Beware The Unintended Consequences

praying   Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that local legislative bodies can hold prayers prior to their regular meeting, how long before those meeting begin to look like the photo above?

I will never understand why so many people who claim that their faith is their strength feel the need to have government validate that faith. They insist that government not only allow them to pray, but in some cases they insist that government lead them in prayer, that government tell them when it is time to pray, and in what form to pray.
Personally I fear these people more than the atheist. These people who would force their religious beliefs upon one and all at any cost, in my view, are the largest danger to our religious freedom. They remind me of the Taliban.

Of course here in Sussex County Delaware we have our very own built-in controversy over public meetings and prayer. It wasn’t so long ago our county council saw fit to waste tax payer dollars to fight a court case just so that they could say the Lord’s prayer at the monthly council meetings, a case that they lost by the way.

However this latest ruling by the high court will no doubt reignite that controversy, actually it already has. The County Council’s legal advisor has said that before they decide to reinstate the Lord’s prayer in place of the 23rd Psalm which they have been saying since the court case was lost, that they should carefully examine the ruling to be sure that they would not be in violation.

However, one of the most vociferous supporters of public meeting prayers is Councilman Sam Wilson, who has said that he feels that the Supreme Court ruling is the law of the land, and so the council should be about doing what the court told them to do. Since Councilman Wilson is now such a believer in the Supreme Court’s authority to make decisions, does this now mean that he believes that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and should not be challenged?

In news reports it was said that the Sussex County Council would be adding the discussion of whether or not to go back to the Lord’s prayer to the official agenda of the council.  Well it is good to know that all of the official business of the council has been taken care of. That there are no land use issues to discuss, that we have all the jobs we need in Sussex. That all of the citizens are obeying all of the ordinances, so that instead of doing the people’s business, the council has time to decide what their personal preference is for prayer before a public meeting.

I heard someone actually make the argument this morning that each county, each town, and each state has the right under the Constitution to create their own official religion. That the 1st Amendment only prohibits the federal government from doing so. Well that is the most insane thing that I have ever heard.

First of all, a town would have to abide by the county religion, and the county would have to abide by the state religion. But let us just think about this like adults for a moment. What if Sussex did create their own official religion? Let us say they chose Baptist, but Kent chose Presbyterian, and New Castle chose Catholic. Don’t you suppose this is how the tribal war lords in the middle east got their start?
It is the fact that the Founders did install a hands off clause in the 1st Amendment that has allowed all of these religions to live side by side for over two-hundred years.  James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution” said,

“The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.”

And of course the radical right will still tell you that when writing the Constitution he had no intent of creating a separation of church and state, right?

But now we have the radical right pushing government into our faith, they have now set the precedent. Our religious freedom will not be taken from us, it was given away by those who complain that government teachers can’t teach children math, but have demanded that those same teachers be put in charge of their children’s religious indoctrination.

Madison also said,

    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together”

And yet we have wild-eyed radical religious zealots running around demanding that the Founders would want government and faith mingled.

But of course these radicals will tell you that God knows best, and I would agree, so here from Matthew 6:5, Jesus said,

   “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

So it would seem that our Founding Fathers were faithful to the word of God, more than our current crop of legislators.

I don’t want government telling me when to pray, because I don’t want government telling me when I can’t pray. Those who are happy about this decision, care only about the fact that they see this as a political win, because they can’t see beyond their narrow view of the world. They can’t conceive of a time when this nation would be anything but a Christian majority, and that what they have done is to set the precedent for Christians to be persecuted in the same way they are in other nations. In other words they cannot see the unintended consequences.

5 Comments on "Beware The Unintended Consequences"

  1. Will says:

    One of the bigger problems I have with this is that it puts a veneer of religiosity over the often corrupt activities of our governments. The implication is that they prayed before they violated our rights, so they were guided by God when they did so. I would not want my religion abused in that way.

  2. Honi Soit says:

    It was none other than Clarence Thomas who made the argument in his dissenting opinion that the establishment clause pertains only to the federal govt and therefore that states and local governments have every right to establish a particular religion in their jurisdictions. None of the other justices were persuaded.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    Honi Soit, personally I think Justice Thomas got that one wrong. The 10th Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” And since the 1st Amendment prohibits the establishment of a religion, I see that as also prohibiting the states from doing so.
    Not to mention the chaos that would create. We have had over two-hundred years of religious freedom, not because we can pray at public meetings, but because we don’t have to. This judgment has the potential to change that in the future.

  4. Rick says:

    Amendment I:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

    What law did Congress pass that ‘establishes’ religion? There is no religious test or oath required for holding office, voting, attending meetings, etc.

    As far as Islamic prayer goes, you’d better get used to it. The U.S. has open immigration, and since Muslims tend to have large families, the Islamic influence will grow exponentially over the next few decades. Don’t be surprised to see Sharia law implemented in some jurisdictions.

    Since you’re a cross-the-aisle ‘moderate,’ with no core beliefs, what’s your problem with the Islamification of America?

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick says, “Don’t be surprised to see Sharia law implemented in some jurisdictions.” Rick that is exactly why setting this precedent is so dangerous to our historical religious freedom.
    The people pushing for this public meeting right to pray are the ones who will suffer first when the tide turns, and how can we argue against it? Since we set the table for them.
    As for what law was passed? I don’t know, what law was passed that made abortion the “LAW” of the land?
    The SCOTUS got another one wrong in my view. And like abortion, no law was passed, so I hope the religious fanatics enjoy their short lived victory, because it will come back to bite them.

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