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Federal court: NC commissioners' prayer practice violates U.S. Constitution

Somerville

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Those poor, persecuted Christians may now be forced to listen to other faiths' prayers. How will they ever survive? Oh, probably by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, costing their taxpayers still more money.

Federal court: NC commissioners' prayer practice violates U.S. Constitution

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a North Carolina county’s practice of opening commissioners’ meetings with Christian prayers – and inviting the audience to join in – is unconstitutional.

The 45-page opinion by the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. sets up a possible showdown on the issue at the U.S. Supreme Court in coming months.

The appeals court ruled 10-5 in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of non-Christian residents who claimed they felt excluded by the prayer.

more from the Charlotte Observer
Appeals court tells Rowan County to find another way to pray

“The principle at stake here may be a profound one, but it is also simple,” Judge Harvie Wilkinson of Virginia wrote. “The Establishment Clause does not permit a seat of government to wrap itself in a single faith.”
(. . .)
In a dissenting 4th Circuit opinion, Judge Paul Niemeyer, who was appointed to the court by former President George H.W. Bush, said the majority ruling sidesteps the Greece precedent and “actively undermines the appropriate role of prayer in American civic life.”

Wilkinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee and one of the country’s leading conservative legal voices, disagreed.

“The great promise of the Establishment Clause is that religion will not operate as instrument of division in our nation,” he wrote.

“Rowan County regrettably sent the opposite message” by creating “a closed-universe of prayer-givers dependent solely on election outcomes.... Free religious exercise can only remain free if not influenced and directed by the hand of the state.”

The case is Lund, et al. v. Rowan County
 

Phys251

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The persecution complex of the Religious Right knows no end.
 

Imnukingfutz

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Those poor, persecuted Christians may now be forced to listen to other faiths' prayers. How will they ever survive? Oh, probably by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, costing their taxpayers still more money.



more from the Charlotte Observer


The case is Lund, et al. v. Rowan County

I disagree with this decision and here is why;
The Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Congress had absolutely nothing to do with the Rowan County N.C. prayer. Even tho the prayer does not establish a religion of any kind it was widely acceptable for a state to have an established religion, many states have had state established religions throughout our history. Massachusetts had one for over 200 years after its founding...Virginia too....among others.

The Constitution is to outline the powers/limitations of the Federal Government not the states - Hence the 10th Amendment.
 

Somerville

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I disagree with this decision and here is why;
The Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Congress had absolutely nothing to do with the Rowan County N.C. prayer. Even tho the prayer does not establish a religion of any kind it was widely acceptable for a state to have an established religion, many states have had state established religions throughout our history. Massachusetts had one for over 200 years after its founding...Virginia too....among others.

The Constitution is to outline the powers/limitations of the Federal Government not the states - Hence the 10th Amendment.


So you don't like the 14th Amendment?
 

pinqy

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I disagree with this decision and here is why;
The Constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Congress had absolutely nothing to do with the Rowan County N.C. prayer. Even tho the prayer does not establish a religion of any kind it was widely acceptable for a state to have an established religion, many states have had state established religions throughout our history. Massachusetts had one for over 200 years after its founding...Virginia too....among others.

The Constitution is to outline the powers/limitations of the Federal Government not the states - Hence the 10th Amendment.
Ok, let's go with the North Carolina Constitution
Sec. 13. Religious liberty.
All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Mandating prayer clearly violates that
 

Imnukingfutz

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So you don't like the 14th Amendment?

Next to the 10th Amendment, the 14th Amendment is the most distorted and perverted of the Amendments.

Still trying to figure out how the courts - using the 14th Amendment - can say the government can force us to buy a private product from a private company (i.e. healthcare insurance policy)
 

Imnukingfutz

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Ok, let's go with the North Carolina Constitution
Sec. 13. Religious liberty.
All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Mandating prayer clearly violates that

it violates a state law, not a Federal law - the Federal courts do not have authority to enforce state law.
 

jimbo

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Next to the 10th Amendment, the 14th Amendment is the most distorted and perverted of the Amendments.

Still trying to figure out how the courts - using the 14th Amendment - can say the government can force us to buy a private product from a private company (i.e. healthcare insurance policy)

I don't see how the 14th has much to do with the first. Forcing products down our throats is a different matter.

Opening government meetings with prayer is not exactly a new issue. The county where I lived got into this quandary several years ago. Their solution was to establish a prayer list and rotate the prayer leader. That went well until a Wiccan showed up. Can't have that.

Bottom line, why is this such a big deal for Christians? You want to pray before a government meeting? Do it on the way to the courthouse or convene 15 minutes early at the park across the street. As an atheist who often spoke before public meetings, being no fool I stood up with the rest of the crowd.

BTW, the Senate still has an official chaplain and opens every session with a prayer. What's up with that?
 

pinqy

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it violates a state law, not a Federal law - the Federal courts do not have authority to enforce state law.

Ok, so you agree the prayers are wrong, you just think it should have beeen handled at the State level. Sorry, it looked like you were trying to say the prayers were ok.
 

Utility Man

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:coffeepap
 
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Fenton Lum

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Next to the 10th Amendment, the 14th Amendment is the most distorted and perverted of the Amendments.

Still trying to figure out how the courts - using the 14th Amendment - can say the government can force us to buy a private product from a private company (i.e. healthcare insurance policy)

Because the oligarchs are attempting to fight off single payer.
 

Cephus

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Those poor, persecuted Christians may now be forced to listen to other faiths' prayers. How will they ever survive? Oh, probably by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, costing their taxpayers still more money.

Of course they are, but the reality is, there should be *NO* prayers of any kind. These people are there to work, not talk to imaginary friends. Do something useful already. If you want to be delusional, go to a church.
 

D_NATURED

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I don't see how the 14th has much to do with the first. Forcing products down our throats is a different matter.

Opening government meetings with prayer is not exactly a new issue. The county where I lived got into this quandary several years ago. Their solution was to establish a prayer list and rotate the prayer leader. That went well until a Wiccan showed up. Can't have that.

Bottom line, why is this such a big deal for Christians? You want to pray before a government meeting? Do it on the way to the courthouse or convene 15 minutes early at the park across the street. As an atheist who often spoke before public meetings, being no fool I stood up with the rest of the crowd.

BTW, the Senate still has an official chaplain and opens every session with a prayer. What's up with that?

What's up with that is that certain christian groups have been authorized by their faith to **** all over the constitution whenever they like. No secular government, no rational law and no sensible cultural norms can compete with the entitlement of faith. It's the same attitude that authorizes jihadis to murder innocents.

Religion is the greatest threat to western civilization and intellectual advances. Now, I know that some argue that christianity is vital to our cultural evolution but that's the theist MO. They take any advance that managed to exist in spite of them and then claim it to be a product of their faith.

Praying before a session of the Senate convenes is to treat religious freedom like ceremonial liberty for which no real effort need be applied. The religious, whether they are Muslims trying to install Sharia in local politics or christians trying to enshrine the commandments on public grounds , are infected with the same flavor of crazy that asserts that their fantasies should be the foundation of our shared reality.

How, I ask, can one man's dogma be a rational beginning of a process designed to serve everyone equally? It can't and never has.
 

CrabCake

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Next to the 10th Amendment, the 14th Amendment is the most distorted and perverted of the Amendments.

Still trying to figure out how the courts - using the 14th Amendment - can say the government can force us to buy a private product from a private company (i.e. healthcare insurance policy)

They didn't use the 14th amendment; they used the commerce clause.
 

code1211

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Those poor, persecuted Christians may now be forced to listen to other faiths' prayers. How will they ever survive? Oh, probably by filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, costing their taxpayers still more money.



more from the Charlotte Observer


The case is Lund, et al. v. Rowan County

Your conclusion seems to vary from the conclusion of the court.
 
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