Christians 5 – the Rest of Us 4

The long term damage from a Supreme Court largely appointed by Republican Presidents over the past several decades  can scarcely be summarized. Though the recent decisions on Corporate personhood and unlimited political purchasing power are undoubtedly more immediately dangerous to a healthy democracy, yesterday’s ruling that sectarian prayer before governmental business meetings was not unconstitutional adds to the toxic waters rising in the country.

Two [Greece, NY] town residents sued, saying the prayers ran afoul of the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion. They said the prayers offended them and, in Justice Kennedy’s words, “made them feel excluded and disrespected.”

But Justice Kennedy said the relevant constitutional question was not whether they were offended. “Adults often encounter speech they find disagreeable,” he wrote. “Legislative bodies do not engage in impermissible coercion merely by exposing constituents to prayer they would rather not hear and in which they need not participate.”  NY Times

So, I wonder, Justice Kennedy, if those who find the invocation of a deity, before talking about pot-hole fixing, to be mindboggling, and were to cover the ears with their hands, or put on ear-muffs during the prayer — would that be OK, too?  Protected?  Or say, a volunteer were to praise the forests and the rivers for three minutes, or perhaps the gnomes that live there — will that be protected?  Do the upstate Buddhists have the same right to offer public prayer before the assemblage as the Christians? Do the Hare Krishnas?

When they see an opening, they drive a wedge into it. Perhaps!  Maybe!  We can have an eastern Ukraine situation right here in the US of A….

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