Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/8/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Two women in upstate New York take exception to mostly Christian prayers at meetings

In addressing the concerns of two women in the upstate New York community of Greece, Susan Galloway, who is Jewish, and atheist Linda Stephens, the Supreme Court is currently hashing out the limitation of prayer at government meetings. In testing the long-contested separation of church and state, it appears that the justices had no interest in eliminating prayer altogether at such meetings. The justices seem to be grappling with whether new limits would let such prayer not make those who disagree with the message feel coerced into participating, for fear that they may alienate government officials.

The lawsuit about prayer at government meetings of Susan Galloway, right, and Linda Stephens, residents of Greece, N.Y., went before the Supreme Court this week.

The lawsuit about prayer at government meetings of Susan Galloway, right, and Linda Stephens, residents of Greece, N.Y., went before the Supreme Court this week.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/8/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Government meetings, prayer, Supreme Court


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Justice Elena Kagan wondered aloud whether it would be permissible for the Supreme Court to open its sessions by having a minister face the lawyers and "acknowledge the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross." Kagan said "the members of the court who had stood responded, 'Amen,' made the sign of the cross, and the chief justice then called your case. Would that be permissible?"

A lawyer for the town of Greece, Thomas Hungar, said he didn't think so. But in the case of prayer before a legislative body, court doctrine has found that the country, "from its very foundations and founding," allows it, he said.

One Jewish woman, the other an atheist, are suing the town of Greece where meetings of the governing board have opened with a prayer since 1999. When the women formally complained that  the prayer was offered exclusively by Christians, the difficulty which ked to the suit began.

It's the first case on legislative prayer to come before the court since 1983, when the justices held that the Nebraska Legislature did not violate the Constitution by opening sessions with a prayer from a Presbyterian minister acting as the state-paid chaplain.

Some justices questioned what would be an acceptable prayer to appeal to all faiths as well as nonbelievers. Justice Antonin Scalia asked, to laughter in the courtroom: "What about devil-worshipers?"

Chief Justice John Roberts wanted to know: "Who is going to make this determination?"

Scalia drew a distinction between prayers before a legislative session and prayers before a judicial session.

"They are there as citizens," Scalia said, speaking of legislators. "And as citizens, they bring to their job all of - all of the predispositions that citizens have. And these people perhaps invoke the deity at meals. They should not be able to invoke it before they undertake a serious governmental task such as enacting laws or ordinances?"

The attorney representing the two women says that it was fine for them to invoke a deity or have a prayer, and certainly to pray to themselves. "We've said they cannot impose sectarian prayer on the citizenry, and that is very different from what Congress does," attorney Douglas Laycock said. "It is very different from what this court does."

The Supreme Court opens its sessions with an invocation: "God save the United States and this honorable court."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

'He deserves what he gets:' Latino youths violently protest Donald Trump in Orange County Watch

Image of Trump protestors broke out in a violent riot during his Orange County rally (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Thousands attended Donald Trump's Orange County rally - then broke out in violent protest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Trump rally in Costa Mesa's Orange County Amphitheater was overflowing with supporters. There were several supporters who couldn't fit ... continue reading


New White House rules leave religious groups open to government abuse Watch

Image of Religious groups question the government's new regulations (Shutterstock).

By Kevin J. Jones (CNA/EWTN News)

The Obama administration's new rule for faith-based partnerships has drawn various reactions: one observer warned they could cause problems for partnering religious groups, while another said the action also strengthens these groups' protections against government ... continue reading


EXCLUSIVE - America, King of Propaganda: U.S. government spends billions to spew LIES to the American people. And guess what you foolish Americans, Congress made it all perfectly legal without your vote Watch

Image of

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Have we won the ground war in Afghanistan? According to the government reports and the media, we sure have. However, this is not what one whistleblower has said, warning as early as 2012 that the American people are being deceived by the government. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Bill De Blasio's ongoing investigation scandal fails to stop him from new fundraising efforts Watch

Image of Mayor Bill de Blasio won't talk - but his staff will (Wikipedia).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's closest aides have been issued subpoenas to aid the investigation into his shady fundraising strategies. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The scandal surrounding de Blasio's fundraising has made headlines since 2014, when a leaked ... continue reading


Trump delivers first foreign policy speech, and sounds like a president should! (FULL TEXT) Watch

Image of Donald Trump's first full foreign policy speech sounded relatively presidential, and while short of specifics, was still worth listening to.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump delivered his first full speech on foreign policy and he sounded fairly presidential while doing so. Trump is not a politician by trade, but he may make an excellent president thanks to his extensive business acumen. Trump is on the path to the Republican ... continue reading


The olive branch and the barb: Clinton vs. Trump Watch

Image of Trump and Clinton came out on top (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The race for the presidential nominee has been full of surprises as history-making events, claims of foul play, dirty dealings and controversial statements have cropped up in abundance. Candidates have, at times, been caught up in a tight race, but Tuesday's primary ... continue reading


Trump will be president! Real estate mogul outpacing Romney by whopping 25 percent Watch

Image of Mitt Romney was friendly with Trump when he needed a campaign donation.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump is on track to win both the primary and the election, according to the numbers. He is on a better trajectory than Mitt Romney was in 2008. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, while winning her primary, is losing support. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Desperate Cruz and Kasich agree to stop competing, will focus on Trump Watch

Image of Cruz and Kasich are teaming up to block Trump, but their chances of success are slim.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Ted Cruz and John Kasich have teamed up to block Donald Trump from winning the Republican nomination. The rivals have agreed to divide upcoming primary states, so they can efficiently spend resources attacking Trump instead of each other. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Public Bathrooms: Private and safe facilities or free-for-alls? Watch

Image of Apparently, gender-confused children can use whichever restroom they want - without adult supervision to ensure the safety of either gender within the confines of a bathroom (David Bro/ZUMA).

By Thomas Heed (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Men with bad motives or who live dissolute lifestyles have always been potential sexual threats to women - and now women have been pushed further into their corners as "transgender rights" rise to prominence as the newest notion of the sexual revolution. These rights ... continue reading


'We are in a race against time:' 175 nations sign landmark climate accord Watch

Image of World powers finally agree to make a move to fight climate change (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

World leaders have finally realized the destruction they have been allowing the planet to endure - and the ensuing consequences. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A shocking number of 175 global leaders gathered at the United Nations headquarters to sign the Paris ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 15:1-8
1 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, John 14:6-14
6 Jesus said: I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2016 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first ... Read More