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View Diary: Supreme Court upholds religious prayers in local government proceedings, 5-4 (186 comments)

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      •  This decision comes from people who have never (18+ / 0-)

        known what it's like to stand outside the majority and feel unwelcome -- either because they are part of the majority or because they are profoundly gifted in lying to themselves (Clarence Thomas).
        As a girl in public school I was often uncomfortable and unhappy as the vast majority of my class sang religious Christmas carols. Of course they never turned and "singled out dissidents [me] for opprobrium," but you can believe that I felt that disapproval. Yes I was a kid, but that feeling follows those of us with non-majority religious views right into adulthood and even into our senior years.
        Kagan knows about this, she has experienced it. And beyond that, she is a person who is capable of understanding the experience of others.
        Of the 3 non-crazed conservatives on the court, the least able to understand the point of view of others is Alito. His decisions prior to being on the Supreme Court showed him incapable of considering a situation from any point of view other than his own narrow experience of the world.

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Mon May 05, 2014 at 02:46:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I once diaried my own miserable childhood (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, terrypinder

          experiences, here.

          "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

          by Navy Vet Terp on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:31:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  interesting -- my school was almost entirely (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Navy Vet Terp

            white and Protestant. In my grade (about 70 kids) there were  3 Jewish kids, 3 black kids (this was just after desegregation and they were ignored by the teachers), and a couple of Catholics. It was so homogenous that a girl who was in the Girl Guides rather than in the Girl Scouts was considered a weirdo (as were the Catholics and Jews. Once again, the black kids weren't even afforded the attention of being picked on).
            Very different from your school.

            While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

            by Tamar on Mon May 05, 2014 at 03:56:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Mine was the opposite (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tamar

              My grade schools were probably 95% Jewish, 4% Catholic and 1% Protestant. For purposes of simplification and because I have no idea what my peers or their parents felt regarding religion, I include those descended from said groups with those who actually practiced. In general the Catholic kids went to Catholic schools and there were very few Protestants of any sort in the neighborhood where I grew up. At one point in fact we had a Mormon family as neighbors; nobody could figure out what to make of them.

              Needless to say on the Jewish High Holidays my elementary school was basically deserted (my folks once made the mistake of sending me to school on the second day of Rosh Hashanah...a mistake they did not repeat). It made perfect sense for NYC to close the public schools on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a move they made when I was still a kid.

        •  no part of the business of government to pray (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Adam B, Tamar, apimomfan2, KenBee, Waimer, sfbob

          I am the Schempp of the Abington case (1963) about Bible-reading and prayer in public schools.

          I am extremely disappointed in today's Supreme Court decision (Greece v. Galloway) affirming that sectarian prayers at city council meetings do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  The 5-4 decision severely diminishes the non-establishment principle and effectively endorses majoritarian displays of public piety.

          The notion of public prayer before council meetings is itself rather weird, a 'theological/religious' notion that praying somehow leads to better government, or that some supernatural entity will show favoritism to get better roads in communities that pray.  This is naked superstition, a bow to witchcraft, and acceptancce of magical thinking. Like school kids praying before an exam--better to have read the assignments and done the homework.  

          It is wholly specious to imagine, as Kennedy does, that prayer is not subtly coercive.  It should be obvious that such prayers create an atmosphere that a certain god has to be prayed to to win its favor.  And surely such prayers promote the idea that the government favors some religions or some gods over others.

          It is also rather weird to imagine that clergy who pray such&such have some insight that others do not have.  Clergy, of course, are not elected; and have as their agenda, continuing income from their congregation.  City councillors have an agenda to get re-elected by doing good for their communities.  There is a difference.

          The decision wholly ignores non-believers, non-theists, atheists who have no use for prayer to an imaginary deity.  It is even an affront to the Founding Fathers, many of whom were Deists, who rejected the notion that God would intervene in human affairs as a result of supplication and worship.  George Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, even Adams, would be appalled at today's decision.  The idea of a government body paying obeissance ....

          The decision is a major affront to a memorable phrase from the Engel case (1962):  "I am extremely disappointed in today's Supreme Court decision (Greece v. Galloway) affirming that sectarian prayers at city council meetings do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  The 5-4 decision severely diminishes the non-establishment principle and effectively endorses majoritarian displays of public piety.

          The notion of public prayer before council meetings is itself rather weird, a 'theological/religious' notion that praying somehow leads to better government, or that some supernatural entity will show favoritism to get better roads in communities that pray.  This is naked superstition, a bow to witchcraft, and acceptancce of magical thinking. Like school kids praying before an exam--better to have read the assignments and done the homework.  

          It is wholly specious to imagine, as Kennedy does, that prayer is not subtly coercive.  It should be obvious that such prayers create an atmosphere that a certain god has to be prayed to to win its favor.  And surely such prayers promote the idea that the government favors some religions or some gods over others.

          It is also rather weird to imagine that clergy who pray such&such have some insight that others do not have.  Clergy, of course, are not elected; and have as their agenda, continuing income from their congregation.  City councillors have an agenda to get re-elected by doing good for their communities.  There is a difference.

          The decision wholly ignores non-believers, non-theists, atheists who have no use for prayer to an imaginary deity.  It is even an affront to the Founding Fathers, many of whom were Deists, who rejected the notion that God would intervene in human affairs as a result of supplication and worship.  George Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Franklin, even Adams, would be appalled at today's decision.  The idea of a government body paying obeissance ....

          The decision is a major affront to a memorable phrase from the Engel case (1962):  "It is no part of the business of government to be composing prayers..."  This principle is a vitally important reminder.  What is the business of government?  Is having a prayer calling on Divine Providence and some dogma about Jesus going to help with the sewer works?  

          This principle is a vitally important reminder.  What is the business of government?  Is having a prayer calling on Divine Providence and some dogma about Jesus going to help with the sewer works?  

          •  Because of you: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, thomask, sfbob

            I no longer had to recite The Lord's Prayer every morning in school
            Because of you, my friends and I (with support from my mother and a few other parents) were able to escape from being coerced into participating in the religious baccalaureate service for our high school graduation. And it was coercion: we were told by the teacher in charge that those students who weren't planning to participate would have to go to the balcony of the gym while the other students rehearsed for it. The teacher than smirked and said that since it gets to about 110 degrees in the balcony, most students would join in the rehearsal and baccalaureate. Our group used your case to make clear to the principal that this was unlawful.
            My sister also used your case to fight the coerced singing of religious Christian songs in her junior high school chorus.
            I don't hate religion (I'm an agnostic Jew), but I think it is a private matter and should not be brought into taxpayer supported activities. Too often public prayer is a bludgeon used on people with views that differ from the majority.
            So thank you! (you're Ellery?).

            While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

            by Tamar on Mon May 05, 2014 at 08:49:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  This reallity exists for the Texas town I live in. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, terrypinder

          To the point where two men who are and were suing me at the time wrote letters to the city council stating that I was always thanking and blessing the universe, as well as, I was a liberal from California.  These beliefs made public are enough to be considered a criminal in this small town.

          There is a Catholic church here with about 200 people attending--150 Hispanic.  Most little churches here, and there are a lot, are about 50 members.  But the southern Baptist church rules.  Even the Methodists have been ticked when their kids are proselytized at school events.

          We have no drinking in the town.  Thus, we now have two restaurants left other than the usual sonic and McDs.  No wine and beer because the Baptists don't believe in it--regardless of the fact that there is nothing in the Bible that forbids it.  

      •  And that "presumption" (0+ / 0-)

        Stinks. It would be damn hard to prove intent, and why would you even want to try.

    •  Unbelievable. Can you imagine the Town meeting (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      travelerxxx, Uniprober, lcbo, Nisi Prius

      being forced to partake in a Hindu Puja where everyone has to pray to the Elephant headed Ganesh?  I'm sure there would be no sense of prejudice shown by the members of the community.
      After that, we can have a drag queen come up and say "Grace," but with flair.

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