May 8, 2014
Recently, on LDS.net, we wrote about the Supreme Court decision that allows the offering of sectarian prayers in government meetings and now The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a statement regarding that decision,
“We applaud the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the long standing practice of prayer within government meetings. We believe the ruling upholds the rich American tradition of religious participation in the public square”
-LDS Church spokesman Cody Craynor
The Deseret News reports that local leaders in Salt Lake have mixed reactions, among them Rabbi Benny Zippel, who leads the the Chabad Lubavitch of Utah said that, “Our Founding Fathers of the United States of America were devout leaders who, in no way, shape or form, wanted to exclude the awareness of God from our midst,” and that this decision was, “a major step in the right direction.”
On the other side, Salt Lake City Council Vice Chair Luke Garrott called the practice of public prayer “divisive” and will continue to not begin city council meetings with prayer, “We’ve just found that it becomes more of a distraction and more divisive, and it really gets in the way of us doing business,” Garrott said.
The President of the Utah Senate, Wayne Niederhauser, describes how the ruling supports the Utah Senate’s tradition of offering prayers that “represent and respect the diversity of religious faith in Utah communities, including Buddhist, Mormon, Jewish, Islamic, Catholic, Protestant and others.”