Religious leaders rally against planned pipeline

— A group of Catholic nuns who successfully redirected the route of a proposed pipeline off their land in Kentucky are joining other religious leaders protesting the ongoing project.

The Sisters of Loretto, along with members of Baptist, Presbyterian and Unitarian churches, delivered a 36,000-signature petition to Gov. Steve Beshear’s office at the state Capitol last week. The group of about 50 demonstrators called on the governor to oppose the project. They say the pipeline, which would carry flammable natural gas liquids through 14 counties, is a threat to the environment.

An office staffer accepted the petition from the group as they gathered inside the governor’s office and sang a religious hymn.

The company building the Bluegrass Pipeline is securing easements along the project’s proposed 180-mile path in Kentucky.

Legislative prayer gets Supreme Court review

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of a town council’s opening prayers.

The case being argued last week involves prayers offered by local clergy at the start of town council meetings in Greece, N.Y.

A federal appeals court said they violated the Constitution because nearly every prayer in an 11-year span was overtly Christian.

The city is being backed by the Obama administra-tion and many conservative groups in arguing that the court settled this issue 30 years ago when it held that an opening prayer is part of the nation’s fabric and not a violation of the First Amendment.

On the other side are two town residents who sued over the prayers and the liberal groups that support them.

Associated Press