FACT Report: October 16, 2013

Can We Pray? (October 16, 2013)

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether local governments can ask citizens to pray for God’s blessings on their public meetings and whether those who pray are free to do so in a manner consistent with what they believe. To be more specific, the issue is whether government can allow someone to pray in Jesus’ name and can the person invited actually pray in Jesus’ name?

The plaintiffs insist prayers be non-sectarian, in other words, prayers to nobody in particular and in no particular way. But is a prayer to nobody, much less one offered contrary to one’s beliefs, even a prayer?

Government is not supposed to interfere with the free exercise of religion, but what could be a more clear violation of religious liberty than to tell a person to whom they can pray and how?