Re "Prayer case bedevils Supreme Court," Nov. 7
Justice Antonin Scalia's concern that the Supreme Court might "stifle the manner in which [religious adherents] invoke their deity" can be resolved by a couple of minutes of silence when public meetings begin.
During that solemn time, believers may mentally reconnect with their chosen deities. Meanwhile, nonbelievers may reflect on their good fortune to live where one's lack of belief can remain private, never to provoke reprisal.
Problem solved. Believers can invoke their deities. Nonbelievers needn't fear being outed. And the court escapes endless refereeing of inherently intractable religious issues.
Which part of "separation of church and state" do some justices not understand?
Prayers belong in houses of worship or in the privacy of one's home. Foisting religious practices such as prayers on governmental processes is coercive.
In the 1950s, Congress added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, no doubt to differentiate our nation from the godless Soviets. Religion unadvisedly sneaked into the public arena of schools, government meetings and elsewhere.
The last thing this country needs is for the Supreme Court to enlarge the scope of this constitutional travesty.
Forget calling this a prayer. How about this statement:
"Let us hope that the thoughts and concerns and ideas of the many will bring the best and fairest conclusions to all of us. Please be seated."
If I am attending a gathering in which a prayer for guidance or assistance is offered on my behalf to a deity known by a name I do not use or in accord with religious precepts I do not follow, I do not feel coerced, nor am I offended.
I am, in fact, grateful. I can use all the help I can get.