Supreme Court Upholds Public Prayer—Where Do We Go From Here?

Article Index

prayer
What does the Supreme Court ruling on prayer really mean? (Flickr)

Institute on Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley says we can be grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court in Greece v. Galloway upheld freedom of speech and religion by affirming the right of a town council to hear unrestricted prayer by local clergy.

“Kudos to groups like the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Becket Fund for their court briefs and advocacy,” he says. “Sadly, the court ruling was narrowly 5-4. And more religious groups should have actively spoken to the issue. Some actually filed briefs against the town council's allowing unrestricted prayers.”

As Tooley sees it, some desire to enthrone a rigid secularism as the state religion while suppressing all other views. In contrast, ordered liberty allows free expression for all. Religious freedom remains under attack, Tooley says, and all persons who cherish freedom of speech and religion should prepare for future battles.

At the time the First Amendment was adopted, Ferrara says the countries of Europe each maintained their own preferred "Establishment of Religion," which meant an official government religion enforced by laws requiring attendance at the official church, regular contributions to it, and other preferences in law for members of that church.

“These establishment policies all involved government coercion to force citizens to support the one favored church," Ferrara says. "Almost all of the American colonies had such establishments as well, with legal compulsion or coercion as their hallmark.

"These practices, and anything like them involving coercion in regard to religion, are what the framers meant to prohibit in adopting the Establishment Clause, for this is what an Establishment of Religion meant at the time. They did not mean, however, to prohibit any voluntary, public, religious speech or religious expression or symbolism, which do not involve any such coercion."


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective