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Freedom of Religion - Part 1

A federal district court in Indiana ruled that the practice of opening each session of the state legislature with prayer violated the First Amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause.

Key point 14-02. The courts have ruled that the First Amendment allows chaplains and other ministers to pray before legislative assemblies.

* A federal district court in Indiana ruled that the practice of opening each session of the state legislature with prayer violated the First Amendment's nonestablishment of religion clause because of the overt "sectarian" preference for Christianity. Four Indiana residents sued the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Indiana General Assembly claiming that most of the prayers the Speaker has permitted to open House sessions are sectarian Christian prayers, in violation of the nonestablishment of religion clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The evidence revealed that the official prayers repeatedly and consistently advanced the beliefs that define the Christian religion, and in particular the resurrection ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • March 1, 2006

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