>Baker City Herald | Baker County Oregon's News Leader

Baker news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow BakerCityHerald.com

Baker City Herald print edition

view all Baker City Herald print publications »

The Baker City Herald is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow Opinion arrow Editorials arrow Supreme Court right on prayer

Print

Supreme Court right on prayer


The Supreme Court weighed in more than a decade too late to have much influence on Baker City’s controversy, but the nation’s highest court has finally endorsed, albeit by the narrowest margin, the City Council’s longtime practice of opening its meetings with a Christian invocation.

In a 5-4 ruling Monday on a case from Greece, N.Y., the Court decided that invocations made during local meetings, including prayers that are explicitly Christian, are constitutional.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, concluded that “the inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledged religious leaders and the institutions they represent, rather than to exclude or coerce nonbelievers.”

We agree with Kennedy’s conclusion.

Although we suggested in 2008 that the City Council replace the invocation with a moment of silence, we’ve never believed that the Council’s invocations amounted to proselytizing or to denigrating other religions.

And we’re confident that were a Jewish rabbi, for instance, to ask to say a prayer at the opening of meeting, that he would be welcomed to do so.

In 2002 the City Council approved a resolution that recommends non-sectarian invocations but does not preclude specifically Christian prayers. Since then invocations have included Christian prayers as well as readings of poetry, inspirational quotations and even brief musical performances.

Most often, though, the invocation has been a prayer, and frequently one that refers to Jesus.

Fortunately this practice has not rekindled the debate that embroiled the City Council, and many residents, in the early 2000s and again, briefly, in the summer of 2008.

And now that the Supreme Court has determined that those prayers meet constitutional muster, we hope it’s a topic that remains in the background.

Print

blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Submit News
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Columns / Submit a letter
Features
Outdoors / Go Magazine / Milestones / Living Well
Baker Herald
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Commenting Policy / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Videos / Local Business Links / Community Links / Weather and Road Cams / RSS Feed

Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Follow Baker City Herald headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use