ERLC Reacts to Supreme Court’s Decision to Uphold Right to Allow Prayer at Government Meeting

By Elizabeth Bristow
May 5, 2014

WASHINGTON D.C, May 5, 2014—Russell D. Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the right to allow sectarian prayers before public meetings in the Town of Greece v. Galloway case on Monday.

“I am very thankful the Court did the right thing . . . [t]his is a victory for all of those who believe in the freedom of speech, including religious speech, as a prized part of our God-given religious liberty,” Moore said. “Prayer at the beginning of a meeting is a signal that we aren’t ultimately just Americans. We are citizens of the State, yes, but the State isn’t ultimate. There is some higher allegiance than simply political process.”

The ERLC filed an amicus brief Aug. 2, 2013 that urged the Supreme Court to protect prayers before legislative meetings and thereby prevent judges from becoming theological referees.
“The Town of Greece case is about a government seeking to establish a state-ordered civil religion that crowds out the most basic rights of freedom of speech,” Moore said in a written statement. “That is not what our ancestors, and their allies among the American Founders, meant by religious liberty.”

Moore’s full reaction) to the Supreme Court’s decision can be found on TIME’s religion blog.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

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