Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Religious Diversity - period ended 1.1.2006

Religious Diversity/Church-State/Civil Rights/Judge upholds limits on prayers in Indiana House/Munster Times/Munster/IN/USA/29-Dec-05/AP/


Fort Wayne News Sentinel/Fort Wayne/IN/USA/29-Dec-05/AP …. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal judge on Wednesday refused to reconsider his decision restricting prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives.

Judge David Hamilton's upheld his Nov. 30 ruling, which said that invocations offered in the House could not mention Jesus Christ or use Christian terms such as savior because they amount to state endorsement of a religion.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, had asked Hamilton to revise his ruling on the grounds that it was too vague to enforce. The state attorney general's office also has asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to review the decision.

Hamilton wrote that he expected Bosma, House members and those leading the session-opening prayers to avoid advancing a particular religious faith.

"If the speaker or those offering prayers seek to evade the injunction through indirect but well understood expressions of specifically Christian beliefs, the audience, the public, and the court will be able to see what is happening," Hamilton said. "In that unlikely event, the court will be able to take appropriate measures to enforce" the injunction.

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in June on behalf of four people, including a Quaker lobbyist, who said they found the tradition of offering the usually Christian prayers offensive. ….


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