If You Can’t Answer “Yes” To This Question, You’re Not REALLY For Prayer At School Events
The Supreme Court’s stunning reversal of Roe vs. Wade has largely overshadowed ANOTHER huge ruling from the conservative-dominated court.
This week, SCOTUS ruled in favor of a high school football coach who sought approval to kneel and pray on the field after games.
Coach Joseph Kennedy had been coaching high school football since 2008 in Bremerton, Washington. Initially, Coach Kennedy said, he began by praying by himself on the 50-yard line following games. Over time, students and players started joining him and, eventually, he began delivering short, religiously based inspirational talks.
In 2015, the school district asked him to stop. Eventually, he was placed on paid leave for continuing his prayers.
I grew up in the Bible Belt and every game I ever played in had some kind of prayer, so I’m very familiar with how NON-controversial the practice is in this part of the country. If you’re happy about the SCOTUS ruling on this, I understand where you’re coming from. I totally get it.
BUT…I would just encourage you to be honest with yourself and answer this question: if the coach were Muslim and prayed to Allah after games, would you be equally O.K. with that? What if the players and students wanted to join the Muslim coach in his prayers? What if he ALSO delivered a brief, optional talk based on the teachings of the Koran? Are we STILL cool with all that?
If you answered “yes”, good for you! I congratulate you on your consistency and sense of fairness!
Now…how about if a football coach were a Wiccan? Or a Satanist? Still good?
It’s almost like the framers of the Constitution foresaw these kinds of conflicts and decided it was better to keep religion and government separated. In Colonial America, you had some states that actually HAD official religions. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment was partially to reassure Anglican or Puritan colonies that THEIR official religion wouldn’t be superseded by a federally established religion.
And, before you say, “Yeah, but the Founding Fathers were all Christian!”, that’s not entirely true. Many of the most important ones (Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Washington) were “deists”. Thomas Jefferson’s “religion” would have a LOT more in common with secular humanism than it would with modern evangelical thought.
Also, there’s that line in the Bible where Jesus tells his followers that they definitely SHOULDN’T pray in public where everyone could see them.