Court decision allowing Christian prayer in public finally gets it right

Court decision allowing Christian prayer in public finally gets it right

Your recent editorial opinion that our Supreme Court erred in its recent decision to allow Greece, N.Y., to open its meeting with a sectarian prayer demands rebuttal.

Our founding fathers, under the threat of death at the hands of King George III, crafted a Declaration of Independence, in which the word God appears at least five times. All of these men had strong religious beliefs, and the document reflects those feelings. Had we been defeated in that great war of independence which followed, most certainly all of the signatures would have identified those to be executed for treason. Their religious foundations were firm. Notable patriots such as Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, Franklin and Adams all have issued strong statements proclaiming their firm religious beliefs, and were they alive today would be elated that our court has finally begun to rectify one of their prior misguided decisions. A minor victory perhaps, but a victory indeed.

Even though the word “God” does not appear in our Constitution, the very First Amendment of the great document regarding religion clearly states, “or prohibiting the free exercise of,” and enables both secular and nonsecular constituencies to exercise their rights. Prior courts have erroneously prohibited the free exercise of a simple prayer recitation before public events and meetings. It is self-evident that the framers intended to convey that the federal government was not to interfere with the free and public practice of the Christian religion —the very thing courts have been doing since the 1960s.

At long last, the Greece decision got it right, and all prior courts subsequent to the ’60s got it wrong.

Aside from our differing opinions on the current court ruling, you also have erred in your statement that we are not a “Christian Nation.” Just what makes a Christian Nation? A majority? We qualify. The simple belief in a supreme deity? We qualify. A rational belief that we should love one another? We qualify. A belief that the fundamental 10 commandments handed to us from the Judeo tradition form a good foundation for living a good life? We qualify. Where then don’t we qualify? Your statement that we are not a Christian Nation then begs the question: What then are we? Atheists, agnostics, believers in radical Islam, or are we just lost souls in this vast sea of secular diversity?

Arthur See, Canfield