Tuesday, May 06, 2014
US Supreme Court: "It's Okay To Pray"
Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of prayer before the city council meetings in Greece, N.Y., a town just outside Rochester.
In fact, the majority ruled the content of the prayer, which Obama appointees to the Court were arguing was a critical part of the case, was "not" critical at all, even if the prayers "routinely stress Christianity."
The ruling referred to America's Christian heritage and tradition, saying prayer has always been a part of who we are. The Court said anyone living here should be aware of that fact.
Here's more on the ruling, what Obama appointees were arguing and what some of the more far reaching implications of this ruling could be.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, wrote, "The prayer opportunity is evaluated against the back drop of a historical practice. As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become a part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or recitation of 'God save the United States and this honorable Court' at the opening of this Court's sessions."
This is the complete Supreme Court ruling.
He also wrote, "It is presumed that the reasonable observer is acquainted with this tradition and understands that its purposes are to lend gravity to public proceedings and to acknowledge the place religion holds in the lives of many private citizens."
Apparently Justice Kagan doesn't believe there are any "reasonable observers" to America's heritage and traditions.
Justice Elena Kagan, one of President Obama's appointees to the Court and far left secular progressive, was arguing along with the other far left Justices that it is not okay to pray at the city council meeting because "ordinary citizens" were often giving the prayers and their prayers were "predominately sectarian in content."
These words were apparently intended to further support the Obama administration's war on Christianity, particularly in the military and public education, where there is concerted effort to stop Christians from sharing their faith with their peers.
They call it Proselytizing.
This was not lost on Justice Kennedy.
He said, "The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers."
This ruling stands along side the understanding our Founding Fathers shared about the uniqueness and exceptionalism of this country.
John Adams, a Founder and our 2nd President said, "It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue."
In fact he said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people, it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
His son, John Quincy Adams, our 6th President said, "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code; it contained many statutes...of universal application-laws essential to the existence of men in society, and most of which have been enacted by every nation which ever professed any code of laws."
I agree with Justice Kennedy---most "reasonable observers" are aware, not only of Adam's words, but those of all America's Founders, our founding documents and the Christian cultural consensus that followed for more than a hundred years as this nation became the greatest, most blessed and most free nation in the history of the world.
Are today's far left secular progressives unreasonable observers, unaware of America's heritage and traditions?
Unfortunately it is not that they are merely uninformed. They have a very different vision for America than that of our Founders, and many, if not most of our citizens.
The Daily KOS, a far left publication, saw this a bit differently. They published, "The Roberts Court has turned its focus toward dismantling the separation of church and state in this country."
They said, "The Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the US Constitution...were intended to place an iron curtain between religion and government."
Ironically, that is in part true. It was actually intended to restrain the government, not the church.
The secular progressive Think Progress published this headline minutes after the Court ruling was made public: "The Supreme Court Just Blew a Gaping Hole in the Wall of Separation Between Church and State."
This decision certainly is a show stopper for the secular progressive movement, and they know it. But they will continue with their agenda.
Disguised as "change" and " hope" and "handouts," the dismantling of America began in earnest as our President told those gathered at a high school in Missouri on his hundredth day in office, "The remaking of America is well underway."
What will this ruling mean to religious freedom?
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said that "using the Marsh v. Chambers decision, the Supreme Court gave an unequivocal recognition that even sectarian prayers before a legislative session are constitutional. Finally, he says, the Supreme Court went back to a test that acknowledges a practice that was accepted by the founders who wrote the First Amendment."
“This opinion refutes all of the nonsense that the atheists groups have been spewing for years,” says Staver. “The majority opinion even points out the absurdity of trying to force a minister to pray to a neutral deity inoffensive to all present.”
Although the case centers on a New York town’s prayer practice, the court’s decision has ramifications upon other similar cases still in progress in lower courts. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will seek to resolve those cases in light of the decision, and they plan a nationwide campaign to inform governmental bodies at all levels that they are free to include prayer in their public meetings.
“You shouldn’t be forced to forfeit your freedom to appease someone who doesn’t like what you say or believe,” says Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Brett Harvey. “Opponents of prayer want to use government to attack our freedom, but the Constitution established our government to protect our freedom.
He said, “The Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the practice of prayer before legislative bodies is firmly embedded in the history and traditions of this nation. In so doing, they have simply reinforced what has been true about America since its founding: Americans should be free to speak and act consistently with their own beliefs.”
Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, once said, "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they, therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion.....are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of governments."
Yesterday was a victory for religious freedom. But today there are new challenges. New attempts to undermine the solid foundations of morals.
On the radio today, I am talking more about this issue and why it is important to trust God and act in faith even as our personal and religious freedoms are attacked.
Join me live from anywhere in the world at 9 AM PDT. Here's how. You may also hear the rebroadcast at 7:30 PM PDT.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Bold. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.