PA House Will Open in Prayer Again, Thanks to Speaker Turzai

October 2, 2019 | 8 comments | Posted in Politics, Prayer | Tags: ,

When the PA House of Representatives reconvenes to open their legislative session later this month they will be able to continue their guest chaplain policy for opening prayer, thanks to a recent court ruling and due to the commitment of Speaker Mike Turzai to this issue. 

Last year, members of the Pennsylvania House lost in district court when a group of non-theists sued over their longstanding guest chaplain policy that requires those opening legislative sessions in prayer be “a member of a regularly established church or religious organization.” 

The PA House courageously moved forward with an appeal. One year later, on August 23, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals overruled the lower court’s decision. As a result, on Tuesday, October 1st, Chief Judge Christopher Conner, who had ruled against the PA House in favor of the atheists and agnostics, has now ordered that the court’s previous decision be vacated, the claims made by the non-theists be completely denied and ruled in favor of the PA House.

Speaker Mike Turzai courageously stepped up to the challenge and used the legal means available to his office to rightfully defend the constitutionality of the prayer policy. 

Independence Law Center, the legal arm of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, in conjunction with the Alliance Defending Freedom, filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of four of Pennsylvania’s U.S. Congressmen who took a stand to defend prayer: Mike Kelly, Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson.  That brief was cited by the Third Circuit to establish the longstanding purpose of these prayers — that “legislative prayers seek ‘divine guidance’ in lawmaking.”

The Independence Law Center applauds Speaker Mike Turzai in leading the effort to win this tremendous Third Circuit victory to uphold this longstanding practice of prayer before legislative sessions. Indeed, it is important that the legislature seeks God’s favor while they debate and pass laws.


Howard Anderson

OutStanding Speaker Turzai…
Please support HB1066 and say no to red flag laws

Andrea Ward

Thank you, Speaker Turzai!
May God bless you and work through you to bring others closer to Him!

Kathy Gassler

Speaker Turzia, Thank you for standing up to the “noisy” minority. God bless you all who stand for Him!

Jay R. Snyder

Thank you speaker Turzia, for standing up at this critical time. Blessings.

Anyone visiting the Capitol and viewing its art work can see the importance God has played in the affairs of men in this Commonwealth. William Penn, its founder, established Penn’s Woods with a corner stone of religious freedom and not one with the absence of God.
It’s about time the lye be stopped about what the meaning is of “separation of Church and State”. . . . It means there will not be a State Church (denomination). As Penn was not attending the official state church in the country of England. He wanted all denominations to be allowed so one could practice their faith in the flavor they see fit. Decently and in order.

Marc Benedict

Again, Pennsylvania takes a step backwards into the Dark Ages with it propagation of superstition and the supernatural. The Founders expressly separated religions influence into government affairs. But you promote its insidious tenets: human slavery, human sacrifice, genital mutilation, honor killings, homophobia, pogroms, witch burning.

Nancy Kilgore

Thank you so very much, Speaker Turzai!! Bravo and Praise God for this victory!!

David Loesser

Speaker Turzai-you stand to honor God in this way will make it’s way back to you in His blessing–


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