The Supreme Court ruled that invocation prayers before town meetings do not violate the first amendment. This was decided by a group of five people who all are the same religion. In fact, only one of the court’s six Catholic justices dissented, joining the three Jewish members of the court. Isn’t it funny how five Christians saw no problem with a local government being explicitly Christian at nearly all its functions?
Now I know I run the risk of sounding like the anti-gay people who think that a gay judge can never ever rule fairly on a gay rights case. But the difference is that gay rights cases are not decided by only gay judges (which would be impossible as there are not enough of them).
We often talk of diversity in government being essential to represent a broad range of the public, but rarely do we ever include religion. This has led to a culture that never understands why their own faith cannot be elevated above others. Meanwhile states pass laws banning Sharia law, which isn’t happening anyway. It makes you wonder how this case would have gone if it were a town that almost always opened with a Muslim prayer.
Apparently we can discriminate sometimes though:
Justice Kennedy did suggest that some prayers may be unacceptable if offered consistently over time, including ones that “denigrate nonbelievers or religious minorities, threaten damnation or preach conversion.”
Aren’t those things part of “sincerely held religious beliefs” we hear so much about? Isn’t that censoring religion? Who determines what is unacceptable?
It would be better for everyone, religions included, to keep them out of government functions entirely.