by Dr. D ~ December 12th, 2011
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According to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, offering prayers in ‘Jesus name’ during legislative invocations are unconstitutional.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State took the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners in North Carolina to court over opening prayers given before commission meetings ending “in Jesus name.”
Judge James Harvie Wilkinson III in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote the majority opinion that:
legislative invocations offered in Jesus’ name are inherently "sectarian" and thus should be censored lest they make some attendees feel "uncomfortable, unwelcome and unwilling to participate in … public affairs."
Also, even "a solitary reference to Jesus Christ" in invocations before the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners’ meetings could do "violence to the pluralistic and inclusive values that are a defining feature of American public life."
Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel Brett Harvey disagreed with the ruling:
"The decision is troubling on many fronts. It is out of step with many other federal courts that have considered the validity of public invocations, including the United States Supreme Court. It ignores the religious heritage and history of our nation. But more troubling is the impact of the court’s decision on prayer itself. … It requires the government to censor private prayers and engage in comparative theology."
"The Constitution prohibits the government from deciding which religious words are acceptable and which are not, even if the goal is to make people feel more comfortable."
The decision is going to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Response: One wonders what titles for God are acceptable after this ruling? Also, who decides what is acceptable? Can a mullah pray to Allah or is it just Jesus Christ that must be censored and eliminated?
Actually this case was decided on July 29th so hopefully the Supreme Court will soon take on this case and resolve it in a way that our freedom of religion is not compromised.
From this ruling it does seem to me that Christianity is the only religion that is actually being restricted and Christian prayers and the ‘name of Jesus’ seems to be the only target. Another case of discrimination against Christians in the name of pluralism and PC inclusiveness? Looks like it to me. *Top