Liberal Supreme Court justices make huge error with prayer dissent

By Neal McNamara | May 6, 2014
Patty Bills, Rob Schenck, Raymond Moore

A major ruling in favor of religious freedom came from the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, despite the best efforts of the left to stop them.

The court decided 5-4 that the Constitution permits religiously specific prayers before local government meetings – that means you might hear an ode to Jesus, Allah, or Buddha before your next city council or planning and zoning board meeting.

The ruling came after two people from Greece, N.Y., a Jewish person and an atheist, challenged a tradition in that city to feature a “chaplain of the month,” who would invoke each public meeting with a sectarian prayer. The chaplains were majority Christian, but Greece city officials have said they would welcome faith leaders from any religion.

But in an ironic and unfortunately expected turn, the four liberal justices who disagreed with the majority – Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer – sought to upend the Constitution in their dissent, which Kagan wrote.

Those justices asserted left that allowing sectarian prayer before a meeting is a violation of the First Amendment, the same amendment that grants every citizen the right to practice religion free from burden.

Liberal Justice Elena Kagan said in the left’s dissenting screed that the ruling would put a barrier to government participation, “with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share of government.”

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian – constantly and exclusively so,” Kagan wrote.

But so what? If you’re not Christian, isn’t it better to be respectful of the religion at hand? Host Ben Shapiro thinks so.

“I can’t tell you how many events I’ve been to where somebody opens up with a prayer, and it ends in Jesus’ name,” Shapiro commented. “I’m an Orthodox Jew, I don’t believe in Jesus, but have I ever been offended for a split second? Of course not.”

Shapiro spoke about the ruling after relaying a horrifying story, reported by the Daily Caller, about a New Jersey abortion counselor who filmed her own abortion and posted it on YouTube, reveling in the “cool” “birth-like” procedure.

“People are more scared of feeling pressure from others to engage in religion that they are scared of the moral turpitude associated with filming an abortion,” Shapiro said.

Host Michael Medved found further irony in the liberal justices’ dissent. As justices Kagan and Sotomayor were “dissenting” to prayers before small-town meetings, President Barack Obama, who appointed them, was maintaining friendly relations with Brunei, whose sultan has introduced a brutal Sharia law penal code that includes punishing alcohol drinkers by lopping off their limbs.

Host David Boze could not believe that the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 – apparently, the liberal judicial philosophy is that an act is only unconstitutional if the liberal judge disagrees with it.

LISTEN: BOZE TALKS TO THE FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL ABOUT SUPREME COURT RULING

Boze said that public prayer is an important community experience, something that large groups engage in after tragedies, or Norman Rockwell depicted in his paintings. It’s a deeply American tradition that should never have landed in court.

“For four justices at their level to not be able to see that these things have happened since the beginning of our republic, and to say that they’re unconstitutional, would require you to imagine that every official prior to the dawn of your era has been acting in an unconstitutional way,” Boze said. “I just find that to be flatly absurd, not to mention arrogant and egotistical.

“Being able to pray together, to have that moment together, is something that transcends politics. Just showing the respect – it doesn’t mean you have to pray yourself – it’s that kind of thing that can provide a little bit of cultural glue that reminds people they have a commonality with their fellow citizens,” Boze said.

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