Supreme Court dealt another blow to those who believe in a separation of church and state today after a narrow ruling affirming a Christian prayer could be given at the start of government sponsored functions. The ruling sanctions the right of Christians to force prayer on non-Christians and non-religious people nation wide, which would seem like a blatant violation of the First Amendment, but this conservative court only seems to read the Constitution through the prism of their own ideologies. It seems as if our First Amendment now reads 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' unless it's Christianity.

    Many will argue that that the second part of the First Amendment provides the basis for today's ruling, and while it is an argument with some validity, I can't say I agree with it. I don't interpret 'or prohibiting the free exercise thereof' as a blank check for government officials to force prayer on others because it would violate their free speech. I feel that everyone should be allowed to pray in whatever fashion their hearts desire, but it should not be able to encroach on another individuals right to not pray.

    I sometimes sit back and wonder how a country founded on the concept of religious liberty and the right to believe in whatever you want has devolved into a country where forced prayer at government functions is considered constitutional by the highest court in the land. The fact that five Roman Catholics on our court feel that their religion is the best doesn't mean that it actually is.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in his letter to the Danbury Baptists back in 1802:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    What has happened to that concept? What has happened to the idea that there is a wall of separation between Church and State?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    This doesn't surprise me. It's all the reason we need to keep electing Democrats to the presidency. We need to even out the mentality of the Supreme court.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    TJ Wrote: This doesn't surprise me. It's all the reason we need to keep electing Democrats to the presidency. We need to even out the mentality of the Supreme court.
    My worry is that the opposite will happen. Americans don't tend to over analyze what may happen with the Supreme Court when they vote for President and this is especially so for the 'swing' voter who literally votes based off of how they feel about someone and not a strongly held belief in either party. This is a dangerous thing when you look at the age of Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy and how a Republican President would be able to usher in a conservative majority for decades to come. Not just that, but Ginsburg is pushing back against calls for her retirement and may very well stick around until a theoretical Republican Administration. It's a scary thing to think about, but one that has a very real possibility of happening.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    If Pres. Obama gets the chance to appoint (or nominate) a justice or two, I think it would be great to consider someone in their early 40's so they can be there for 25 - 35 years. I've always considered the Supreme court when voting. Almost nothing can shape our country as much.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Maybe he will get the chance to nominate a replacement for Justice Ginsberg if she decides to step down. There is little to zero chance he will have the opportunity to replace a conservative justice unless one of them dies. Kennedy, Thomas, or Scalia would never leave by choice during a Democratic Administration.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TJ Wrote: This doesn't surprise me. It's all the reason we need to keep electing Democrats to the presidency. We need to even out the mentality of the Supreme court.
    Yes you are right; it surely shows who is driving them. However I have no problem with it; prayers do not carry any farther than less of half a mile and never have any result or just by eartly luck; too bad no one in outer space can pick it up or react on it. So I wish them a lot of "gambling" success.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    I'm surprised but cautious. I enjoyed hearing the decision if I heard it correctly that prayer can be expressed again in public forums. Prayer is powerful and we all need it and more better need to pray more ourselves. Sounds like a great day to rejoice, but the doubting Thomas in me is cautious.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: I'm surprised but cautious. I enjoyed hearing the decision if I heard it correctly that prayer can be expressed again in public forums. Prayer is powerful and we all need it and more better need to pray more ourselves. Sounds like a great day to rejoice, but the doubting Thomas in me is cautious.
    "prayer is powerful" pls explain; they call that in Dutch; "getting the calf out of the ditch after it is already drowned". Please proof someone hears you up there and takes immediate action on whatever you wish.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Dutch, my answer to you is "Give me PROOF that nobody hears and answers prayer". Both of us can play that game.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    AmcmurryFreedom Wrote: Dutch, my answer to you is "Give me PROOF that nobody hears and answers prayer". Both of us can play that game.
    Study some science; calculate on how far a human voice in a certain density of air carries; not very far; certainly not beyond the next door neighbor unless you use a cellphone, which has an terrestial range and you have your "god's" phone number; if so it may ring "busy" without "leave message" mode.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    Science may be your problem in understanding God's glory.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    The topic here is: Supreme court to allow prayer at govt. meetings. My question to you AMC is.... I'm sure you're considering a nice little Christian prayer, and of course you are fine with that. How about if the meeting is delayed by 90 minutes (each time) to allow for Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, Scientology, Mormon, and 20 other religious prayers to be said. Along with any appropriate incense burning, chicken dancing, animal sacrifice or other related ceremonies that accompany those prayers ??????????? 98% who want prayer to be allowed want only "Their" prayers to be allowed. You weren't being single minded were you ? To allow one, it's only right to allow all. They had better reserve that conference room for an additional 90 minutes.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Disgusting, as most religiously orientated thinking is unfortunately, but what do you expect when most Americans believe in the truthfulness of the Bible, let alone the Earth is 6000 years old! Here's something to think about. http://www.salon.com/2014/05/06/10_most_absurd_right_wing_christian_billboards_.../
  • Strongly Liberal
    Independent
    Seattle, WA
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    jaredsxtn Wrote: The fact that five Roman Catholics on our court feel that their religion is the best doesn't mean that it actually is.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote in his letter to the Danbury Baptists back in 1802:

    "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

    What has happened to that concept? What has happened to the idea that there is a wall of separation between Church and State?
    .
    Jared,

    Very good point.

    Here's another Jefferson quote to further confirm that the Founders wanted not only freedom of religion, but freedom from Theocracy and theocratic imposition:

    "Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,' the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.” -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography

    See other Quotes From the Founders Regarding Religion.
  • Democrat
    Athens, GA
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    Prayer in governmental meetings is wrong, just wrong. Prayer belongs in churches and synagogues and mosques, etc. Prayer does NOT belong in governmental meetings. Even the most non-denominational prayer is an offense to atheists and we're a large segment of the US population.

    The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees a separation of church and state --- PERFECT! Shame on today's Supreme Court for not respecting the separation of church and state.

    Presidential elections matter first and foremost today because of nominations to the Supreme Court.