Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/8/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security exposed as favoring wealthy 'White House allies,' including Hillary Clinton's brother Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Department of Homeland Security's latest watchdog report reveals the agency's second man in charge, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, repeatedly "played favorites" when it came to well-connected participants in an investor-visa program. LOS ... continue reading


IT BEGINS NOW: Conservative rebel, Sen. Ted Cruz becomes first Republican to announce presidential bid Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Ted Cruz, from Texas, has become the first Republican to announce a campaign for presidency in the 2016 election. Taking to Twitter, Cruz announced his candidacy with a 30-second video message posted shortly after midnight on March 23. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


What is going on here? U.S. threatens sanctions against Israel while making excuses for Iran Watch

Image of Even more trying to Israel would be any lessening of Obama's opposition to Palestinian efforts to join the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian Authority will formally join the court this coming April 1.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What is going on here? Israel, the United States' only clear ally in the Middle East is now facing tough new sanctions from the Obama White House. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Politico's Michael Crowley, "Obama officials must now decide ... continue reading


Large study reveals startling media bias toward Democrats and Obama during presidential elections Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United States and international press show signs of strictly favoring the Democratic party. According to the Washington Examiner, a study of 130,213 news articles during the 2012 presidential election shows just how pro-Democratic the news sources were. LOS ... continue reading


Did the Obama administration give a massive amount of money to an anti-Israeli group to keep Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu out? Watch

Image of Is President Obama attempting to overthrow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Declining to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while he was in the United States earlier this month is one thing, but President Obama may have crossed a line by illegally financing an American nonprofit group that was attempting to keep ... continue reading


Iranian president finds diplomacy with U.S. to be active 'jihad' Watch

Image of Describing his country's diplomacy with the United States as an active

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Describing his country's diplomacy with the United States as an active "jihad," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the diplomatic front is just as significant in advancing Tehran's nuclear ambitions. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rouhani praised the ... continue reading


Match made in Heaven: Hillary Clinton as secretive as Bill Clinton; deletes over 30,000 emails Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the upcoming Presidential election approaches, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton continues to be pressed on the issue of her private email account and private servers. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Finally breaking her silence, Clinton has admitted ... continue reading


Playing hardball: Senate Republicans warn Iran that nuclear weapons are off the table Watch

Image of President Obama is not happy with Senate Republicans, after they wrote a letter to Iran, warning the nation that they will not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senate Republicans are wholly committed to preventing Iran from gaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons, weapons with which the Islamic Republic has routinely said that it will use to destroy long-time U.S. ally Israel. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


TERRORISTS BACK IN ACTION: More than 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees released back into terrorist activities Watch

Image of The United States has confirmed that 116 detainees have been

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It appears that for dozens of suspects, Guantanamo Bay proved to be a failure in terms of national security. The United States has confirmed that 116 detainees have been "transferred" out of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These terrorist suspects are now ... continue reading


Crucial decision on 'Obamacare' goes before Supreme Court Watch

Image of Chief Justice John Roberts surprised many in 2012 when he voted to uphold the law. He said very little, in a clear strategy not to tip his hand either way.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The future of health care in America is on the table as defined by President Barack Obama and his purported health care reform - known as "Obamacare," is both in serious jeopardy and before the Supreme Court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Supreme Court ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-7
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
8 'He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 15:1-39
1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests, ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 29th, 2015 Image

St. Berthold
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter