Obama Messing with Religion in Upstate New York
The Obama administration had its lawyers weigh in on a Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of praying in town council meetings. In an odd twist, on the same side of the argument were 84 congressional representatives and 34 senators, mostly Republican, who also joined friend-of-the-court briefs on the issue.
So why has his administration aligned itself with Republicans and the Family Research Council in saying it's okay to pray at governmental meetings? Barack Obama has done nothing but insult Christians since 2008, from his bitter bible clinger remark to his fight with the Catholic Church over abortion provisions in the healthcare law. Now he wants to ease the limits of the constitution when it comes to religion?
From LA Times:
Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y., near Rochester, had crossed the line and violated the 1st Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion." For years, the town supervisor had invited a local minister to deliver an opening prayer at the council's monthly meeting. Members of the audience were encouraged to join in the prayers.
Looked at through the eyes of a "reasonable observer," the town's prayer policy "must be viewed as an endorsement of ... a Christian viewpoint," the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said in ruling against the town.
The case has drawn attention because it could provide the court's conservative majority an opportunity to alter a legal rule that dates to the 1980s and a set of opinions by then-Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Her decisions said government actions would violate the 1st Amendment if they appeared to "endorse" religion. That rule has been followed in cases saying that government agencies cannot display the Ten Commandments in their buildings or host Nativity scenes at Christmas.
The Obama administration countered that Greece's practice should not be considered an endorsement. U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. wrote Christian prayer "does not amount to an unconstitutional establishment of religion merely because most prayer-givers are Christian and many or most of their prayers contain sectarian references."
Those urging the justices to make clear the constitutionality of prayers at local government meetings were not expecting the administration to file "a surprisingly conservative brief." Ken Klukowski, a lawyer for the Family Research Council, stated that it "came as a pleasant surprise....it's gratifying that even the Obama administration recognizes that courts are not qualified to censor prayers."
Klukowski should be a little less grateful and more wary. The LA Times article posited the scary reality that the case might "lead to a major change in the law on religion that could go well beyond prayers at council meetings."
In 2008 former SDS member and Maoist Mark Rudd wrote about the new president's skills as a community organizer and as a man who could change up when he needed to win over the opposition.
From The Rag:
Obama plays basketball. I'm not much of an athlete, barely know the game, but one thing I do know is that you have to be able to look like you're doing one thing but do another.. the strategy is feint to the right, move left. Any other strategy invites sure defeat. It would be stupid to do otherwise in this environment.
Maybe I'm a little battle weary since being on the losing side for the last five years has tainted my vision, but how many times does Obama have to play his game of eyes shifting right before Republicans and conservatives stop him in his tracks?
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report