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In a just released decision the usual 5 member conservative majority of SCOTUS has taken the position that prayers to open the meetings of governmental bodies are constitutional.

High court ruling favors prayer at council meeting

The Supreme Court said Monday that prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the Constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity.

The court said in 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as officials make a good-faith effort at inclusion.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation’s traditions.

“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,” Kennedy said.

There was a 1983 decision from the court upholding prayer in the Nebraska legislature. The majority opinion is linked to that precedent. The dissent by Justice Kagen holds that the situation in New York is more blatantly sectarian.

This appears to be business as usual with The Supremes.

Originally posted to Richard Lyon on Mon May 05, 2014 at 07:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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