Well, that didn't take long. Less than 24 hours after The Family Foundation and the Alliance Defense Fund provided legal information and a model prayer policy to city officials in Chesapeake, the ACLU of Virginia sent their own "opinion."
And guess what — they are against public prayer!
Using the same tired — and incorrect — arguments other ACLU chapters have used in losing court cases, the ACLU of Virginia is joining the "Freedom From Religion Foundation" in warning Chesapeake officials against praying at council meetings.
The only problem is they are dead wrong. As usual.
We are actually thrilled to see the ACLU join the battle. After all, why wouldn't we want an organization that no reasonable, thoughtful person pays any attention to in the fight? I mean seriously, the more they talk, the more we're likely to win.
But, for our friends at the ACLU, I'm going to write this slowly so even they can comprehend it: Sandra Day O'Conner who wrote the Turner v. Fredericksburg opinion the ACLU claims requires non-sectarian prayers, actually said in that opinion:
"We need not decide whether the Establishment Clause compelled the Council to adopt their legislative prayer policy because the Establishment Clause does not absolutely dictate the form of legislative prayer."
Again, in the Pelphrey case which the ACLU lost badly using the same arguments, the Eleventh Circuit dismisses their claim that the U.S. Supreme Court in Marsh requires non-sectarian prayers saying:
"Although it upheld the policy of the [Fredericksburg City] Council, the Fourth Circuit expressly declined to hold that Marsh required a policy of nondenominational prayers."
Now, I know that quoting the actual words of the judges involved isn't really fair to the ACLU. After all, they clearly don't care what the courts actually say. But for everyone else, its simple. Government bodies have opened meetings with prayer since the beginning of the Republic and they can continue doing so, even including things like "God" and "Jesus" in the prayers.
This is getting fun.