Federal Appeals Court: It’s okay for PA House to exclude atheists, others from leading “nontheistic” prayer

Federal Appeals Court: It’s okay for PA House to exclude atheists, others from leading  “nontheistic” prayer

Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai was sued by a number of groups seeking to force the State Assembly to allow “nontheistic” prayer touching on themes such as equality, unity, decency, hope, peace, compassion, tolerance, and justice after he refused their request.

Last week the US Court of Appeals agreed with Speaker Turzai saying, in part:

The House’s policy preferring theistic over nontheistic prayers does not
violate the Establishment Clause because it fits squarely within
the historical tradition of legislative prayer. Next, legislative
prayer is government speech, so the policy is not susceptible to
an attack on free-speech, free-exercise, or equal-protection
grounds. 

 

Tap now to read the full opinion

 

About The Author

Don Shaw

Don Shaw journalist covering local news for The Pennsylvania Chronicle (717) 461-2107 don.shaw@pennsylvaniachronicle.com