High Court Ruling Already Bad News for Non-Christians

Roanoke supervisor proposes ban on non-Christian prayer

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 7, 2014 11:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – What will the Supreme Court's Greece vs. Galloway decision mean for religious liberty? Well, let's put it this way: Less than 24 hours later, a board of supervisors member in Roanoke, Va., used the ruling to revise his push to ditch the town's nonsectarian prayer policy, adding that he would personally exclude any non-Christian prayers. "The freedom of religion doesn’t mean that every religion has to be heard," he told the Roanoke Times. "If we allow everything … where do you draw the line?"

You might well dismiss Bedrosian as a fringe crank. But Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion "opened the door to precisely this line of argument," writes Dahlia Lithwick at Slate. The opinion breezily speaks of "tradition," asserting that, whatever god the prayers cite, they express "values that count as universal." Which means that he essentially just said, as a matter of constitutional law, that Christian values are universal, and that only traditional religions count. The court "practically invited local legislators" to "pick, apparently by popular acclaim, which are the American religions and which are the un-American ones." Click for her full column.

Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs in Greece v. Galloway,  talks about the Supreme Court ruling in her home in Greece, NY, Monday, May 5, 2014.
Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs in Greece v. Galloway, talks about the Supreme Court ruling in her home in Greece, NY, Monday, May 5, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Shawn Dowd)
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