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Striving to Uphold Prayer in Jesus' Name—NCLL Files Amicus Brief with the United States Supreme Court

On Friday August 2, 2013, the National Center for Life and Liberty filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Town of Greece, New York, where the town was sued for opening its town meetings in prayer. NCLL filed this brief on behalf of eight other county commissions and town councils who have had a practice of opening meetings with legislative prayer, and who have also been sued for violating the Establishment Clause and the legal principle of “separation of church and state.” The eight legislative bodies being represented by NCLL are the Board of Commissioners for Carroll County, Maryland; Board of Commissioners for Cobb County, Georgia; Board of Commissioners for Rowan County, North Carolina; City of Lakeland, Florida; County Commission for Franklin County, Missouri; Forsyth County, North Carolina, Board of Commissioners; Hamilton County, Tennessee, Board of Commissioners, and the Franklin Select Board, Franklin, Vermont.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE AMICUS BRIEF

Attorney David C. Gibbs III, attorney of record for NCLL’s Supreme Court amicus brief, said, “We believe it is unconstitutional to ban prayers in Jesus’ name at legislative meetings. Having judges or legislators censor any prayers violates hundreds of years of religious liberty and free expression in America.” Americans have offered prayers in Jesus’ name in legislative meetings for all the hundreds of years that America has existed as a nation.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Town of Greece v. Galloway case will set the standard for legislative prayer for the entire nation. NCLL’s amicus brief argues that courts should view the legislative prayer opportunity from the point of view of the intent of the legislators, not the viewpoint of a few people who are offended by hearing the name of Jesus in a prayer.

NCLL’s position is the same position Sam Adams—Massachusetts patriot and organizer of the Boston Tea Party—took when faced with hearing a prayer from someone he disagreed with theologically at the First Continental Congress in 1774. Sam Adams said he “was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from [any] gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country.” In fact, the prayer prayed that day in 1774 by Rev. Jacob Duché of Philadelphia ended in the name of Jesus and, therefore, some courts would ban a local legislator from even reading that prayer today. This is an outrageous legal outcome. Please join NCLL in praying that the Supreme Court will make the right decision in this case.

The National Center for Life and Liberty has offices in Dallas, Texas; St. Petersburg, Florida, and Washington D.C., with five Centers: the Center for Life Defense, the Center to Advance the USA, the Center for Church Liberty, the Center for Homeschool Liberty and the Center for Christian Education. NCLL’s website is www.ncll.org and its attorneys can be reached by telephone at 888-233-6255.