Supreme Court clears WA, midfield coach’s post-match prayers

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This is a lesson that all coaches around the world can appreciate.

Never give up

Christians gather at the Supreme Court to pray as the Bremerton case is heard

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High Court Backs Coach

He didn’t, and this morning the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of former Washington state high school football coach Joe Kennedy.

The coach had been praying on the 50-yard line after every game for years and it ultimately cost him his job. He felt it was a foul against the constitution and that his first amendment protected free speech, so he denounced it and went to court.

His Case made it all the way to the Supreme Court where he asked if a public school employee who prayed by himself but still within sight and sound of students was engaging in unprotected “government speech” – like to represent the official position of the school – or if his prayer was a personal speech. Another question raised was whether his actions violated the establishment of religion clause of the constitution.

Christians gather at the Supreme Court to pray as the Bremerton case is heard

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Common sense is not unanimous

It took seven years to get a two-letter answer. The High Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the answer to these questions was a “no”.

Sounds simple enough, so why did the government pursue the case in the first place, and it’s interesting – according to a published report, Judge Neil Gorsuch wrote:

Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in brief, silent, and personal religious observance doubly protected by the freedom of exercise and freedom of speech clauses of the First Amendment. And the only valid justification the government offered for its retaliation was based on the mistaken idea that it had a duty to unearth and repress

Is this the mission?

“find and delete” Really? If this is how the government considers its role, it is good that the coach has won, on several levels!

To Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who wrote that the coach’s actions were potentially “coercive” for students who were “vulnerable” to pressure to pray, I would say this. One, in case she hadn’t noticed, children today are quite good at ignoring adults and two, many of these impressionable and vulnerable children somehow manage to vote. for the President of the United States before they graduate, and some enlist in the military the day after they graduate, so there seems to be a schizophrenic disconnect between the abilities of what students can and cannot can’t handle. Remember that some students are sometimes required to celebrate Pride Month and welcome drag queens into the classroom. But it’s not coercive???

We’ll save that for another time, for now people of all religious denominations can be confident that there is a distinction between in the conversation about the blind general policy of separation of church and state and that there is a place for their personal beliefs in the shadow of government.

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