US Supreme Court Ruling Greenlights Government Prayer

‘The Supreme Court just relegated millions of Americans—both believers and nonbelievers—to second-class citizenship’ Sarah Lazare, staff writer Common Dreams – In a potentially far-reaching case, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that an upstate New York town’s practice of opening government meetings with sectarian prayers does not violate the constitutional protection that separates church and state. The court’s decision (pdf) prompted immediate criticism among civil liberty groups and advocates of religious freedom. “The constitutional requirement that church and state must be separated rests, in part, on the understanding that when government supports one religion over others, people who are not members of the favored religion are made to feel like outsiders by their government,” said Arthur Eisenberg, legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, which sponsored the lawsuit, said, “The Supreme Court just relegated millions of Americans—both...

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