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a2liberal

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Member since: Wed Sep 29, 2010, 10:26 PM
Number of posts: 1,252

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Obama administration backs prayer at local government meetings

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and congressional Republicans have found something to agree on: Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer.

Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, nearly all Republicans, separately made that argument in briefs to the Supreme Court this week. The high court should relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings, they argued.

Two residents, one Jewish and one an atheist, had complained for several years that the prayers were offensive and inappropriate. Until they sued in 2008, only Christians had been invited to lead the prayers.

The case has drawn attention because it could provide the court's conservative majority an opportunity to alter a legal rule that dates to the 1980s and a set of opinions by then-Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Her decisions said government actions would violate the 1st Amendment if they appeared to "endorse" religion. That rule has been followed in cases saying that government agencies cannot display the Ten Commandments in their buildings or host Nativity scenes at Christmas.

The administration's filing was "a surprisingly conservative brief, and it came as a pleasant surprise," said Ken Klukowski, a lawyer for the Family Research Council, who filed the brief for the House members. "It's gratifying that even the Obama administration recognizes that courts are not qualified to censor prayers."


Much more at link, I couldn't really capture the essence of the article well in 4 paragraphs. It's worth a read. This case could change a lot of accepted case law and result in even further encroachment on the First Amendment and separation of church and state. I liked the way the Michigan Atheists mailing list put it: "Disgusting News".

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-prayer-20130809,0,6470966.story

(GD X-Post) This Guy Moved Into His Parents’ House So a Homeless Family Could Live in His

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023443605

Amazing
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