SCOTUS Considering Public Prayer Case

[Content Note: Religious supremacy.]

Linda Stephens, who is atheist, and Susan Galloway, who is Jewish, sued their town of Greece, New York, over the "inclusive" public prayers that open local town board meetings, virtually all of which have been led by Christians.

Today, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case: "The conservative majority appeared to have to votes to allowed the policy to continue in some form. But both sides expressed concerns about the level of judicial and government oversight over the content of prayers presented by members of a particular faith."
"We are a very religiously diverse country," said Justice Samuel Alito, worried about the town officials articulating binding guidelines on what can be said. "All should be treated equally. So I can't see how you can compose a prayer that is acceptable to all these" religions.

But Justice Sonia Sotomayor worried about the effect on local citizens who choose not to stand and bow their heads when asked during a public prayer.

"Why wouldn't they feel coerced in some way?"

The high court began its public session Wednesday as it has for decades, with the marshal invoking a traditional statement that ends, "God save the United States and this honorable Court."
Ha ha welp.

The thing about these debates, such as they are, is that "inclusive" or nondenominational prayers don't exactly address the existence of atheists, who don't generally pray. Which is to say nothing of the minority of religious people whose practiced doctrine explicitly discourages public worship. There's no prayer that can be "inclusive" of people who do not pray and/or publicly worship.

Now, admittedly, I am a dirty heathen, but I really fail to see why it is necessary to incorporate prayer into public proceedings. (Aside from, you know, the obvious objective of publicly parading one's claims to virtue.) If there are indeed public officials who feel they are obliged by their god(s) to pray in a public building immediately before preceding with public business, then institute a moment of silence before any session begins, so they might quietly do whatever they need to do, and the rest of us can spend the time praying, making a mental grocery list, or begging our lord and savior Jesus Jones to give us the patience to get through another council meeting with Councilman Jeremy Jamm.

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