Prayer time — Supreme Court ruling opens a can of worms


The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on allowing prayer before the start of government meetings seems like a no-brainer. But it is far from it.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on allowing prayer before the start of government meetings seems like a no-brainer. But it is far from it.

In fact, the five justices who ruled for prayer were wrong, and the four in the minority clearly saw that such an opinion opens the door wide to any group that deems itself religious in nature, including Satanists. ...

The aforementioned comment about Satanists is not fabrication. ... Oklahoma is getting a taste of satanic influence right now.

The Satanic Temple of New York plans to build a 7-foot bronze statue at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It will be located near the controversial 10 Commandments monument, a symbol of the Christian faith.

"It's part of our overall agenda to raise awareness, not just of Satanism but of marginalized groups in general," said Lucien Greaves, Satanic Temple spokesman.

And that's what the Supreme Court ruling did this week — opened the door for marginalized groups to offer prayers before the start of government meetings.

Though many thought the court ruling legitimized Christian prayer, the truth is it ignored one of the strongest bricks in this nation's foundation — the separation of church and state. And in doing so it threw open the door for other so-called religious groups to offer their forms of prayer — The governing body has to accept these requests; it cannot be discriminating. ...

Previously, prayers offered before meetings had to be non-sectarian. But on Monday the court ruled that Christian prayers could be offered if they didn't denigrate non-Christians or attempt to win converts. That means that Satanists and others can offer non-Christian prayers as long as they don't harm Christians or try to win converts.

It should be clear by now that our founders put some good thought into separation of church and state matters. Yet the Supreme Court this week opened a can of worms. Truth be told, moments of silence before government meetings, including the Legislature and Congress, would be more meaningful than any prayer or non-prayer offered.

Religion does not belong in government, and government does not belong in churches. Separating the two resolves the debate.

-- The Hutchinson News

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