How about this for giving folks a taste of their own medicine? An article from the Associated Press at Tampa Bay Online says that a Utah Supreme Court has ruled that an atheist who wanted to pray in city council meetings for deliverance “from weak and stupid politicians” shouldn’t be denied the opportunity.
The court ruled that if officials in Murray, Utah, want to pray during government-sponsored events, the opportunity to pray must be equally accessible to all who ask.
Among other things, the prayer asked for deliverance “from the evil of forced religious worship now sought to be imposed upon the people … by the actions of misguided, weak and stupid politicians, who abuse power in their own self-righteousness.”
Richard Van Wagoner, the attorney who represented the city before the high court, said he and his clients were disappointed. “Murray City has been placed in a constitutional dilemma,” he said.
Friday’s ruling was based on a 1993 decision that upheld Salt Lake City’s right to hear prayers during official events as long as the opportunity to deliver the prayer was nondiscriminatory.
Salt Lake City chose to end public prayer rather than deal with the inevitable problems.
Probably a smart move on Salt Lake City’s part. Of course, had they not been injecting religion into government in the first place they wouldn’t have had to go through this whole process in the first place.
Again we see an example of how politicians like to pretend the prayer that opens sessions of various government offices supposedly is open to all religious viewpoints, but when pressed to allow a prayer from a viewpoint they disagree with they’d rather quit the practice than allow it. It’ll be interesting to see what the folks in Murray City decide to do.