In the United States, weekends typically work to diminish political activism. If there’s an outrage on Thursday, Americans may voice protest on Friday morning, but after lunchtime on Friday, the blue sky and green grass calls people away from concerns of responsible citizenship, and toward the pursuit of well-earned relaxation. On Mother’s Day weekend, people are even less likely than usual to maintain attention to political details.
It’s worth noting, then, that American activists who support the integrity of First Amendment’s promise of separation of church and state have maintained their protest against the Supreme Court’s Greece v. Galloway decision without pause over the weekend. In the last 24 hours, outrage over the establishment of discrimination against non-Christians in the town of Greece, New York, and similar communities across the United States, has continued to grow.
Lance Finney at Grounded Parents warns, “I expect that we will see people brandishing Greece v Galloway for further defense and expansion of student-, teacher-, and administrator-led prayer in schools, youth sports, graduations, and school board meetings across the country.”
Bob Felton at Civil Commotion writes, “The Loony Right’s gleeful overreaction to the Greece v. Galloway decision puts their hostility to American ideals on blinking-neon display.”
At The Missoulian, Richard Wackrow comments that, after the Greece v. Galloway decision, “given the current leaning of our Supreme Court, the only practical difference between the United States and theocracies such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Nepal or Tibet might well boil down to which holidays we celebrate.”
Stanley Sears of the nearby community of Auburn, New York advises that, “Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the town of Greece is allowed to keep insulting non-evangelical Christians with their invocations, it may be time to question whether there is really any reason to continue having them.”
Frank Cranmer suggests of the Greece v. Galloway decision that “the fact that there was a five-four split goes to show how difficult First Amendment issues can be – and, dare one say it, makes us wonder to what extent some of the SCOTUS First Amendment judgments are based on law and to what extent on the Justices’ personal agendas.”
David Matthews writes, “Let’s get brutally honest here… this is what the majority of the justices validated when they ruled on Greece v. Galloway. They literally sanctified and validated dominionist bullying! The majority – again, all Catholics – claim that allowing these clearly Christian-dominated prayers is simply carrying on with tradition. Like when slavery was traditional, and even mentioned and allowed in the King James Bible.”
Andrew Sullivan notes the argument that “‘prayer as a pro forma function of “civic religion”‘ violates the spirit of Jesus’ teachings”.
Finally, the editorial board of a little paper called The Washington Post wrote yesterday that “The town of Greece would better live up to this nation’s founding principles if it did away with legislative prayer. This would not banish religion from public discourse; when it came time to express personal beliefs, individual lawmakers could articulate sincere religious views in speeches using their own legislative time. But a town’s official procedures should be as religiously neutral as possible.”