Thankfully, the Supreme Court upholds prayers at public meetings

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  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 7, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    My original post was about the intent of the Founders, and the response was about the intent of the 2nd Amendment. I believe that the intent of the Bill of Rights is to limit government and this case is a clear case of such limitations being needed. The Supremes ruled correctly that the government cannot limit the right to pray.

    Now, for Mr Bundy....he lost me at "I don't recognize the Federal government"...Then, the confrontation with the folks who brought guns into it...bad move. That resulted in a sort of Cuban Missile Crisis situation, and the BLM blinked. It's not over, and it should never have gone that far. That said, I do believe that had those folks not resisted the BLM force would have rolled right over them in a case of government overreach. Both sides escalated needlessly. Had it been me, I would have herded Bundy's cattle onto his land and off the BLM land, then let him deal with the overcrowding. Round up no, herd off the BLM land, yes.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    Mike Richards, I doubt if the four justices are opposed to god. They are opposed to the idea that everyone has a different God and no one deserves to have it shoved down their throats. They are not bigots by any sense of the word. People just want religion left out of politics. I don't want your religion to tell me what to do. Nor do I want my religion to force others to believe as I do.

    And as we know even in the State's predominant religion there is no consensus on politics. So let's keep it that way.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 7, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    Due to the complexity of religions -- the number of religions to which the people of a community adhere and the fact that there are non-believers in addition to believers in the community -- a way should be found so that all of their concerns are addressed and only the people who wish to be included in any religious observance are included.

    If the jurisdiction's officials want to have a devotional prior to a meeting they, of course, have every right to do so pursuant to the Supreme Court's ruling. Members of the public can also attend if it is an open devotional and they want to attend. The devotional, however, should be held prior to the beginning of the jurisdiction's actual meeting. That way the business of the jurisdiction is handled in a secular manner but those who also wish a religious observance can have it. Everyone's concerns are handled that way.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 6, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    Jack from Aurora:

    It may or may not be debatable exactly what the Founders intent was on the 2nd Amendment, but it has morphed into many million "militias of one", with firepower that didn't exist at the time of our Revolution.

    If the intent really is to have commons be able to slug it out toe-to-toe with the mainline military, how could that possible be accomplished? The mismatch in technology and the requirements to operationalize that technology go far beyond breaking into the local armory.

    Based on how things happened with Cliven Bundy, do those on the right truly believe the right-wing fantasy of turning the public's support toward them in a full scale civil war to put down an uprising of not-quite-so-bright fanatics with crazy views on a lot of things?

    When it's all said and done, Cliven Bundy may be the catalyst for the Tea Party losing some steam.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    I don't really have any problem with prayers in public places. I've been around prayer all of my life. But if the person offering the prayer, prays for something I disagree with, might I express an objection at the conclusion of the prayer, without being dismissed? For example, during the last presidential election many here about offered prayers on behalf of Mitt Romney, though I wasn't actually present on those occasions. Had I and had I objected, would my objection have been cordially noted, or would I have been slugged?

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 6, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    @Makid, sorry but no. The Founder's intent with the 2nd, as well as the rest was to limit government. It's quite simple. The citizenry form the militia, and still do. For the militia to be well regulated, or trained, they needed arms to be effective. They intended the 2nd Amendment to ensure that the citizenry had the right to keep and bear arms, especially after the Revolution where the British would confiscate arms at whim, just because they could and the subjects had no such rights. US citizens have that right, as the Founders intended.

    Simple Civics, did you miss that class?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:11 p.m.

    Pretty sure The Lord instructed us in Matthew to pray out in public and flaunt your prayers. Right?

    The right has no clue what the bible is about. Completely clueless.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:24 p.m.

    This is the same Judges that affirmed the ACA.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    May 6, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    Great news! Now I can attend a public meeting and pray to Satan!

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 6, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    2 bits:

    I genuinely appreciate your question and your acknowledgement about liberals being well meaning.

    I can't speak for others, but from my experience there have been just too many examples of religious thinking being way, waaaaay off course for me to be comfortable with religious ceremony being part of our government processes, especially in a multi-cultural society like we have.

    It's easy to see how generally peaceable majorities would see no harm in it. But in the history of human beings, religion has been a tinderbox that has very quickly and too easily resulted in a lot of damage, of well meaning but misguided thinking. In my own experience, in this state, there were toxic views on race, based on religion.

    In some societies there have been animal sacrifices, even human sacrifices - all very well intended. In Polynesian cultures it was customary to sacrifice a slave and put them in the foundation of a new building, no big deal.

    In our own country we're only 150 years away from that being entirely legal. Slavery itself was sanctioned by religion here.

    In Kansas they outlawed Sharia law, but Christian prayer is OK?

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    Somewhere in Time, UT
    No one has EVER been hurt by listening to a prayer.

    4:14 p.m. May 5, 2014


    That's funny,
    because I thought the had the cockpit voice recordings of the terrorists praying to Allah as they flew those planes into the Twin Towers and Pentegon on 9/11...

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    I right about now, on the exact opposite side of the planet,
    Americans are fighting and Dying to take prayer OUT of the Government and Public sector...

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 6, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    a legalized Rameumptom.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    @2 bits

    How about if one senator's perception of prayer was given more weight than another's? It's already happened, and it's the exact reason this SC ruling is concerning.

    "Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day's floor session wasn't a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in "repentance,""

    Who gets to decide which religion is good enough to be invoked in legislative meetings?

    It's interesting the people who are all for this decision are also all Christians.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    I personally don't care if they have a prayer in the meeting or not... what I DO care is... if they are PROHIBITED... by Government force to NOT pray.

    Does that make sense?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 6, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    It amazes me that there are those who actually take offense to others offering up thanks for those things we have little control over, and to bless those that are in need. How these things could be offensive... I do not know.

    This is not about organized religion... or any particular faith what so ever. To construe so misinterprets the intent completely.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    May 6, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    People get up in public, in public meetings, and worship their god, such as the federal government, or someone else's money, or Obama, all the time.

    Those of us who worship Him who never abuses his power should have the right to speak of and to our God as well.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Why do left-leaning people care so much... that we NOT be allowed to pray???


    Reading these comments it's obvious these people care... and they really really really want us NOT to pray... why is that??

    If I did not believe in your God... I would not be pulling out all the political stops and trying to use the courts... to keep you from praying. Why dot they care if people pray or not? I would think they wouldn't care... but obviously they do... a LOT.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    May 6, 2014 10:50 a.m.


    5 unelected voices on the SCOTUS decided Americans can say a prayer as long as it fits within the SCOTUS definition of a ceremonial prayer.


    And if some enterprising soul decides to film/record the utterances (think Mitt's 47%, Donald's comments to his girl friend, or Cliven's theories etc.)...verifying the ceremonial prayer did not conform to the approved SCOTUS definition of a ceremonial prayer...

    What then?

    Back to the courts to get a ruling...eventually appealed through the courts back to the SCOTUS?

    And this decision is seen as a victory?

    A victory for lawyers and judges looking for something to do?


  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:41 a.m.


    You had me until you started to in on the Supreme Court. Like it or not (and there are times I like court rulings and times I don't) the Supreme Court is a part of our government. They serve a vitally important purpose by interpreting the laws of the country. People who appeal to the Supreme Court on any topic aren't trying to make an "end run" around the Constitution. They are simply exercising their constitutional right to petition the government. I get frustrated with people saying judges are "activists" when all they are doing is their job. Just because you don't agree with the ruling doesn't mean the judges are activists or evil. For example, I don't agree with this prayer ruling but I don't think the court was being activist - they were simply doing their job.

    So, please everyone, stop ripping on the court simply because you don't like a ruling. The Supreme Court is incredibly important in keeping our country free and protecting our liberties. Learn to respect their role even if you don't always agree with them.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 6, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    re: Hank Pym,

    It's good to see that you have a sense of humor. Did you read verse 5? To whom was the Lord speaking? Was He speaking about those who were asked or assigned to pray for a group or was He speaking about those who prayed publicly whose intention was to be noticed, not to honor God?

    Do you think that Christ would tell us to NOT have prayers before public meetings or was He serious when He pleaded that we should act on earth as others act in heaven? Do you remember that He instructed us to sanctify ourselves to the point that we would be able (and worthy) to be inspired by the Holy Ghost?

    The Court was wise in allowing prayer. Whether those justices believe in God or not, they recognised that people all across America are anxious to invoke God's blessings when public meetings are held where the public's business is discussed.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Pops wrote:

    "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."

    Of course, not all Mormons are conscious and deliberate theocrats. But theocracy is a doctrinal aspiration in Mormonism. Indeed, the seriously theocratic component of Mormonism may be a minority - but we also know that a minority can have influence far beyond its numbers, especially when that minority is in power in the organization and has scriptural mandate for "Dominionism".

    The LDS Bible Dictionary explains:

    "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, but is at the present limited to an ecclesiastical kingdom. During the millennial era, the kingdom of God will be both political and ecclesiastical (see Dan. 7:18, 22, 27; Rev. 11:15; JST Rev. 12:13, 7; D&C 65), and will have worldwide jurisdiction in political realms when the Lord has made a full end of all nations (D&C 87:6)."

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 6, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    to Mike Richards

    I wondered if this would come back to bit me & it has. Let me be more specific and refer all to Verses 6 & 7 in particular.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 6, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    re: Hank Pym,

    I agree with you. Maybe those four justices should read Matthew 6 where Christ publicly prayed (the Lord's prayer). Maybe they (and we) should carefully read it and study how Christ gave honor and glory and thanks to our Father in Heaven, where Christ prayed that the Father's will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    Thank you, Hank, for reminding us to read the Lord's prayer and to do as the Lord did, thanking God for everything, and reminding us that until we do things on earth as they are done in heaven, that we have room for improvement.

    The five justices who handed down the majority opinion understand something of prayer. Maybe someday the entire Court will understand that they are not nearly wise enough to act on their own when exercising judgemental authority over the laws of the United States and that invoking God's aid would give them the wisdom of Solomon.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    May 6, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    10CC. You make a great point. Sometimes "prayers" are abused and become unscheduled sermons! I have even heard a few in LDS meetings. Not often, but I have nonetheless. In those cases, those abusing the privilege were never invited to pray in meetings again at the digression of the presiding authority.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 6, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Can anyone look at the last four years of the Republicans in Congress and honestly think that the daily opening prayer has resulted in peaceful dialogue and cooperation? It wasn't the Democrats who labeled them "The party of No".

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    to Mike R yesterday afternoon...

    Maybe, the 4 dissenting justices have read Matthew 6?

    to Cats also yesterday afternoon...

    I don't about you but I've heard some real self-absorbed people blather on trying to show others (But mainly convince themselves) how pious they are.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    West Valley City and a number of other Utah cities begin their city council meetings by allowing a councilmember to choose what to do. This opening exercise may consist of poetry, a prayer, a quotable quote, the Pledge, etc. It's an exercise of free speech. When government makes prayer an official part of the agenda, that's a promotion of religion and it's coercive.

    The view that "if you don't like prayer, just leave the room" is a divisive and shameful position for a Christian to take.

    If government entities followed the example of West Valley, we could put this contentious issue behind us while still having public prayers. Unfortunately, many religious and political leaders prefer contention and grandstanding.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Re: "Evangelicals in Texas who in a pre-football game prayer asked God to help the Catholic and Mormon families, that they might come to know the real Jesus"...

    I've heard Baptist friends and some I didn't know, pray for me... it doesn't offend me. You assume it would, but it doesn't. It just shows they care (IMO).


    We should not be restricting ANYBODY's right to pray, whenever, wherever they want too...

    THAT... is the concept of "religious freedom". Try it... you may like it!


    "Religious Freedom" does NOT mean everybody you don't like can't observe their religion... or that you will never have to see anybody pray (even a person of another faith).

    It means ALL religions are respected... and ALL people are free to worship... why is that so hard for you and others on the Left to understand???

  • BYU9293 Clinton, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    to The Wraith,
    I agree with you, the amendment process was put in to change the constitution, not the Supreme Court. As the constitution now stands, prayers are fine. If people don't like this, rather than doing an end run around our governmental procedures, propose an amendment to change things. however, our liberal brethren either do not or they realize they cannot be successful doing this, so they appeal the Supreme Court to change things for them, something that is not supposed to be done. A judge like Scalia is exactly what we need because he is one of the few judges who does not exceed the true scope of his powers but would leave many things to the states. If you want straight hard facts on specific instances where rather than using the amendment process liberals have used the courts, see abortion, women's rights (the 14th amendment was never meant to extend to any category but race, an amendment should be required to extend it further), gay marriage and on and on. These groups know they could not pass an amendment, could not get the required number of states, so they go the court.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    This just seems like such a no-brainer to me for a "free society".

    In a free society you are free to do what you think is best, even pray, whenever, where ever you feel you want to or need to.

    When the government controls your life... it's NOT a "free society". It's a controlled society.

    When the government tells you WHEN, and WHERE you can pray... you live in a "Controlled Society"... not a "Free Society". We live in a FREE Society.

    WE decide IF we pray, and WHEN we pray... NOT the Government...


    "Religious Freedom" does not mean nobody around you can have religion, or that you will never have to see anybody doing something religious. It means EVERYBODY is free... to worship how, when, and where they may... no restrictions.

    And that goes for ALL religions... not just mine...

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    Presumably this will embolden the Evangelicals in Texas who in a pre-football game prayer asked God to help the Catholic and Mormon families, that they might come to know the real Jesus.

    In that case the ACLU was called in, it was deemed the prevailing religion went too far in their prayer, and the Mormon and Catholic families felt just a bit more protected.

    Adios, feeling of equality - let the conversion of the Mormons, Catholics and whomever else doesn't meet the criteria begin!

    If the Supremes ruled public prayers are OK, why shouldn't the limits be tested?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    If it were not for the commercial aspect of religion, I would not have any objection. For the non-believer religion seems to be no different than any other commercial enterprise. And the special status and favors are unjustified. Allowing public prayer should also allow other commercial advertising in the meeting. Perhaps we could allow McDonalds or Walmart to run their commercial as an periodic alternative.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 6, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    " So, meaningless pro-forma prayers can begin public meetings. So what?"

    Aint that the truth. Try and pay attention to the bland nonsense offered up as petitions to God and you'd have to believe if there were a God they would spend most of their time going ya, ya, ya heard that one.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    One poster remarks "No one has EVER been hurt by listening to a prayer." To whom I respond that he probably did not grow up in a household with an Uncle who insisted on marathon prayers and every meal and bedtime. What I really couldn't understand was why it was necessary to bless every relative every day.

    And there was those times in my early Navy career when to save money we would opt for the free coffee and donuts at the YMCA. That was my first encounter with the 20 minute prayer to bless the food.

    So beyond my sore knees, I never was harmed by public or private prayers.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    Perhaps I was too harsh or not clear enough in my earlier post. I did not mean that we shouldn't study the founders intent (although sadly for most Americans they only study their intent when it agrees with them - you would be very surprised at what many of the founders wanted for America). My point, and the point of many a founder as well, was that we should not place them and their writings in such a deified realm that it makes us unable to adapt our country as we may need to. The amendment process was put into the constitution for a reason, a reason many of the founders felt was vitally important. They knew the future would present challenges they couldn't foresee and they hoped that in the future smart men and women would be able to adapt as needed. Too often today people only care about the founders intent when what they should be asking is: How do we solve this problem as Americans? What do we need to do right now to both maintain our liberties but also solve our problems - even if it means amending the Constitution?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    If the officials want to have a prayer, make it non-denominational and have it before the start of the meeting and before people start to arrive. Anyone who is interested in participating can arrive at the earlier time; those who do not want to participate can arrive at the stated time for the meeting. Problem solved for everyone.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    May 6, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    Don't gloat. The problem comes when the content of prayers will be scrutinized, which is basically what the decision says. This could actually be a step backwards for religious freedom.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    May 6, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    The problem this creates for secularists is huge! Thou shalt have no other God but the government!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 6, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    "t'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"

    I respectfully disagree. This nation was founded on the expressed intent to protect religious freedom. There is a big difference between free expression of religious beliefs and compelling one to believe in a certain way. Ones profession of their beliefs through prayer in no way compels anyone to believe anything they don't want to. Now if a law were created that either compels or restricts ones own beliefs.. that would be wrong.

    The idea that one must become sectarian in beliefs or actions because they hold public office is absurd... and wrong.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 6, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    "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"

    So which side of the 2nd amendment are you? The side of guns to those in well formed militias or the side of guns for all?

    The intent was for only those in militias and military to have the right to keep and bare arms. It wasn't to have everyone in the country with a stockpile of guns, because they can.

    So, if you are for intent, you are for a restricted 2nd amendment. No one can be for the Founders' intent on one subject but ignore or go against it on other subjects.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    May 6, 2014 12:43 a.m.

    God bless anyone who understands that prayers which dwell on Jesus belong in churches.

    He would have been the first to say "Do not make the non-believers feel unwelcome"

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    May 5, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    The Establishment Clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the "separation" or "no aid" interpretation, while the second approach is called the "non-preferential" or "accommodation" interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government's entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    May 5, 2014 9:52 p.m.

    I can't imagine a less important issue for SCOTUS to waste their time deciding. So, meaningless pro-forma prayers can begin public meetings. So what?

    May 5, 2014 9:29 p.m.

    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.

  • canyonprophet69 provo, UT
    May 5, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    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.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 5, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    May 5, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    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

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 5, 2014 7:58 p.m.


    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 5, 2014 7:42 p.m.

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

    May 5, 2014 7:37 p.m.


    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.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 5, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    @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.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    May 5, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    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 Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 5, 2014 6:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    May 5, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    @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 Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 5, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 5, 2014 4:14 p.m.

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

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    May 5, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 5, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    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.

  • JLindow St George, UT
    May 5, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 5, 2014 2:26 p.m.

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

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    May 5, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    May 5, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 5, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    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.