Social notes

Sanford Levinson SLevinson at
Sat Nov 5 02:05:02 PST 2005

I take Eugene's point and will refrain from further comment about the State Luncheon.  I do have this question, though, which I presume is a legitimate one for the list:  Would there be a constitutional problem if, at state luncheons and dinners, George Bush began each meal by saying Grace?  If he regularly invited a minister, rabbii, priest, or some other religious official to give the "official blessing" before the meal?  If the person so invited concluded "In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord"?  We tolerate such practices at inaugurations and the beginning of each congressional day because they are basically historical easements.  There is, to my knowledge, no such tradition at state dinners.  Could Bush establish one without running afoul of the Establishment Clause.  (And, incidentally, if you think he could, could he invite ONLY Christians to give the blessing?)
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