Once again the conservative wing gives Kennedy the keys to the car if he but drives it in their direction.
"Once it invites prayer into the public sphere"
I think I found the problem here.
I never understood the push for prayer in political meetings. Jesus indicated that he wanted no part of man's government, yet many fundamentalists today continually try to drag him into it.
Well, that's fucking stupid.
I will be delighted when some of the old codgers start carking it.
I think I see your mistake. You're assuming these people have any respect for or even interest in what Jesus, according to the Bible, actually preached.
Suppose everybody at that meeting was of the same faith. If they were deciding your fate, or the fate of your dog, wouldn't it be nice if they asked their god for wisdom first? At worst, they get the placebo effect.
Yep, that's what they do.
Once you strip off the greed, self-righteousness, hypocrisy and mad desire to control what people think, do and say, religion isn't all that bad...then again...
Religion sometimes includes all the things you described, so not really all that different?
Well, to be clear, the prayer spot in the meetings is supposedly open to any religion. "Christian" religious leaders are evidently the ones that take them up on it.
Still not sure why you would pray at the opening of a non-religious event...
EDIT: replaced fair with clear... Better choice of words.
it's almost as if religious "fundamentalists" don't actually know, understand, and respect the roots of the tradition in which they claim to believe...
And who fancies a little friendly bet as to the outcome of this case had the "prayer giver" felt like addressing a somewhat less popular deity?
I'm actually pleased that they didn't go with the "well, don't blow the dog whistle too hard; but, because reasons, any suitably vague approximately protestant invocation is just good honest tradition, and thus not a problem!" nonsense that is usually implied by 'non-sectarian prayer'; but the disconcerting bit is that they don't appear to have addressed who gets to pick the religion that will be imposed on everybody's patience today. That seems like the crux of the issue.
Yes, pretending that you can 'non-sectarian' a religious exercise to the point of safety is nonsense, and imposing that just means you'll get your majoritarianism with a few of the more galling buzzwords stripped.
However, so long as you have a state entity imposing the religious practice most pleasing to the majority on everybody, you've got an establishment problem.
Be fair. I'm sure that they are willing to consider the possibility that everyone at the meeting is of the same faith, or some of them are wrong. Very open minded.
One only needs to look towards Oklahoma as example... we put a ten commandment monument on the capitol grounds, now we have a group wanting to put a statue of Beelzebub next to it.
Why can't they just do it in their heads? Why does it have to be a group participation event and/ or require an audience?
It sounds like it works out great for anyone with the majority, but those of us who don't share that faith won't be comforted by any of it. It might feel like this:
"It's unfortunate that your neighbor is infringing on your property rights, but you didn't bow your head with us in prayer. We're going to decide with your good Christian neighbor. Perhaps you should attend one of our many fine churches."
Or else, I guess they just want atheists to pretend, and never come out of the closet.
So by this argument, if someone wanted to address a prayer to Satan (see the monument being constructed for the Oklahoma state house) or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or Thor Odinson before a council meeting, they must permit it?
And is there any limit on the length of the prayer? Or is prayer the new filibuster, you may pray for as long as you can speak? How about faiths that require prayers to be accompanied by dancing? Or the consumption of alcohol? [If no such faiths exist, I'm sure we could create one a la Scientology.]
The Supreme Court said Monday that city councils and other public boards are free to open their meetings with an explicitly Christian prayer, ruling that judges may not act as "censors of religious speech" simply because the prayers reflect the views of the dominant faith.
No other religions count and the nonreligious don't count either.
Little by little they are just tearing up the constitution. What a bunch of nasty fuckers.