I read the other day that the Freedom from Religion foundation is suing to keep prayer out of Obama's inauguration. That, of course, would ditch bigot Rick Warren, but that's not why the suit is being brought.. One of the main reasons is that prayer has not been included in most inaugurations in our history but only in more modern times.. and not consistently. Another part of their suit is to ditch the "So Help Me God" since it's not constitutional. I think this is an excellent point.
"The prayer is a relatively modern violation, but since it has gone on, it has been exclusively Christian," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation. "So it isn't just nonbelievers being excluded, it's anyone non-Christian."
Dungeon Diary also makes a good point asking why there should be prayer... at all!
P.S. Adding a bit about *ceremonial deism*, that is, where god has been invoked in various venues and because of rote, etc, it no longer has any religious significance.
The first use of the term in a Supreme Court opinion is in Justice Brennan's dissenting opinion in Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984).
...I would suggest that such practices as the designation of "In God We Trust" as our national motto, or the references to God contained in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag can best be understood, in Dean Rostow's apt phrase, as a form a "ceremonial deism," protected from Establishment Clause scrutiny chiefly because they have lost through rote repetition any significant religious content.[emphasis added, citations omitted]
I remember a few months ago reading about a lawsuit in Las Cruces (Crosses) NM, where crosses were part of the city ornamentation. The city won because the crosses were part of the city name and were beyond reilgious significance.