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Should Prayers Be Allowed at Government Meetings?

The Supreme Court this week ruled local elected leaders can kick off meetings with a prayer.

File photo.
File photo.
The Supreme Court this week ruled elected leaders can start open government meetings with a prayer.

The 5-4 ruling was supported by the court's conservative justices, USA Today reported. The liberal justices were opposed.

"Legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition ... similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of 'God save the United States and this honorable court' at the opening of this court's sessions," conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan wrote, "When the citizens of this country approach their government, they do so only as Americans, not as members of one faith or another ... And that means that even in a partly legislative body, they should not confront government-sponsored worship that divides them along religious lines."

The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit filed by a Jewish person and an atheist who objected to the use of a Christian prayer to start meetings in Greece, New York.

Should prayers be allowed at the beginning of government meetings?
Sayona June 02, 2014 at 07:56 PM
Whoa- Jane, did you rethink your Einstein quote and delete- or did the Patch eat it?
Sayona June 02, 2014 at 08:36 PM
Haha- I sense a nice save on Jane's part. Would have done the same- don't get me wrong.
Jane Steeves June 06, 2014 at 10:51 PM
I guess the new America has no room for this... Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day Prayer June 6, 1944 My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far. And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer: Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice. Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose. With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.
Tyler Jozefowicz June 08, 2014 at 11:14 PM
And i'm sure Hitler gathered everyone together for a prayer too. So who is god to listen to, especially if they're both talking at the same time. Either way, one's prayer is not answered.
Jane Steeves June 09, 2014 at 08:50 PM
Hitler thought he was god. The north and the south prayed to win the Civil War, God said yes to the north and no to the south.

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