Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Justices: Devil-worshipers OK with prayer?

So, the Supreme Court takes on whether government meetings can begin with a prayer and the justices' questioning Wednesday devolves into consideration of "devil worshiping." No kidding.

And the question came from the court's staunchest conservatives, Antonin Scalia.

Bryan Resnick of the National Journal captured the give-and-take with Douglas Laycock, a professor of law and religion at the University of Virginia, who said that prayers could be allowed if they were not sectarian. 

The case the high court is hearing centers around a small N.Y. town that begins its monthly meetings with a Christian prayer. The suit was brought by residents who say having only Christian prayers is a government endorsement of such prayers and that's wrong.

On Wednesday, the justices queried Laycock about whether there could be one prayer that different kinds of worshipers would find unoffensive. That led down the rabbit hole of talk about - devil worshipers.

Some of the dialogue drew laughs:

JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO: All right. Give me an example. Give me an example of a prayer that would be acceptable to Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus. Give me an example of a prayer. Wiccans, Baha'i.
CHIEF JUSTICE jOHN ROBERTS: And atheists.
JUSTICE SCALIA: And atheists. Throw in atheists, too.
(Laughter.)
MR. LAYCOCK: Well, some religions that believe in more than one god believe that all their many gods are manifestations of the one god. But the true polytheists I think are also excluded from the McCreary dissent.
JUSTICE SCALIA: What about devil worshippers?
(Laughter.)
MR. LAYCOCK: Well, if devil worshippers believe the devil is the almighty, they might be OK. But they're probably out —
(Laughter.)
Of course, this really isn't a laughing matter. How the Supreme Court rules will affect how many towns and cities begin their government meetings. A federal injunction has blocked Rowan County  here in North Carolina from beginning its board of county commissioners' meetings with one specific prayer. The ACLU though says the case before the Supreme Court is different from the case against Rowan County. The high court case, they say, involves clergy delivering prayers at governmental meetings and the Rowan case involves elected officials themselves delivering prayers.
Still, many eyes are on the Supreme Court this week for guidance. The justices seemed to have a difficult time with the question according to Adam Liptak of the New York Times.
Earlier, in a rare alliance, President Obama’s Justice Department and congressional lawmakers — nearly all Republicans — filed legal briefs  asking the court to rule in favor of prayer at government meetings.
The answer will be interesting - coming from a group, the Supreme Court, that begins its sessions an invocation to God.

7 comments:

Shamash said...

The Supreme Court is being perfectly reasonable and considering this question from several viewpoints.

That's called being sensitive to DIVERSITY.

Something many folks just LOVE when it involves the inclusion of "their" kind of people.

So, suck it up folks.

After all, how would the Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., etc., feel if it was the "devil worshippers" who were LEADING the prayers?

Probably not very happy.

So, I'm glad to see a court that finally gets it.

And it is a laughable situation when you consider how many times the Supreme Court has had to deal with almost the same question.

I don't blame them from trying to get a few laughs out of it.

Mike Layton said...

A few years ago I was sitting with my pastor and wide having lunch. We were approached by a woman who asked us to sign a petition to have religion taught on all our schools. I said "Of course. I have long thought that Satanism should be taught in every school". She dropped her mouth in shock and suddenly ran away.
My pastor laughed, said he would have to remember that one and we all resumed our meal in quite.
Everyone agrees that religion should be taught. As long as it is their's.
PS: we are all Presbyterian.

Garth Vader said...

So long as there is a Federal Reserve there will be devil worship in the halls of government.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Justus said...

f86Atheists do believe in God, but they do not want to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and live a life that keeps them from their worldly desires.
They do not want to live a Christian life, but submit to all kinds of temptations and evil so they deny God and Jesus Christ and want all others to deny him so they will look better in the eyes of all.
If there is no God (according to them)068 then why are they so worried about those of us who do and want to show our love for him and for all peoples to accept him as their Savior.

Carol Justus said...

Atheists do believe in God, but they do not want to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and live a life that keeps them from their worldly desires.
They do not want to live a Christian life, but submit to all kinds of temptations and evil so they deny God and Jesus Christ and want all others to deny him so they will look better in the eyes of all.
If there is no God (according to them) then why are they so worried about those of us who do and want to show our love for him and for all peoples to accept him as their Savior.

Shamash said...

Carol.

You should be Exhibit 1 for the Supreme Court.

That way they'll realize the religious bigotry in our society and finally put an end to these government sponsored prayers.