VIEWPOINTS: Do you favor prayer at public meetings?

GOO_101713_prayA recent survey showed that people favor prayer at public meetings — as long as it’s a generic prayer that’s not specifically Christian.

According to the Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind survey, most registered voters (73 percent) said “prayer at public meetings is fine as long as the public officials are not favoring some beliefs over others.”

And 23 percent said “public meetings shouldn’t have any prayers at all because prayers by definition suggest one belief or another.”

The Religion News Service reported full findings, and we want you to chime on.

Do you favor prayer at public meetings?

4 Responses to “VIEWPOINTS: Do you favor prayer at public meetings?”

  1. Cynthia Fine

    If prayer is sincere, can it be “generic”? I think generic prayer is a political statement.

  2. Mark Elliott

    I favor government as long as it can’t collect any taxes from me.

  3. Jim Downard

    This issue is currently pending before the Supreme Court: Greece, NY v. Galloway. I debated conservative law professor Patrick Garry on April 22nd at Seattle University School of Law Federalist Society over the merits and issues of the case. Here’s the link to the debate video (for some reason they posted a 5 hr file, but the Greece debate part actually occupies the first hour, with the introduction, my presentation, Garry’s talk, then the rebuttals and Q@A) :

  4. Jim Hudlow

    Here is the problem with opening a secular government proceeding with prayer. It is unconstitutional. Our government is supposed to remain entirely religiously neutral. Prayer promotes religion. There is no prayer that encompasses all religions and certainly no prayer that also encompasses atheists. When a secular function begins with a prayer it is nothing more than drawing up sides in a matter that should have no “sides” and be fair and equal to all US citizens no matter what their beliefs. The idea a government proceeding needs to start with a prayer is nothing more than bullying minorities
    . Anna Marie Martin says she is ‘uncomfortable’ with opening a government meeting with a prayer made by someone else. The undergirding reason that she does not touch upon is that this is a governmental proceeding making laws for ALL the citizens in it’s jurisdiction. By starting any secular event with a prayer you are excluding certain groups from the party from the git go. The only answer is to not have any prayer at all. A moment of silence would do the trick for personal private prayer. If that is not satisfying to you then you are not praying to your deity. You are praying as a public display put on for the people around you. I believe that Jesus would label such a person a hypocrite. A moment of silence would allow you to “enter into your closet” to pray as stated in Matthew 6:5-6 and would not expose others who might not believe like you to shame or intimidation. A secular government should remain exactly and at all times just that in order to be fair for everyone.


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