Obama and GOP lawmakers agree: Christian prayers should be allow - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Obama and GOP lawmakers agree: Christian prayers should be allowed before meetings

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Commissioners and observers stand for an opening prayer during a recent meeting of the Hamilton County Commission. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press Commissioners and observers stand for an opening prayer during a recent meeting of the Hamilton County Commission. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The Obama administration and GOP leaders agree on something: city councils/commissions should be allowed to open their meetings with Christian prayer.

The issue has been bantered about by the state of Tennessee and here in Chattanooga.

The administration, congressional lawmakers and the attorneys general from 23 states filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, arguing legislative meetings should be allowed to open with Christian prayer.

Prayers to begin government meetings in government buildings have resulted in discussions, arguments and even legal action among those on both sides of the issue.

The L.A. Times reports that lawyers for the Obama administration and two congressional groups from the House and Senate, mostly Republicans, have filed separate briefs asking the U.S. Supreme Court to relax constitutional restrictions on prayers offered prior to government meetings.

Another state, West Virginia, is the most recent to have filed briefs asking for a ruling that doesn't require pre-meeting prayers to be religion-generic, according to The Associated Press.

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits government from favoring one religion over another.

Filings from this past week challenge the ruling from the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that found the Town of Greece, NY violated the clause with prayers offered before their town council meetings.

The L.A. Times reported the justices will hear the town's appeal later this year.

Earlier this year, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, upheld U.S. District Court Judge Harry S. Mattice's year-old decision not to bar prayers at meetings of the Hamilton County Commission.

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