Supreme Court to hear case separating church and state
By David Savage
Justices are set on Wednesday to hear and determine whether to allow city councils begin their meetings with explicitly Christian prayers. The main bone of contention is to whether at the beginning of a meeting, prayers should be invoked or not.
American United for Separation of Church and State are of the view that, prayer practice conducted before meetings can be viewed as an act of endorsing certain religions over the others. This In turn might lead to religious discrimination, which might bear decisive effects. In a 1983 decision that upheld the invocations before a Nebraska court, Chief Justice Warren Burger considered the act of invoking prayers by town councils and county boards before meetings as well as gathering as an act of seeking divine guidance for a public body untrusted with the responsibilities of making laws, and rather not an act of establishing religion. This is a contentious issue, considering the fact that meetings are characterized by individuals from all works of life who come from various religious groups, or rather even pagans and atheist. There was a case reported by an atheist who raised a complain about Christian prayers in town board meetings conducted in Greece, N.Y., much to their surprise they were advised to either leave the room or not listen at all. However coming to think of it, how would Muslims interpret actions whereby Christians are let to pray in meetings while they are not given the opportunity.
Each case has two sides of a coin, and in this case both sides make sense and require clear guidance before a major decision is arrived at. Among the solutions that would help solve the problem would be, allocating all the religious groups evident at the meeting time to make their own prayers before the start of the meeting.
References: Savage, D. (2013, November 2). Supreme Court to hear case separating church and state. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http:// http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/02/nation/la-na-court-religion-20131103