once again, the Supreme Court is taking on the issue of public prayer. this time it's specific to local council meetings, but the ramifications could go well beyond that. however, if you read this piece, i'd be surprised if you come to any other conclusion that the whole issue is a unmitigated mess. frankly, i can't tell based on the various arguments which side which Justice is on. each argument sounded sillier than the last.
the fact is, the easiest, and perhaps only solution, is to eliminate the practice of prayer at public meetings altogether. trying to tweak the rules or come up with a one size fits all guideline is both impractical and impossible. there is simply no way to codify everyone, so the only thing to do is to keep religion - all religions - out of this environment. that's it. full stop.
will that happen? of course not. too many people just need to inject God or Jesus into every situation. that they can't keep it to themselves and pray silently doesn't occur to them. that they are gathering in a secular setting to do the people's work is secondary to the need to remind everyone of how pious they are. that is, of course, before they start grifting, lying, and doing everything they can to stay in power.
yet i'm hoping for a miracle. maybe after tossing around so many silly ideas they'll come to their senses and recognize the folly of the whole debate. then we'll be one step closer to a truly secular government.
How long would it take the Freedom Party of Ontario to eliminate prayer in the legislature?
Don't sugar-coat it, Dustin. Tell it like it is.
Dustin, you are being too gentle on religion. :-)
I need to bookmark this post!
Scalia retiring would be beneficial, but I don't see it happening until after the next presidential election. He'll be 80 by then. And, if a Republican becomes POTUS, and he does retire, the devil you know may be better than the devil you don't know.
As to the issue before the Court, the chances of them getting rid of prayer at public government functions are slim and none - and Slim left town. It's been a fixture of American life since James Madison decided that, while unconstitutional, the idea of a Congressional Chaplain was too petty to challenge. Bad precedent. The issue in the Galloway case is whether what that town council was doing, by limiting it to Christian prayer, was constitutional. I strongly suspect, in an effort to placate the great masses, SCOTUS will will do what is popular, and not what is right. They'll let all of the batshit cults have their day to intone magic incantations to their chosen invisible deity, rather than eliminating it.
If so, I wonder if I could open up the local county board of commissioners meeting by pulling the head off a live chicken while asking for the blessings of Chango the Voodoo god?
I agree with Dennis Michael Pennington that we shouldn't support state Atheism. We need to learn freedom comes from the legitimate use of authority and limits to the amount of authority of any person or body. The Freedom Party of Canada is not proposing state sanctioned beliefs, it is proposing separation of powers. If you were to read their documents on the 2007 Ontario platform and their federal policies outline you would see separation of powers as a major theme. They are the first party I have seen promote separation of legislative and executive authority by proposing it be illegal for legislatures to interfere in contract negotiations and governments to farm out government services to private companies.
Just as I believe the intrusions of religion in government corrupt our freedoms I also believe the influence corporations and governments have on each other have also had a corrupting influence on democracy and capitalism. Our societies need to develop a greater understanding of a need for separation of powers. Voting is not all it takes to create a free society. Without reasonable limits to authority, what good is the vote?
we need to support each persons right to choose for themselves what they believe or not. the govt. needs to keep out of it.
I agree! Your voice needs to be heard by those who haven't figured out, yet, what is happening.
" Voting is not all it takes to create a free society. Without reasonable limits to authority, what good is the vote?"
May I quote you with attribution?
or would you prefer to not include your name?
Hello Joan. You can quote me anytime you like. I believe every freedom has a corresponding responsibility. I enjoy freedom of speech and realize that comes with being held responsible for anything I say. I would go a step further and say freedom is achieved by taking responsibility.
Fact: Politicians use prayer to win the votes of xians. It's a cheap trick, but xians fall for it, and gloat.
Conclusion: Judges don't want to anger xians.
However, judges do not allow xians free reign.
1. They protect "impressionable" children; they assume adults are less impressionable.
2. They know that during prayers in legislative bodies, members walk about and even talk with other members.
These suggest that during prayers in local councils, some civil disobedience might be appropriate. Be unimpressed by the praying; walk about, and use your speech rights to talk with others.
I think that the govt. needs to stay out of others lives. what if that person like me does not believe in that deity dude. I for one do not wish to be subjected to christianism. and many others feel the same way I do. so with that prayer should be up to personal choice.
An honest response against increased influence of religious on politics. Your voice needs to be heard.