Bottom line

Thank the Founding Fathers for creating a government that makes “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Thank the U.S. Supreme Court for upholding those ideals recently by ruling city and town councils can open meetings with a prayer, even if those prayers are predominantly Christian.

The 5-4 decision ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y., did not run afoul of the law by allowing chaplains to given opening prayers. The town was sued by two residents who said the prayers ran afoul of the First Amendment’s prohibition of government establishment of religion.

Though almost all of the opening prayers were given by Christian clergymen, town officials said the prayers were open to members of all faiths, including atheists.

“The prayer opportunity is evaluated against the backdrop of a historical practice showing that prayer has become part of the Nation’s heritage and tradition,” the majority wrote in the opinion.

Bottom line: The Constitution gives Americans the freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

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