We applaud the 3rd Circuit of Appeals for ruling in favor of common sense on a case involving legislative prayer in Pennsylvania. The 2-1 decision upheld our amicus brief’s position that the history and tradition surrounding legislative prayer permitted the Pennsylvania legislature to create a policy that only permits theistic prayers at the opening of legislative sessions.
The Freedom of Religion gives people the right to live their faith in every aspect of their daily life or have no faith at all. The definition of atheist is, “a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.” Their status as an atheist doesn’t change their value as an American citizen; however, by their own admission, prayer to God is pointless. Protecting the longstanding definition of prayer in this policy is not discriminatory, it’s simply common sense.
Karl Myers, a Philadelphia-based lawyer who argued the case in favor of the policy in question said: “The House’s practice of beginning its legislative sessions with prayer dates back to the earliest days of our commonwealth and our nation and the current House practice is simply a continuation of that historical tradition.”