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VICTORY! U.S. Supreme Court...  
20140504

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Miami-Dade Opening Prayer Ordinance!

 

MIAMI-Today, Christian Family Coalition Florida (CFCF), applauded the historic U.S. Supreme Court decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway earlier this week that upheld the constitutionality of legislative prayer in Miami-Dade County affirming the long-held right of Americans to pray in the public square.

"During our successful fight to restore opening prayer in Miami-Dade, County attorneys tried to use the Town of Greece v. Galloway case as an excuse to stop us from moving forward, obviously they failed and today's decision is a vindication for our community", stated Anthony Verdugo, Founder and Executive Director, Christian Family Coalition Florida.

This Supreme Court's decision is a powerful one, it affirmed the following:

  • Christian prayers at the start of local council meetings are in line with long national traditions.
  • The majority justices further argued that the intended audience is not "the public, but lawmakers themselves."
  • Public prayer does not violate the Constitution even if the prayers routinely stress Christianity.

Writing for the court on Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that forcing clergy to scrub the prayers of references to Jesus Christ and other sectarian religious figures would turn officials into censors.

"The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers," Kennedy said.

Attendees at the council meeting may step out of the room if they do not like the prayer.

Kennedy, said judges should not be involved in evaluating the content of prayer because that could lead to legislatures requiring "chaplains to redact the religious content from their message in order to make it acceptable for the public sphere."

He added, "Government may not mandate a civic religion that stifles any but the most generic reference to the sacred any more than it may prescribe a religious orthodoxy."

"The prayer in this case has a permissible ceremonial purpose," Justice Kennedy wrote. "It is not an unconstitutional establishment of religion."

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