How Do People React to Others Praying in Public?


Quick Answer

There is a mixed reaction to public prayer thatvaries as much as religious beliefs; the question has been explored and documented fromonline experimental videos to state laws such as the 2014 Utah Supreme Courts decision allowing public prayer, including prayer at public meetings.Some critics claim public prayer is divisive and inappropriate while supporters claim it is afirst amendment right practiced by our country's forefathers, according to Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

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Full Answer

Reaction to public prayer depends on the person, the place and the situation. Church, vigils or even the Pledge of Allegiance can be considered public prayer to some. Even among people who share the same spiritual or religious beliefs, reactions are different.

In the example of the recent Utah Supreme Court Decision, The Church of Ladder-Day Saints and the Catholic Diocese of Utah both agree with the decision to allow public prayer. Salt Lake City Council Vice-Chair, Luke Garrott, calls it a divisive distraction and Dan Elliot, president of Atheists of Utah, calls the ruling silly.

The Open Bible Info website quotes over 20 Bible verses that condemn public prayer, but North Carolina restaurant Mary's Gourmet Diner offers a15 percent discount to customers who pray before eating their food.

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