In a move sure to please religious conservatives, President Obama's Justice Department filed a brief in the Supreme Court in favor of allowing overtly Christian prayers before city council meetings. It's an inexplicable move, and it's one more befitting a Republican administration than one headed by a Democrat and a constitutional scholar.
The case is Town of Greece v. Galloway, and it's set to be argued in the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Greece is a suburb of Rochester, N.Y. Until 1999, its Town Board opened meetings with a moment of silence - a practice that excludes no one. But then Town Supervisor John Auberger initiated a policy change, and the town began inviting clergy to open meetings with a prayer.
These prayers were decidedly and explicitly Christian. From 1999 to 2007, the town invited exclusively Christian ministers, most of whom included explicitly Christian content. Some elaborated on Christian theology, including such discussions as "the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross" and "the plan of redemption that is fulfilled in Jesus Christ."
These prayers were delivered to an audience of local citizens, including children and adults, who attend meetings at the Town Board's invitation or direction. Children's athletic teams are invited to be publicly honored, police officers and their families attend to participate in oath-of-office ceremonies, people come to speak about local issues of great personal importance, and would-be business owners come to request zoning permits.
All of these people - Christians and non-Christians - are asked to stand and bow their heads for many of these prayers. But Muslims, Jews and nonbelievers cannot in good conscience participate in a prayer to Jesus Christ, and doing so shouldn't be the price of civic participation.
~ from Why Is the Obama Administration Bowing to Religion? by Erwin Chemerinsky ~
What will conservatives say now that the "Kenyan-born", "secret Muslim" and "ardent socialist" Obama is arguing THEIR side before the US Supreme Court?
This report has me so dumbfounded that I don't know what to say.
Why even get involved in this hot-button political issue when you don't have to? What is he thinking? Is he trying to manufacture a political firestorm in an attempt to move NSA and FBI misdeeds off the front page?