Court Rules it OK to Pray in Jesus' Name
The 11th Circuit Court has ruled that it is OK for a county government to open its meetings with prayers in Jesus' name, so long as other constitutional protections are met. They said courts should not "parse the content" of prayers.
In one sense it is a victory for freedom of religious expression, but even the principle that the federal courts have standing to rule in this case is an extra-constitutional usurpation of state power. Further, it re-enforces the abhorrent doctrine that the federal courts are the sole arbiters of what religious practices are allowed.
I believe it was Daniel Webster or James Madison who said that "the very definition of tyranny is when all powers are gathered together in one place". By this sensible standard it is clear that current judicial practice is religious tyranny, even if our black-robed masters lengthened our leash a bit in this one case.
Even a child could read the constitution and see that this view of things is wrong. The first amendment specifically says that "CONGRESS shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". It is crystal clear that this amendment was a restriction on the power of the FEDERAL government, and not that of the several states.
The amendment does not restrict the power of the several state governments in any way, either to practice religion or to ban such practice. Instead, it prevents the federal government from meddling by prohibiting Congress from making any laws in this sphere. Where the federal legislative can make no law, the federal executive can take no action, there being no law to enforce. Likewise, there should be no law for the judiciary to interpret. Were the Constitution respected, the federal courts should acknowledge that they have no standing in the case of restrictions on the religious practices of the people, or their state and local governments. Unfortunately, the Federal government of the United States does not adhere to the constitution.
The amendment has been twisted to make the federal power the sole authority to determine what religious practices are allowed in states and localities by the people. This turns the intent of the amendment completely on its head. Its whole purpose was to keep the federal power out of the people's business when it comes to practices of faith- including practices within local governments.
State legislatures can and did have their own state churches for many years after the constitution took effect, and it was never seen as a violation of the first amendment of the federal constitution. Since that time, most states have enacted similar provisions in their constitutions, and that is the rightful place to determine what local government behaviors cross the line vis-a-vi religious liberty.
The idea that Washington D.C. is the place where all matters are to be decided is against the spirit, history, and constitution of this nation.