The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

THE RIGHT TO PRAY

A victory for religious freedom at the Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of public prayers at council meetings in a town in New York, even if those prayers are Christian. The ruling could have a nationwide impact. Read Transcript


Reporter: THE HIGH

COURT RULING CENTERS ON AN

ACTION THAT DATES BACK TO

OUR FOUNDING, WHEN THE FIRST

CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN 1774

BEGAN WITH CHRISTIAN

PRAYERS.

240 YEARS LATER, AMERICA IS

MUCH MORE RELIGIOUSLY

DIVERSE THAN BACK THEN.

PART OF THE REASON, AN

ATHEISTAND JEW CHALLENGED

PRAYERS AT@PUBLIC MEETINGS

IN THE TOWN OF GREECE, NEW

YORK.

THEY CLAIM THE PRAYERS WERE

MOSTLY CHRISTIAN, MADE THEM

UNCOMFORTABLE, AND AMOUNTED

TO COERCION.

BUT IN THE MAJORITY OPINION,

JUSTICE KENNEDY WARNED

AGAINST THE COURTS BECOMING

CENSORS OF RELIGIOUS SPEECH,

WRITING "GOVERNMENT IS

PROHIBITED FROM PRESCRIBING

PRAYERS, IN ORDER TO HAVE A

PREFERRED SYSTEM OF BELIEF

OR CODE OF BEHAVIOR."

IT WOULD BE A FEW STEPS

REMOVED FROM THAT TO REQUIRE

CHAPLAINS REDACT THEIR

MESSAGE, IN ORDER TO MAKE IT

ACCEPTABLE TO THE PUBLIC

SPHERE.

THIS IS PICTURESQUE CAROL

COUNTY, AND IT IS A PEACEFUL

PLACE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF

BALTIMORE.

BUT AT THE INTERSECTION OF

FAITH AND POLITICS, THERE IS

A STORM BREWING AND IT IS

DRAWING NATIONAL ATTENTION.

A GROUP OF RESIDENTS SUED

THE COUNTY BECAUSE THE

OPENING PRAYERS WERE ONLY

CHRISTIAN.

HOURS AFTER THE SUPREME

COURT RULING, THE SAME JUDGE

LIFTED HIS TEMPORARY BAN

THAT HAD PROMPTED ONE

COMMISSIONER TO TAKE THIS

STAND.

I THINK THAT IS AN

INFRINGEMENT ON MY FIRST

AMENDMENT RIGHTS OF FREE

SPEECH AND FREE RELIGION.

AND I THINK IT IS A WRONG

RULING, BUT OUT OF RESPECT

FOR MY COLLEAGUES, I'M NOT

SURE HOW STRONGLY THEY FEEL

ABOUT IT, I'M WILLING TO GO

TO JAIL OVER IT.

Reporter: COMMISSIONER

FRASER APPEARED ON FOX NEWS

D.V.D.IN DEFENDING HER

STANCE.

HAVE YOU ASKED NOTHING IN

MY NAME.

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE

AND YOUR JOY SHALL BE FULL.

SO THAT'S HOW I PRAY.

Reporter: THE COUNTY,

THE COMMISSIONERS, AND THEIR

LEGAL TEAM WENT SILENT.

COMMISSIONER FRASER AND

CAROL COUNTY DENIED REQUESTS

FOR INTERVIEWS.

WHILE THEY REMAIN

TIGHT-LIPPED, PEOPLE AROUND

THE COUNTY HAD STRONG

OPINIONS.

YOU'RE THOUGHTS OF

OPENING UP THE COMMISSION

HEARINGS WITH PRAYER?

I AGREE 100%.

Reporter: AND HOW ABOUT

OPENING THE PRAYER IN THE

NAME OF JESUS?

YES, I AGREE WITH THAT,

ABSOLUTELY.

I THINK THAT'S THE PART

THAT MAKES IT VERY SPECIFIC

TO CHRISTIANITY.

IF IT WERE JUST EVERYONE

PRAYING FOR A HIGHER POWER,

THAT WOULD BE.

Reporter: MONICA MILLER

SAYS THE SUPREME COURT

RULING WON'T MAKE MUCH OF A

DIFFERENCE IN THE CAROL

COUNTY CASE.

THE TOWN WAS MAKING AN

EFFORT TO BE ALL-INCLUSIVE,

BUT THE MAJORITY OF THE

PRAYER ENDED UP BEING

CHRISTIAN, THOUGH THERE WERE

OTHERS.

IN THIS CASE, IF THE COUNTY

STADIUMED TO COMPLETELY

CHANGE ITS PRACTICE AND DO

SOMETHING EXACTLY LIKE THE

TOWN OFGREECE, PERHAPS THAT

WOULD BE OKAY.

Reporter: JORDAN

SEKULOW OF THE AMERICAN

CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE

DISAGREES.

WHAT THE COURT SAID TODAY

IS, IF YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE

PRAYER, AND THERE IS A

CHRISTIAN PRAYING, THEY CAN

ABSOLUTELY CLOSE THEIR

PRAYER IN JESUS' NAME.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO MAKE THAT

DISTINCTION ANYMORE.

I THINK THAT WILL HAVE AN

IMPACT ON A NUMBER OF

CASES.

Reporter: JOHN JESSUP,

CBN NEWS, CAROL COUNTY,

MARYLAND.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


Log in or create an account to post a comment.  

CBN.com | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network