A 5-4 Supreme Court vote on Monday (May 5) decided that prayer would be allowed at public meetings.
The decision follows a debate regarding a small town in New York that opens its meetings with prayer reports the Christian Examiner. Greece, New York had been accused of “affiliating the town with Christianity,” upsetting a Jew and an Atheist in the town.
But in the case of Town of Greece v. Susan Galloway and Linda Stevens, the high court determined that prayer did not violate the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.
“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,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote.
Supporters of religious expression were pleased with the results.
“This is a victory for all of those who believe in the freedom of speech, including religious speech, as a prized part of our God-given religious liberty,” Russell D. Moore, Ethics and & Religious Liberty Commission president wrote.
Publication date: May 6, 2014