The Founders of our country pledged their fortunes, their families safety their honor, and, indeed their very lives in order to create and sustain a new form of government which allows people to exercise their God-given right to worship - whether they believe that God gave them that right or not. They had witnessed religious persecution far too long. Our views of Science have often lead to unthinkable acts of cruelty and violence, in the name of GOD, including the persecution or threatened persecution of people such as Leonardo DaVinci, Copernicus, or Galileo. This has surely taught us that we must never let the majority overwhelm the minority, or to inflict its opinions upon them. Certainly, and most importantly we must not allow them force their beliefs upon the minority.
This includes the teaching of our children, our social interactions, and ultimately our rights to enjoy life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Founding Fathers recognized that without the freedom to think as we each believe we should, that their fight for freedom would be for naught. That freedom includes the right to be unpopular. That freedom includes the right to pray to a God that others may not believe exists, or as is more is frequently the case to pray to God in a way that others believe is improper. Of utmost importance is the recognition that we must not be prevented from, or forced to pray at all, nor must we ever be prevented from praying in the way that we believe we must. Recently our own community has become the spotlight in the Supreme Court of the United States in the Greece town prayer case which gives us all an opportunity to contemplate whether or not someone might be worried that their own government will not give them equal opportunity, in a matter as simple is requesting a zoning variance. Some feel that appearing before a board which compels one to pray in a certain manner prior to the beginning of that town meeting could mean that there will be unfavorable treatment If the citizen does not join the Majority in their chosen beliefs, or their chosen method of prayer.
The opposing argument of course is that allowing any Religious Leader within the Town to pray at the beginning of the meeting is the true standard by which that town should, and did conduct itself. Some have claimed that by merely restricting the opening prayer to clerics who are within that geographical boundary in and of itself was so limiting as to have a chilling effect which is beyond the tolerance of the First Amendment. Ultimately we must provide separation of church and state, and there must be religious freedom without limitation, or those brave men and women who have fought for over two centuries to preserve our freedoms may well have their sacrifices cast aside forever.