"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
The First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states, in part, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
Now it seems the first part of that amendment gets a lot of play when trying to curtail prayer in a government setting.
But what about those who are prohibited from exercising their choice of religion in that same government setting?
Rowan County Commissioners have invoked the name of Jesus in their invocation to kick off their meetings.
Starting official meetings with prayer has been a longstanding practice for Charlotte-Mecklenburg and many other local governments.
U.S. Presidents are traditionally sworn into office by placing their right hands on the Bible.
We are a religious nation, in whatever form that may take.
And yet, any number of lawsuits have been filed through the years seeking to restrict religious practices when the government is in any way involved.
Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a New York case which would allow the deliverance of prayers within official government meetings – as long as no one attending was "coerced" into participating.
We hope the Supreme Court sees it that way.
Citizens would be able to exercise their freedom of religion, while those who disagree with the prayers could simply ignore them.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.