Although many are characterizing the ruling as a victory for the conservative wing of the Court, I must disagree. It is, in fact, a victory for the Christian wing of the Court.
Consider the religious affiliations of the Justices in the way they voted:
FOR Christian prayer before government meetings:
- John Roberts (Catholic)
- Anthony M. Kennedy (Catholic)
- Antonin Scalia (Catholic)
- Clarence Thomas (Catholic)
- Samuel Alito (Catholic)
AGAINST Christian prayer before government meetings:
- Stephen G. Breyer (Jewish)
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Jewish)
- Elena Kagen (Jewish)
- Sonia Sotomayor (Catholic)
Notice who voted against this. All of the non-Christian members of the court, and Sotomayor, who would probably burst into flames if she ever voted with Scalia and Thomas on any issue. The non-Christian Justices know what it's like to be in a country that "tolerates" people whose religion isn't the majority, and they (rightly) said that there is a very real sense of exclusion and coercion that attends such activities when they're undertaken in the context of an official government function.
Make no mistake. This was not a conservative victory. This was a Christian victory. A victory for those who think that the views of the majority can and should be forced on the minority, who think that the minority should simply shut up and be thankful that we're allowed to practice our blasphemous faiths in this country at all. And that point of view transcends party. Bigotry practiced by a majority and endorsed by force of law is no less bigotry.