Government Prayer and the Supreme Court

May 6, 2014 ACLU, In The News, Politics / Religion Comments (0) 400

I took to video to share my thoughts about the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Town of Greece v Galloway. It’s a terrible ruling that opens the door for towns across America to essentially endorse unofficially-official religions.

I spent some time on Twitter yesterday talking to people who think the ruling is a good idea, but I think most of them misunderstand the questions in this case–if they don’t suffer more systemic misunderstandings about the history of the United States and the Constitution.

In short, there’s no way the government can lead a prayer without selecting a particular way to pray, and thereby endorsing a religion–and that’s a violation of the Constitution, no matter what the Roberts Court, which is working hard to establish itself as among the least-principled in US History, says.

It’s also no coincidence, in my mind, that the five Justices who ruled in favor of government-led prayer are Christians, and members of the nation’s dominant religion (four of them, in fact, are Catholic) while three of the four dissenters are Catholic. Privilege would certainly seem to be a factor in this ruling.

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