Not to recruit believers
Bad Obama administration. Don’t do that. Bad, bad, bad.
The Obama administration has taken sides in a significant new test case on the separation between church and state, urging the Supreme Court (PDF) to allow prayers at the beginning of government meetings. The administration lays out its arguments in a newly filed amicus brief in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case that questions whether the prayer practices at town council meetings of a small town in upstate New York violate the First Amendment. The case could drastically expand the types of legislative prayer practices considered constitutional.
Bad. Bad, bad, bad.
The administration argued in its brief:
Where, as here, legislative prayers neither proselytize nor denigrate any faith, the inclusion of Christian references alone does not constitute an impermissible advancement or establishment of religion. So long as the goal of the government-backed prayer is not to recruit believers or criticize a given faith then the practice should be supported. Neither federal courts nor legislative bodies are well suited to police the content of such prayers, and this Court has consistently disapproved of government interference in dictating the substance of prayers.
The practice should be supported? Wtf? Why? And how is that by any stretch of the imagination their job?