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In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that local city councils can open their meetings with mostly Christian prayers.
From the L.A. Times:
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, speaking for the court, said prayers and invocations have been a routine feature of legislatures and city councils throughout American history, and he said the court was unwilling to set specific limits on those prayers.
The 1st Amendment’s ban on an “establishment of religion” does not require “that legislative prayer may be addressed only to a generic God,” the decision states. To enforce such a requirement would mean judges would have to review the prayers and “act as supervisors or censors of religious speech.”
With dozens of churches of different denominations to choose from, the Downey City Council tends to have very diverse invocations. Last year, the council opened its meeting with an ancient Hindu prayer.