Federal Appeals Court: Saying ‘Jesus’ During Public Prayer Is Unconstitutional…

Federal appeals court: Saying “Jesus” during public prayer is unconstitutional

As in most counties in America, the Board of Commissioners of Forsyth County, North Carolina, begins its public meetings with an invocation. These prayers are given by local religious leaders on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Given that 95 percent of local religious houses identify as Christian, it’s not surprising that many of the invocations include specifically Christian language, often closing the prayer in the name of “Jesus Christ” or “Jesus.”

Two non-Christians from the community with a population of approximately 350,000 sued, arguing that an invocation mentioning Jesus Christ during a public prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

Even though the pair acknowledged that the Supreme Court held public prayers—called “legislative prayers”—are constitutional in the 1983 case Marsh v. Chambers, the federal district court in North Carolina sided with the protestors.

In a stunning decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed that judgment in a 2-to-1 decision, holding in the case Joyner v. Forsyth County that prayers unconstitutionally advance Christianity if references to Jesus are more than isolated, or if the content is otherwise too Christian for the court’s taste…

The rest is in the Washington Examiner here.

4 thoughts on “Federal Appeals Court: Saying ‘Jesus’ During Public Prayer Is Unconstitutional…

  1. If Jesus had not said that these things will happen before He returns, this would be even more discouraging than it is. The First Amendment about freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion clearly is in opposition to the court of appeals decision that said saying the name of Jesus is illegal in public prayer.

    The court of appeals cited their reason being that saying the name of Jesus in a public prayer violated the “establishment of religion clause”. This is ridiculous! That clause is to prevent the government from setting up a state church which some countries in Europe have. I realize that saying the name of Jesus “offends” the sensibilities of some Atheists and members of non Christian religions. but to make something illegal because it offends some group is a road down a slippery slope that leads to lawlessness and then a dictatorship.

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