I’m An Atheist, And I Support This Ruling

High court ruling favors prayer at council meeting – WTOP.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest Supreme Court ruling on church-state separation is a victory for a town council in New York state that regularly opens its meetings with prayers.

The court, in a 5-to-4 ruling today, said those prayers don’t violate the Constitution — even if they routinely emphasize Christianity — as long as there’s no effort to proselytize or to denigrate non-Christians. Justice Anthony Kennedy said the prayers are ceremonial, and in keeping with the nation’s traditions. He wrote that they are designed to “acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent,” and not to “exclude or coerce nonbelievers.”

The ruling was consistent with one from 1983, when the court upheld an opening prayer in the Nebraska legislature and said prayer is part of the nation’s fabric, not a violation of the First Amendment.

This was to be expected.  The United States Congress has opened sessions for more than 200 years with prayers.  The Supreme Court is not about to take on a tradition like that, no matter what a bunch of overweening, busybody atheists think about it.

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


I’m An Atheist, And I Support This Ruling — 6 Comments

  1. I’m kind of ambivalent about this one. In principle I think the government should stay out of intellectual matters to the greatest extent possible, and that arguably includes this kind of prayer. In practice, though, this sort of thing is so insignificant I find it difficult to care. We’re busy collapsing into a totalitarian state. In that context the ceremonies used to open government sessions don’t even register on my scale of give-a-shit.

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