September 20, 2016

US appeals court upholds Christian prayer before government meetings

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of Rowan County, North Carolina county commissioners in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union  challenging their constitutional right to open their meetings with prayer.

This ruling by the appeals court reversed an earlier decision by North Carolina's U.S. Middle District Court that claimed Rowan County's commissioners' prayers at the beginning of each meeting were unconstitutional. In May, U.S. District Judge James Beaty held that the Rowan commissioners violated the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, which bans government endorsement of a single religion. Between 2007 and 2013, the commissioners who delivered prayers were all Christians. However, the appeals court found it insignificant that only Christian prayers were provided before meetings.

"The First Amendment affirms the freedom to open public meetings with prayer," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "The Supreme Court long ago ruled that prayer before state legislative bodies is constitutional because such practice predates the First Amendment. The Supreme Court recently ruled that there is no constitutional difference between state legislative bodies and local governing bodies. The Founders never imagined that prayer at the beginning of legislative sessions would be questioned under the First Amendment. Today's decision comports with the intent of the First Amendment," said Staver.


Anonymous said...

"The Founders never imagined that prayer at the beginning of legislative sessions would be questioned under the First Amendment."

Oh, really?
Well if not directly, the intent is more than implied:
"1787 August 10. (Jefferson to Peter Carr). "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

1802 January 1. (Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut). "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."

1803 April 21. (Jefferson to Benjamin Rush). "To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other."

1813 May 31. (Jefferson to Richard Rush). "...the subject of religion, a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his maker, in which no other, & far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." "

Anonymous said...

At the Liberty Counsel website, you can 'LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT "TRANSGENDER" BATHROOMS.'

Finally! Where has this lobby shop been all my election season?