Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, in the town of Greece, N.Y., filed a lawsuit against the town complaining that they and other residents that attend council meetings are a captive audience because the council opens every meeting in prayer.
They contend that because nearly every prayer offered was overtly Christian, that the town was endorsing Christianity, which is viewed as a violation of the First Amendment.
Do you believe the Supreme Court has handled freedom of religion cases appropriately in the past?
“I think the courts try too hard to separate church and state and often discriminate against Christianity because it’s the majority religion in America.”
“The court has consistently been biased to the majority Christian religion. While Christianity is certainly the majority religion in the United States, the Constitution very clearly institutes a separation of church and state, yet the United States consistently fails to put this separation into action. I believe that the freedom of religion also involves the freedom of each citizen to not be subject to the government’s (albeit unintentional) imposing of religion on its citizens.”
In your opinion, who should the court side with?
Town of Greece: 16.7%
Susan Galloway: 83.3%
“There should be a time for spiritual reflection at the beginning of the meeting – for each person in attendance to reflect on his or her own spiritual beliefs. Or, if the Town of Greece wants to be open to religious expressions, they should invite people of every faith to pray. 2008 was 5 years ago – the one-time appearance of a few clergy of various religions does not mean that the town is showing ongoing tolerance and acceptance of other religions.”
“In my opinion, there is no room for prayer anywhere in government. It’s not needed. If a religious representative of our government wants to pray then they are more than welcome to as long as they don’t force their beliefs on others as our taxpayer dollars are at work paying them.”
Do you think this will be a landmark decision?
“The court has in the past has mostly stayed away from defining and restricting or allowing prayer in the public arena so I’m guessing they will find a way around having to set a broad precedent here.”
“Government will continue to crush religion, especially Christianity.”