Comments about ‘In our opinion: Thankfully, the Supreme Court upholds prayers at public meetings’

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Published: Tuesday, May 6 2014 12:30 a.m. MDT

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Here, UT

I thnk we should have all the satanists show up to public meetings (anonymously, of course) and start offering prayers.

I bet you we'd see a major shift in opinion once that starts happening.

But of course the hypocrisy of conservative Christians knows no bounds.

Bountiful, UT

It's probably only a matter of time before somebody sacrifices a lamb at a public meeting, you know, just a humble sacrifice based on Biblical tradition.

Mapleton, UT

What concerns me, was that this was a 5-4 decision, with the predictable dissents from the court's liberal wing. We are, therefore, only one vote away from judicial tyranny. If there is no other reason to be a conservative, then this is it. We must elect a conservative to the White House in 2016 who can assure us an ongoing voice on the high court, or I fear for the republic.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

There was a time when money, religion and politics wasn't talked about.

St George, UT

If you find the idea of a Muslim, Satanist, or Atheist offering up a prayer at the start of a public meeting distasteful, you should find this ruling distasteful too.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Bigots will always find a reason to outlaw prayer. They're offended unless they prescribe the prayer. One even said that satanists should sneak in and pray. Are "satanists" so ashamed of what the "believe" that they need to sneak around?

Prayer shows that we are dependent on our Creator ( God) to assist us to do the RIGHT thing. If we are sincere and capable of feeling the promptings that come to guide us, we will be prompted to do the right thing. On the other hand, if we worship satan and do as he instructs, we will destroy everything good.

The Court was wise in allowing us to pray before holding public meetings. The only question we need to ask is why four justices are opposed to God.

Cinci Man

I would be interested to know if the SCOTUS has any principles it follows. I doubt is does because so seldom is any vote different than 5-4; and with the same predictable justices on the same side consistently. Of the fact that there seems to be no governing principles, I am ashamed of the Supreme Court. And this particular decision is temporary, I'm sure. Say what you will about Christians, but their/our God predicted all this from the beginning.

Somewhere in Time, UT

No one has EVER been hurt by listening to a prayer.

The Skeptical Chymist

A disappointing decision, which allows government to endorse religion, rather than being neutral.

The most interesting part of the decision, however, is that it prayer is permitted because it isn't really taken seriously. It is only permitted because it is "ceremonial" in nature. Just like the "In God We Trust" motto - it is only permitted because it isn't taken seriously as a religious statement, but only as a traditional statement.

Ogden, UT

@AZKID 2:05 p.m. May 5, 2014

Yes, we are one vote away from judicial tyranny, and that's exactly what we will have if the far right gets to appoint another justice to the Supreme Court. As it stands, we have two far-left, two center-left, one center-right and four far-right justices. Get one more far-right justice on the court, and the people of the United States can pretty much kiss their civil rights goodbye. Thanks to those on the far right, the Constitution is already hanging by a thread. I hate to think what will happen to the country if someone like Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas get a chance to break that thread.

We need more centrists on the Court. I hope the next President has the good sense to appoint a centrist. Somehow, looking at the people who have thrown their hats into the ring on the far right side, I don't see that happening. It's imperative that whoever is nominated, of whatever party, be a rational moderate and not a far right fringe dweller. John Huntsman -- please, pretty please, run again!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Will Christians support Muslim prayers? Or will they only support fellow Christian prayers?

The people who complain the most about religion are Christians against Muslims.

Durham, NC

To those satanist, muslim and other statements - those are just silly. If a muslim were to offer a prayer, so what...... what do you all think really would happen? I have attended events where prayers of all kinds of denominations were offered up.... from meetings in Malaysia, Israel, Japan and even China. I was not in the least offended... not sure why you should be offended by a Christian payer. Seems intolerance has found a home.

Mike Richards - I whole heartily agree that this was a good decision. Conditional free speech serves no one.

On the other hand Mike R...I have no idea why you think people who believe in a strict separation of state and religion are anti God. Believing in God has nothing to do with it... You can believe in God... and still feel there are certain venues where religious expression is not in the best interest of either.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

@Mike R

I can't speak for all the satanists as I'm not one (I don't believe in any make believe beings) but I'm guessing that they would have to sneak into public meetings because they know full well that people like you would do everything in their power to bar them from being a part of the public process. You would strip them of citizenship, of the right to vote, of the right of free speech, of the right to worship how, where, or what they may. They have seen your kind before - people who would run the country as a theocracy imprisoning or kicking out anyone that doesn't worship exactly as you do (incidentally most Americans don't realize that this is exactly how the Puritans operated).

I really find it funny that most Mormons desire an America run as a theocracy when in fact if it was, Mormons would be driven from the country because most Christians view Mormons as little better than a satanist cult.



I think you've misrepresented what most Mormons desire. I don't know any who wish to run America as a theocracy. So I'm going to throw the hyperbole flag on you, and tack on an additional 5 yard penalty for demonizing those with whom you disagree. But we do agree on one thing, as Mormons don't believe in imaginary beings, either.

Separation of church and state is not the same thing as banning religious expression from the public square. The former allows and even encourages public religious expression by private individuals, in the same way that Thomas Jefferson had no problem offering various Christian sects a government building in which to hold their worship services. Banning religious expression from the public square, on the other hand, institutes atheism as the official state religion, which action is expressly prohibited in both the spirit and the letter of the law.

American Fork, UT

Surely we can bring up the activist judges legislating from the bench cliche.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT


I deserve that penalty

Secondly, you can't have atheism as a state religion because atheism is not a religion, after all NOT collecting stamps isn't a hobby. At least be grammatically correct and say it could be a state policy.

However, I want to point out one thing. Who cares what Thomas Jefferson thought about this subject outside of historical study? This is one of the most important things Americans have completely forgotten. The founders did NOT agree on everything. They argued even. But one thing they almost all agreed on was this: they did NOT want us to care about their intent. They did NOT want us to come to worship them and their writings so much that we became trapped by them. The wanted us to figure it out for ourselves. If we decide that we are better off banning all religious expression from the public square that's okay as long as we go about it constitutionally.

They would have begged us to stop worrying about what they wanted and start focusing on what we feel is best for our country at this time.


UtahBlueDevil, this isn't Malaysia, Israel, Japan or even China. This is the US.

It's not a matter of who is offended. Public officials praying to a particular god at a public function is tacit promotion of that god. It's wrong

Aurora, CO

@ Wraith,
Lots of us do care what the intent of the Founders was, because understanding the intent sheds light on the meaning. If you leave out the intent, you are left with a meandering point of view, much the same as moral relativism. Knowing the intent doesn't trap, it liberates from the captivity of incorrectness. Just like in math, once you make a mistake you can't keep going with the formula because everything thereafter is wrong since it is based on bad calculations. If you miss the intent of the Founders, you miss the point. That's why it is important to know the intent.

provo, UT

Just how many times a day must the Christians pray? Must they do it so often that it becomes necessary to
inpolitely impose upon everyone else while they indulge themselves in their religious exhibitionism? Sincere prayer should be a personal thing between ones self and their chosen diety, not a catalyst for division within the community. You can pray your guts out all you want at home and in church, but in the town square, it serves no constructive purpose...... Quite the opposite, actually.


Stamp collecting vs. not collecting stamps is not a fitting analogy of atheism vs. theism. Both atheism and theism are belief systems, one of which intentionally includes God and the other of which intentionally excludes God. Neither can be objectively proven true or false, at least not in this life. Thus it is highly inappropriate for government to force either belief system on anyone. The correct course of action is to allow public expression of all belief systems of the citizens.

That doesn't mean that each publicly offered prayer must invoke all belief systems simultaneously, as some have suggested. Prayers to open legislative and council sessions should be representative of the citizens within the jurisdiction. If 1% of the people are atheists, it would be appropriate to skip the prayer 1% of the time if those atheists should demand it. But what atheists are demanding is that 100% of the prayers be skipped even though that is contrary to the composition of the citizenry and contrary to the constitution, as correctly ruled by the Supreme Court.

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