Greece v. Galloway involved the constitutionality of the town of Greece’s practice of opening its monthly town board meetings with an invocation given by a volunteer chaplain of the month. The issue in Greece was not the appropriateness, sensitivity, or wisdom of the prayers, nor whether some people are offended by the prayers.
The Establishment Clause is not about feelings, just as the Speech Clause is not about the feelings of people who disagree with or are offended by other people’s speech. The Establishment Clause is not an individual rights clause; it is a clause focused on the institutional liberty and autonomy of religious organizations.
As a religious liberty clause, the Establishment Clause is not a secularism clause; its primary effect is not to ensure a secular society, free from the public presence of religion. This is not to say that the Establishment Clause does not, to some degree, carry indirect benefits for secularism. However, secularism is not the Clause’s primary purpose.
Garry, Patrick M.
"Prayer and the Meaning of the Establishment Clause: A Debate on Town of Greece v. Galloway,"
ConLawNOW: Vol. 6
, Article 1.
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