Prayer in council meetings
I was actually pretty suprised by it. It wouldn't suprise me if this was a story from the United States. Stories like this come from the US pretty frequently, such as this story about a girl's objection to a written prayer in a public (state) school. But this is the UK, a country with a State Religion. I can't remember a ruling having gone this way before.
The ruling was only in relation to the Local Government Act 1972, but it may have much wider implications. Don't forget that prayers are said in Parliament every day. How long until they are challenged? Are we actually seeing a move towards the separation of church and state in the UK?
Well, I hope so. I entirely agree with the people who brought this case. The principle has to be that councils, or any democratic body, have to be for all the citizens of an area. Council meetings should represent all citizens of all religions and none. Saying prayers as part of council meeting suggests we are all of a the same religious opinion, and that simply itsn't true.
The unholy alliance between state and church does no good to either. If some people would like to gather for prayers before meeting, then so be it. And of course anyone can offer a silent prayer any time they like. But public prayers in meetings should have no place in a democracy. Religious freedom has to include those with no religion, or else it is no real religious freedom.