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WASHINGTON (RNS) Starting in 1999, two-thirds of prayers offered at the opening of the Greece Town Council in upstate New York invoked "Jesus" or "the Holy Spirit," and pastors also asked those present to pray with them and recite the Lord’s Prayer.


  1. The issue here is clear, to me. I am a devout Catholic, and I choose to worship at Mass and other church sponsored gatherings. There is nothing preventing any member of the council from praying privately and silently before town meetings. The idea that the government has control over the content of prayer is so abhorrent to me that I believe it is better to not even have public prayers.

    • Glad to see someone who acknowledges the separation of church and state protects both. Just as bad as government control of prayer is sectarian control of government.

      In every instance of religious guided control of government, it has led to sectarian discrimination. Likewise government entanglement with religion leads to the same.

  1. […] The U.S. Supreme Court to consider prayer at government meetings — Does prayer violate the First Amendment? The U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue of prayer that convene government meetings. The question is does prayer in the name of Jesus promote the Christian faith above another (or no) faith? […]

  2. […] “Americans today should be free as the Founders were to pray,” So says David A. Courtman in the latest round of a subject that has been debated since the founding of the United States and even further back during settlement of the thirteen colonies; the separation of Church and State and what exactly that entails. Recently there has been a debate at almost all court levels about whether or not an individual praying at a governmental meeting is a violation of the separation. In this writer’s opinion, provided that the government presents equal representation to other religious persuasions there really is no issue on whether or not those in public office should be permitted to show their faith. However that it took the two women suing the local government to examine whether it was equal representation is cause for alarm, though there is little evidence to show that the two were not alone in their opinion at the time the article was written. […]