Moments ago, the Supreme Court ruled that prayers which open town city council meetings do not violate the Constitution - even if those prayers are explicitly Christian. SCOTUS went on to say they're not concerned with what is said in the prayers as long as officials make some effort at inclusion (AP / Fox News).
#1: Opening city councils and other government meetings with prayer has been a tradition in Congress since 1789 (USA Today). For over 200 years, the House and Senate have both invoked - gasps - the name of our Heavenly Father when opening a congressional session. This prayer is not a required act for any legislative member. There is no law or some sort of rule that says this must be done. So, how can it be "discriminatory" if an opening prayer is not required?
#2: This 5-4 decision today from the Supreme Court is related back to a case in New York. The two women at the center of all this contended they felt "pressured" to participate in the opening prayers to the Greece, NY council meetings. So, let me get this straight - these women "felt" pressured? This entire case was brought up because these ladies had a feeling of pressure? That's your own problem if you feel a supposed "pressure" to participate. There is no requirement to engage in a prayer you don't agree with.
#3: I have yet to see where a traditional opening prayer inhibits official government business. These anti-prayer and anti-faith cases are many times brought up by cranky atheists who apparently don't have enough to do with their time. What, you've got to cause some drama about a 200-year-old tradition? The Supreme Court already ruled about this 30-years ago. So, it is great to see big piece of our national heritage re-affirmed by the Nation's highest court.
UPDATE AT 12PM: Rob Portman has weighed in on the ruling....
Pleased SCOTUS reaffirmed that the Constitution permits opening legislative mtgs w/ prayer. I urged this in an amicus brief to the Court.— Rob Portman (@robportman) May 5, 2014
(Photo: Getty Images).