Thursday, November 1, 2007

ADF: 7th Circuit reverses ruling prohibiting use of Jesus’ name in Indiana legislative prayers

Finally, a voice of reason from a circuit court.

Posted at the Alliance Defense Fund.

INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Tuesday reversed a ruling prohibiting invocations in the name of Jesus during the opening of Indiana legislative sessions. The Alliance Defense Fund and the Family Research Council filed a friend-of-the-court brief to the 7th Circuit.

“The custom of our Founding Fathers to open meetings with prayer continues to this day. Those who oppose Christian invocations are essentially saying that the Founders were violating the Constitution as they were writing it,” said ADF Senior Counsel Glen Lavy. “People of all religions have always had an equal opportunity to offer prayer before Indiana legislative sessions.”

Representatives in the Indiana House nominate religious leaders of various faiths to speak by submitting a “Minister of the Day” form, which specifies the individual’s availability. Although persons identifying themselves as representing a Christian church offered most of the prayers during the 2005 legislative session, a Muslim imam, a Jewish rabbi, a layperson, and some of the legislators themselves also offered prayers.

A federal judge ruled in favor of four Indiana citizens who brought a suit against Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma in 2005. The four, represented by the Indiana branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, objected to the Christian prayers. In his ruling, U.S. District Court Judge David F. Hamilton stated that future invocations in the Indiana legislature must be “non-sectarian.”

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."
- Act 4:12

"Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me."
- Luk 7:23

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