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Federal Prayer Ruling Conflicts with State Law

State Law Says Single Faith-Based Prayers Before Gov't Meetings Unconstitutional

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Supreme Court has decided cities and towns across the nation can open their meetings with a prayer, even if they are from one faith.

But here in California, that ruling conflicts with state law.

The new federal ruling says you can hold prayers as long as they don't disparage other religions or non-believers, threaten damnation or try to win converts.

A pastor says the point of prayers is to seek wisdom and guidance for city leaders as they make big decisions.

Though the new ruling conflicts with state law, he believes it gives communities who want to keep praying a leg up in legal challenges.

"Maybe it is a step in the right direction for our country to, instead of having prayer pushed out in city council meetings or out of school, we're seeing that we need prayer in these various institutions," Pastor Carl Nielsen said.

Pismo Beach recently eliminated their Christian prayers after some religious freedom groups sued them.

They do not plan to bring back prayers because of that state law. We tried to speak to atheist groups but they did not get back to us.

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