The Supremes get it right on public prayer

The Supremes get it right on public prayer

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Greece, New York, and its tradition of reciting a public prayer before City Council meetings.

I’m not a lawyer, although I have played one on the telephone. The Supremes are saying, “Enough!” Enough of small minorities overwhelming the majority with complaints constructed out of whole cloth. Enough of seeking out issues where there is not one; enough of the supposition that a simple prayer seeking guidance and wisdom represents a tsunami of repression.

The Supremes said in essence, Enough to the idea that the Constitution protects us from exposure to ideas and belief systems that we disagree with; enough to the assumption that the Constitution was intended to protect us from being offended.  You want offensive, study the early politics of the nation’s founding: pseudonyms to hide the author of harsh political criticism, newspaper editorials intended to castigate opponents, name calling, hidden authors, pamphlet wars, and all manner of internecine battles. The battles, however, were fought within the context of a “war of ideas.” In that war while argument prevailed, there was no attempt to eliminate the rights of expression and assembly. Those wars were fought with commitment and energy. We were, eventually, the better for it.

The Court said yes to the majority; it’s about time!

Perhaps the Court intended to stop the devolution of American Democracy where minority opinions and sensitivities rule and where constant whining and claims of disenfranchisement form the basis of Supreme Court challenges, when the activity in question is essentially benign and consistent with American traditions, not to mention the vast majority of its citizens.

Rutgers University provides the exclamation point. One hundred students, a few faculty members and a university administration with a serious “low T” problem decided to do what they could to inhibit the free speech rights of Condi Rice and assume that they’re role was to be the “voice” for the entire university. Once again, the vocal minority rules!

Secretary Rice, classy as ever, gracefully provided the university its off ramp. It’s a shame. Secretary Rice, unique in American history as the first black and female Secretary of State, would have delivered an uplifting commencement address, positive, supportive and optimistic because that’s who she is. Instead of celebrating her rise from the Jim Crow South, her accomplishments, and the wisdom she might offer the graduates she had to be silenced by the vocal minority.

Well, you dysfunctional one hundred: The Supremes say you’re wrong. The Supremes say you are no longer justified in dominating thousands with artificial offense, cheap signs, historical blindness and a bad attitude. The Supremes say that you can’t use your rights to take away the rights of others.

No doubt, the next demonstration by the tortured minority will be directed at the Supreme Court. Hopefully, the Court could care less what the Rutgers one hundred have to say. I know I do!

D.E. Landreaux

D.E. Landreaux

D.E. Landreaux began writing political commentary to realize an irresistable urge to have a voice in the political process beyond the voting booth. He also blogs at


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