Saturday, October 5, 2013

Supreme Court to Rule on Public Religious Ceremonies

Supreme Court

As the title of the article being referenced implies, there is potentially a huge impact on the whole country that will stem from a small town’s fight for religious freedom in the public arena.

The mid-sized city of Greece, NY, is at the center of a case that’s set to start on November 6th. At stake is the town’s (and the rest of the country’s) right to start their meetings with a prayer. Though they do not claim a religious affiliation and allow non-Christian volunteers to deliver the prayer of the month, the majority of the town is Christian and that is reflected in the prayers.

If the court rules against the town, this could send shockwaves across the country. Meetings and events that have traditionally held prayer could be prohibited from doing so. While the full scope of the decision cannot be understood at this time, one thing is clear. Whatever their decision is, this will not be isolated to the town itself. Since it has escalated to the Supreme Court, its effects will be widespread either way.

A small town in upstate New York is at the center of what legal scholars say could be one of the biggest religious freedom cases in decades, as the Supreme Court prepares to open its 2013-14 term next week.

The case, the Town of Greece (N.Y.) v. Galloway, involves the town council’s practice of beginning its meetings with a prayer offered by a volunteer “chaplain of the month” — Christian and non-Christian — and has attracted friend-of-the-court briefs from religious, secular and civil liberties organizations. The surprising decision to take the case and how it rules could offer new insights on how far the court headed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is prepared to go to redefine the role of religion in the public square.

Read More: Washington Times

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