Sunday, August 04, 2013

Most States Tell Supremes: We Pray in Jesus' Name

The U.S. Supreme Court, in May, agreed to consider the case of Town of Greece, N.Y., vs. Galloway wherein the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against prayer.  A growing list of states have expressed to the Court their interpretation of the constitutional freedom of religion and speech, and thus the freedom to pray in public/civic/legislative meetings.

For background, read 2nd Circuit Court Rules Prayer Unconstitutional in Greece, New York and also read 6th Circuit Court in Cincinnati to Rule on Hamilton County Prayer as well as 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco Ruled Prayer OK Lancaster, Calif.

For further background, read the previous Supreme Court Action: Jesus' Name Unconstitutional in Public

UPDATE 5/13/14: U.S. Supreme Court rules prayers to Jesus Christ OK at government meetings

UPDATE 11/13/13: Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Town of Greece vs. Galloway

-- From "S.D. is backing legal defense of prayer by public boards" by John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus Leader 8/3/13

[South Dakota] Attorney General Marty Jackley said Friday he is one of the 28 state attorneys general who have signed onto an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in the case, which involves prayers that took place in Greece, N.Y.

Were the high court to affirm the 2nd Circuit’s ruling, Jackley said, it could force the state and many local governments in South Dakota to re-examine opening prayers or cease to allow them altogether.

The 1983 Supreme Court case of Marsh v. Chambers says that asking for divine guidance before legislative sessions has become “part of the fabric of our society.” The guidelines in that ruling essentially say governments can “pray, not preach,” Jackley said. “You have to keep it reasonable, and I think we do in South Dakota.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller weighs in on prayer case" by Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star 8/3/13

The brief seeks “an unambiguous ruling that prayer is permitted before legislative bodies without requiring legislative leaders to screen prayers for sectarian references.”

The brief comes in the wake of a hodgepodge of conflicting federal court decisions on the limits and contents of prayer at government events.

The brief was drafted by Indiana Solicitor General Thomas M. Fisher, who headed the state’s defense of legislative prayer in a 2005 challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

. . . the suit was eventually dismissed by an appellate court that determined the taxpayers bringing the action had no legal standing because they were not directly affected by the House prayers.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Texas AG Defends Prayer" by Chelle Fox, KTRH 740AM (Houston) 8/3/13

[Texas Attorney General Greg] Abbott said, “Despite hundreds of years of established tradition and a Supreme Court ruling upholding the right of legislatures to convene each day with a prayer, the town of Greece, New York, has been improperly prohibited from beginning their monthly town board meetings with a prayer.”  He went on to say that the legal action is a bipartisan, multistate effort to “defend the longstanding and constitutionally protected right of legislative bodies to begin their meetings with prayer.”

The case involves [a First Amendment] Establishment Clause challenge to the New York town’s practice of allowing citizens to offer a prayer during monthly town board meetings. Atheists sued the city, and a federal appeals court ruled against the practice.

The states collectively argue that public acknowledgments of God at official functions have been customary since the nation’s founding.   The amicus brief goes on to point out that many governmental bodies from the local to federal levels, including the United States Congress and all 50 state governmental bodies, have a long history of beginning meetings with prayer. . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "The politics of prayer: Invocations common at Alabama public meetings, but challenges lie ahead" by Kelsey Stein, Birmingham News 8/2/13

An invocation - be it a prayer or a more general devotional - opens meetings of the Birmingham City Council, the Jefferson County Commission, the Jefferson County School Board and council meetings in most central Alabama cities and towns, including Gardendale, Homewood and Trussville.

The practice has been in place as long as most can remember.

. . . A 2011 ruling says that prayers before legislative meetings in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia should be nondenominational and non-sectarian, using generic words that don't refer to a specific religion.

A 2008 court of appeals decision that applies to Florida, Georgia and Alabama upheld prayers at the Cobb County, Ga., commission, which invited representatives of various faiths to participate. The prayers were predominantly Christian and often referenced Jesus.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "23 States File Joint Brief in U.S. Supreme Court in Support of Town Hall Prayers in Jesus’ Name" by Heather Clark, Christian News Network 8/3/13

The brief requests that the Supreme Court rule that prayers do not have be pre-screened for “sectarian references.”

“The Court should reject the assumption that the content of private citizens’ prayers before legislative assemblies is attributable exclusively to the government. Such prayers, rather are expressions of private belief made in service to an elected body of citizens,” it reads. “Those present may participate or not, but each citizen’s mode of rendering this particular service to a governmental body may rightfully be accommodated.”

Oral argument [at the Supreme Court] is expected in the Greece matter in October.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

In addition, read Atheists Say They Lack Enough Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

Because of the intimidation tactics of atheist lawyer organizations, state governments across America are educating its citizens on constitutional religious liberty by passing laws in Texas, and Louisiana, and North Carolina, and South Carolina, and Missouri, and Mississippi, and Florida, and Tennessee.

The root issue is American Religious Liberty vs. Anti-Christian Totalitarianism