Public Prayer Supported by High Court Ruling

Americans Have the Liberty to Pray


Public “prayer” was supported by High Court Ruling on Monday, May 5, 2014. The Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 ruling that public piety does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Ceremonial prayers have been practiced in this country from the lowest level of government to the highest level of government, and dates back to the first session of Continental Congress in 1774. It seems that as long as a particular religion is not endorsed, then “the practice of prayer is constitutional.” That was the primary reasoning for the Court’s support.  The majority of the Court stood firm that the Constitution is not violated by prayers.

Another important point clarified from the Court’s stance was that religious coercion under the First Amendment was entirely different from one’s discomfort with religious expression. The Court’s confirmation on this point addressed the fact that when prayer takes place at the beginning of a public meeting, it is primarily ceremonial in nature. This directs the focus to the seriousness of the meeting as well as tradition, validating that it does have permissible ceremonial credence. The prayer is actually addressed to the council or lawmakers for guidance, not toward the audience. The Court did state that the offenses of the audience were not a direct violation of the First Amendment. In other words, coercion does not equate to “feeling offended.” The judges in the majority affirmed that Christian content was not objectionable; however, the four dissenting  judges did express their distaste. Also, the majority of judges explicitly made it clear, that Christian prayer was not to be marginalized, nor should those prayers be tossed aside as if a relic of the past.

Surprisingly, the four dissenting judges Stephen Breyer; Ruth Ginsburg; Elena Kagan; and Sonia Sotomayor came into agreement that meetings in a public setting should not move toward a religion-free zone. This was a victory, considering that cleansing the public square of religion, has been the indicated goal to most of the challenges regarding religious expression. Basically, on that note, all nine justices agreed!

The swing vote that broke the division of the ideological lines came from Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Honorable Kennedy’s argument was to not enable the government greater involvement than is allowed by law, emphasizing that prayers should not be nonsectarian. Again, prayer content does not equate to coercion; therefore, government officials are not to be censors to scrub references to Jesus Christ from their prayers. Instead, Kennedy suggested recognizing religious leaders and institutions, while not excluding or coercing non believers. One of Kennedy’s strongest arguments was that the foundation of all others liberties is religious liberty. Another consistent theme that this justice continued to weave throughout his defense for religious freedom was that Americans need to maintain self-control, civility, decency, respect, and more simply put, to just grow up and act mature.

As strongly as Kagan was attempting to make her case that the prayers were specifically directed toward the citizens, Kennedy was declaring the opposite as he continued to emphasize that the prayer was a ceremonial recognition and for the benefit of the legislators, not the citizens. Justice Kennedy’s four conservative colleagues are Justice Samuel Alito, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Clarence Thomas.

David Cortman, senior counsel with The Alliance Defending Freedom group, welcomed the High Court ruling on behalf of  the conservative legal group, and applauded the court for affirming the freedom to pray in America. Cortmann did make a comment that it is not for the court to silence people, nor to separate what they believe from what they say. Admitting a contentious issue, he let it be known that he was thrilled and that  all defender’s of religious freedom should be encouraged.

This Land of Opportunity will now offer more sectarian “prayer opportunities,” and more opportunities to express worship with  honor and respect. Living in a free country is cause for giving thanks.

Society dramatizes “constitutional interpretation;” yet, tradition and history speak to prove that it still means something. Agreeing to disagree promotes the tolerance of diversity, which does protect freedom.  For decades the High Court has begun its session with a marshal that invokes a statement which concludes with these words: God save the United States and this honorable court. Today the law spoke, “one nation under God,” affirming that Americans have the liberty to pray. Public “prayer” remains supported by the High Court and the Constitution of the United States of America.

Opinion by Jill Boyer-Adriance

Slate Magazine
Washington Post
Seattle Times
The Bellingham Herald
US News
FRC Blog

One Response to "Public Prayer Supported by High Court Ruling"

  1. Rajinder Nijjhar   May 7, 2014 at 12:07 am


    People used to say prayers to Yahweh called Brahma or Khudah that is in heaven alienated from the Disciples of he Rabbis. The root of the word Disciple is discipline and the Rabbis intake was the once-born natural young boys of 12 to 16 years old, who needed disciplining through the Moral Laws of Moses. Whilst in Jesus, you need to be a sensible person of discerning intellect capable of logical reasoning to Brew Logos, His Word. That is, in Jesus you need to be a twice-born of spirit to perceive Christ in Jesus and to Perceive our Father. Thus, once-born people “see” and they are Disciples whilst the twice-born people “perceive” and they are Labourers in the Vineyard of our Father that has a Narrow Gate. True Vine Christ Jesus has been Planted by our Father over there and you must be solitary to enter that Gate leading to Salvation or Rest. Thus, the twice-born of spirit called SURTTI in Punjabi know the Family of God in which we have One Father called Elohim, Parbrahm or Allah, our Mother is Holy Spirit and we are the sons of Most High God. There is no Lord in this Family. Yahweh is Lord and in him his Rabbis are Rulers over their Disciples. In Jesus, we are Brethren whether you are a male or a female in flesh. The present Christianity is the corrupted one of the Messianic Jews who entered their old Temple practices. That fulfilled Matthew 12 v43-45 in which the sacked Temple Priests good for nothing entered the Church of God, One Fold, headed by Christ Jesus, One Shepherd was corrupted worse than before. No wonder Anti-Christ Popes killed people under Emperor Constantine. Second coming of Jesus was Satguru = Christ Nanak Dev Ji of the Punjab. This Golden Temple is the Replacement of the Holiest of Holy destroyed in 70 A.D. Both are of the same size. Now, End of the world is approaching and Matt. 13v24-30 is being fulfilled. For detailed views, please watch my Youtube Videos; channel nijjhar1. My services are FREE.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login