Supreme Court clears prayers in council meetings - New York News

Supreme Court clears prayers in council meetings

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The Supreme Court has made a historic ruling on an issue about religion in government meetings. In a 5-4 ruling the United States Supreme Court determined that prayers that open town council meetings don’t violate the Constitution.

The court determined that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as they do not denigrate non-Christians or proselytize.

Prayers have been a part of weekly Atlanta City Council meetings for as long as Councilwoman Mary Norwood can remember.

"Growing up as so many of us did in the south it is just part of our tradition," said Norwood.

As chair of the Committee on Council, which sets the rules for how council operates, Norwood says no one has ever voiced opposition to an opening prayer being delivered during the public meetings.

Atlanta resident Lena Morrow believes delivering the invocation should be common practice at all public gatherings.

"It sets the tone it sets the tone if you have some negative situation going on that prayer will turn the negative to a positive,” said Morrow.

Councilwoman Norwood said that she doesn't foresee the Atlanta City Council taking any action as a result of the day's ruling because no one has raised concerns about the current practice.

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