Just a few days ago, a sharply divided establishing Christian religious rituals as an official part of public government meetings. The ruling was delivered in response to a suit by non-Christian citizens of Greece, New York who noted that the Town Board of Greece had allowed Christian religious rituals to dominate public governmental meetings, although the Town of Greece is religiously diverse.
Justice Stephen Breyer, in a dissenting opinion, observed that “The town of Greece failed to make
reasonable efforts to include prayer givers of minority faiths, with the result that, although it is a community of several faiths, its prayer givers were almost exclusively persons of a single faith.” Justice Elena Kagan, in another dissenting opinion, wrote that “The Town of Greece’s prayer practices violate that
norm of religious equality—the breathtakingly generous constitutional idea that our public institutions belong no less to the Buddhist or Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian,” and that “Month in and month out for over a decade, prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not
square with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.”
Nonetheless, a group of five Supreme Court justices, all of them Christian, decided that the establishment of exclusively Christian religious rituals as part of the practice of local government in the Town of Greece could continue, because it was a tradition. As a tradition, the long, and often infamous, roots of Christian-led local government in North America go back before the revolution of 1776 to atrocities such as the Salem Witch Trials.
Since the ruling, not one single member of Congress has spoken out in protest against the new regime of Christian discrimination against minorities in local governments. On the contrary, the morning after the Greece v. Galloway judgment was handed down, the U.S. Senate began its day with its own established Christian ritual led by the government-appointed priest, Barry C. Black. During the ritual, Black invoked the power of the Christian deity, seeking to impose the Christian god’s agenda through national legislation.
It seems that members of Congress have decided to agree to the tradition of mixing church and state, despite the promise made by the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.