Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Town Of Greece, NY Adopts Exclusive Council Meeting Invocation Policy — No Atheists, No Religions Not Common In Town

Sahil Kapur at TPM:
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court gave its blessing to local governments that want to open their public meetings with religious prayer.

It was a victory for the town board of Greece, N.Y., which stressed that it was fighting not just for Christian prayer but for the right of all people express their views regardless of their faith. In a 5-4 ruling along ideological lines, the Court ruled against the Jewish and atheist plaintiffs, who argued that the practice violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Less than four months later, the town of Greece has adopted an invocation policy that excludes non-religious citizens and potentially shuts out faiths that aren't well-established in the town, according to a top secular group.

Seeking to "avail itself of the Supreme Court's recognition" that government prayer is constitutional, the new policy restricts opening remarks to "assemblies with an established presence in the Town of Greece that regularly meet for the primary purpose of sharing a religious perspective."

Translation: atheists and agnostics need not apply. And unless the board clerk decides that your faith has an "established presence" in the New York town of fewer than 100,000, you may not deliver an invocation.

So... all religions are equal, but some are more equal than others. I don't know the status of UUs, but I have a feeling I would not be asked... nay, not be permitted... to say the invocation at a Greece, NY town board meeting.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution is dead; long live the Establishment Clause. And you know that not a damned thing will be done about it. I mean, what do you think you're going to do about it? pass a constitutional amendment? [/irony]

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes