Georgia Voices: Public prayer should unite, not divide
by The Augusta Chronicle
November 11, 2013 10:14 PM | 451 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As we wrote in a 1998 editorial, “This newspaper is owned by a Christian businessman. God is the Supreme Being of our universe, and we make no apology for defending America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and values.”

But even we believe there are limits to what a government can or should do in the realm of public prayer.

We’re hoping the U.S. Supreme Court clarifies just what that is soon.

The high court Wednesday hears arguments in a case from Greece, N.Y., in which two non-Christians objected to the town board’s overtly Christian prayers to open its meetings.

An appeals court ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, saying the local government was prohibited from favoring one religion in its prayers.

The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take the case indicates it may either overturn or substantially alter that lower-court ruling.

That would be a good thing, if it preserves and strengthens the right of local governments to open meetings with prayer.

The notion put forth by atheists and radical leftists that any public prayer is prohibited by the Constitution is poppycock. ...

We see nothing wrong with elected leaders acknowledging a higher power. Heaven knows we could use a little more humility in the people who lead us these days.

That said, not all prayers are created equal.

A public prayer, quickly forgotten and not necessarily deeply felt by all, can only do so much.

It matters what is being prayed and in what spirit.

And not even all heartfelt, well-meaning prayers can be granted.

What they should be, in America, is inclusive.

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rjsnh
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November 12, 2013
So long as it is inclusive and by that I mean not limited to "Christian" prayers, it's not that big of a deal, or shouldn't be. While conservative Christians may not agree, however, there are many paths to higher ground and Americans take all of them and all of them should be recognized if any are recognized. Our founding fathers wanted to keep religion at arms length and avoid even the appearance of a "sponsored" religion. We should be no less committed to that course today.
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