The Mesa Public Schools governing board has quietly ended its tradition of starting public meetings with a non-denominational prayer.
Instead, board President Mike Nichols on Tuesday asked audience members to observe a moment of silence after saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on a public-prayer case this week could impact prayer at all levels of government, including school districts, many public officials believe.
Nichols and board member Michelle Udall said Mesa schools’ legal counsel recently advised that if the district were to be sued over the prayer said by district staff before public meetings, the district likely would lose.
“We were told it’s a church-state issue,” Udall said. “We would likely not win in the long run.”
End of quote. Fair use.
Mesa Public Schools didn’t wait for the Supreme Justices to make a decision, they opted to fold before hand. I wouldn’t doubt that these “quiet” moves to remove prayer from public meetings hasn’t begun around the Nation. I live in Arizona so I follow AZ Central on Twitter and saw this tweet this morning. However, very little is being said publicly about the case that is causing the anxiety. Greece V. Galloway is the case and it was the doing of a Christian Liberties lobby to bring it before the SCOTUS justices.
“After a district court ruled in favor of the town of Greece AU won at the appellate level on behalf of the plaintiffs. One of the judges in that case, noting that ”Roughly two-thirds [of the prayers] contained references to ‘Jesus Christ,’ ‘Jesus,’ ‘Your Son’ or the ‘Holy Spirit,’” concluded that it amounted to an “endorsement” of Christianity.
Following this ruling, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a leading religious right legal organization, appealed to SCOTUS arguing that pastors should have the freedom to offer prayers in accordance with their religious tradition when speaking on behalf of the government.
Upon initial glance, it seems like a clear violation of church-state separation, but there is a wrinkle. Thirty years earlier, in Marsh v. Chambers, SCOTUS ruled that the Nebraska legislature’s decision to hire a chaplain to open each legislative session with a non-sectarian prayer did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution.
The Secular Coalition of America explained why it agrees with the no prayer position: “Our stance is that any prayer, by definition is non-inclusive, because it excludes non-theists and others who don’t feel comfortable with public displays of religion. So, we think there should be no prayer.”
A ruling is not expected until June 2014.”
If the United States Supreme Court outlawed public prayer would you still pray?
If the United States Government outlawed prayer, “in the name of Jesus Christ,” would you still call upon His name?
God has dealt with nations before who have purposed in their heart and mind to turn from Him.
Links Related to Greece V. Galloway:
1 Corinthians 4:9-14 KJV
“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.”