Faith & Freedom Applauds Supreme Court Decision on Voluntary Prayer
Ralph Reed Hails Decision as “a Victory for the First Amendment and for the Religious Liberty of All Americans”
Faith & Freedom Coalition today praised the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Town of Greece v. Galloway upholding voluntary prayers at government meetings, overturning a previous federal appellate court decision that struck down the prayers as sectarian and an unconstitutional mixing of church and state.
“Today’s decision is a victory for the First Amendment and for the religious liberty of all Americans,” said Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “Voluntary prayer at civic gatherings, including those offered with the sanction of government officials, is a long and cherished tradition in our country and is woven into the fabric of American society. This includes prayers opening every session of Congress and various state legislatures across the country. To censor or ban these expressions of faith, including prayer, simply because they occur in a civic setting would not only violate a time-honored practice and the First Amendment, but the right to freedom of speech for millions of Americans.”
Reed also announced that, armed with today’s Supreme Court decision, Faith & Freedom Coalition would redouble its efforts to encourage opportunities for prayers offered at meetings by town boards, city councils, and county commissions nationwide. The organization has in the past mobilized public support for local officials who have allowed such prayers at government meetings.
“Speech honoring God and invoking His blessing on our land should be welcomed, not treated with hostility,” said Reed. “With today’s decision, the government officials that faith-based voters help to elect can provide a forum for such expressions without fear of being reversed by future courts.”