In the small town of Greece, New York, citizens must participate in town meetings to interact with their elected officials. In 1999, Greece began offering prayers at each town meeting, led by the "chaplain of the month." All the chaplains were Christians who mostly invoked Jesus Christ specifically. In 2008, two women went to court, complaining that they were not just excluded, but coerced into religious observances contrary to their own beliefs. This week, the US Supreme Court ruled against them, giving its blessing to sectarian prayer at public meetings. Specifically Christian invocations are okay. What if you're Jewish, Muslim, atheist or agnostic? What's happened to "the separation of church and state?" What should local officials do now? We address an issue that's even older than the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the founding of the United States.
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Convention (@drmoore)
Lisa Soronen, State and Local Legal Center (@SLLCSCOTUS)
Stephen Marini, Wellesley College (@wellesley)
Lithwick on religions and the dominant culture
Lithwick on the Supreme Court giving its blessing for prayer at town meetings
Moore on pluralism and the Supreme Court decision