Congratulations to the National Secular Society! It has won a High Court ruling that the saying of collective prayers during Council meetings is not lawful, though prayers are lawful if conducted prior to the start of official business.
Such collective prayers have nothing to do with religion; they are designed - like similar rituals in other areas of public life - to enforce conformity and conformism. It is a bold spirit who declines to participate, vacating their place and leaving the room. Essentially, they are a masonic ritual designed to expose anyone who is not One of Us, those dangerous people who think for themselves. The majority of those praying on such occasions will be without any belief in the God they are supposedly praying to.
When I had religious leanings I always leant to the view that religion was an intensely private affair, not something you show off. To this day such things as the designer costumes of the Pope, worn to symbolise power and encourage deference, anger me.
In America, it is unAmerican not to do God and all politicians have to do him. Here in the UK, it is not much better: Clegg and Miliband may say they don't believe in God and Cameron probably has no personal beliefs worth the name. But when it comes down to it, in the House of Commons, before the Queen, before the Pope who was shamefully invited here - yes, then they all do it. We don't have religious liberty here; we have a political class who feel obliged to toe the God line.