I am a firm believer that we must lead by example. We cannot expect a generation of hard-working, moral, faithful servants of God to magically appear. As the bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).
That’s exactly what high school football coach Joe Carter tried to do, until nasty leftism intervened.
Fox News reports:
The Supreme Court handed a big win to a former Washington high school football coach who lost his job over reciting a prayer on the 50-yard line after games.
At issue was whether a public school employee praying alone but in view of students was engaging in unprotected “government speech,” and if it is not government speech, does it still pose a problem under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 6-3 decision that the answer to both questions is no.
“Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the Court’s opinion. “Religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”
In other words, the constitution protects us from someone cramming their religion or beliefs down our necks. And yet, it also protects our right to practice our own religion, choose our own beliefs, and pray to our own God. Clever document, that constitution!
Obviously, Kennedy understands the Bill of Rights very well, thus, he stood his moral ground.
The article continues:
Joe Kennedy was a junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant coach with the Bremerton School District in Washington from 2008 to 2015. He began the practice of reciting a post-game prayer by himself, but eventually students started joining him. According to court documents, this evolved into motivational speeches that included religious themes. After an opposing coach brought it to the principal’s attention, the school district told Kennedy to stop. He did, temporarily, then notified the school that he would resume the practice.
The situation garnered media attention, and when Kennedy announced that he would go back to praying on the field, it raised security concerns. When he did pray after the game, a number of people stormed the field in support.
The school district then offered to let Kennedy pray in other locations before and after games, or for him to pray on the 50-yard line after everyone else had left the premises, but he refused, insisting that he would continue his regular practice. After continuing the prayers at two more games, the school district placed Kennedy on leave.
The Wrong Move
This is how leftism has ruined education. They slowly chop away at everything that is wholesome or good, just for the actual fun of destroying such traditions.
The school district’s reasoning was that if they allowed Kennedy, their employee, to pray on the field at a school game, it would violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which protects separation of church and state.
“That reasoning was misguided,” the majority opinion said. “Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s. Nor does a proper understanding of the Amendment’s Establishment Clause require the government to single out private religious speech for special disfavor. “
Gorsuch stated that not just the Constitution, but “the best of our traditions” call for “mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”
The Court’s ruling also stated that there is a distinct reason for why speech like Kennedy’s is protected by both the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses.
“That the First Amendment doubly protects religious speech is no accident. It is a natural outgrowth of the framers’ distrust of government attempts to regulate religion and suppress dissent,” Gorsuch wrote.
Common Sense Applied
For me, it’s common sense that Kennedy’s prayer is not government speech. However, leftists clearly need further explanation. Gorsuch obliged, writing that although Kennedy is a government employee, “his words were not “pursuant to a government policy,” he was not “seeking to convey a government-created message,” and he was not acting in the normal scope of his duties because the game was over.”
The coach was on his own free time. He wasn’t teaching, strategizing, or meeting with players. He just took his “break” to stroll down the 50-yard line and pray.
Here we have a man leading by example, and we’re knocking him down on every level. He already gave up the long-standing tradition of locker-room prayers. They also stopped praying as a team after the game. All he wanted to do was show the kids where to put their faith.
We already have a generation of spoiled, entitled adults who think they don’t have to work, they don’t have to contribute to society, and they don’t have to honor the laws of the land. Guess what happens if we continue to take away the leaders that influence the next generation? I promise you, it doesn’t make things better; it makes them worse. But it doesn’t have to.
A Mustard Seed
When I was a kid, we said morning prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the pledge to the Texas flag in class every single day. I actually remember when we said our last prayer out loud, and switched to a moment of silence. There was a paragraph read to us, explaining that we could pray silently, but we didn’t have to. Most of my classmates continued to put their hands together and bow their heads.
Many years ago, I was teaching an English class when the announcements came on. I looked around and realized these kids had no clue what the moment of silence represented. So I bowed my head and prayed.
I didn’t actually care if I was allowed to or not, it seemed like the right thing to do. I have continued to do that ever since. Many times, students have asked what I’m doing. And I’m always happy to say “when I was a kid….” and end that with “so now I pray quietly to ask for that same guidance.”
The fact that the SUPREME COURT just upheld Coach Kennedy’s right to pray is so much bigger than people right now realize. Right now, it reads like a small victory. But remember, the bible says if you have faith as tiny as a mustard seed, amazing things can happen. God’s miracles can be performed.
Consider this: God installed Donald Trump in the highest office in the land, when no one thought it was possible. And while he was there, Trump reshaped the highest court in the land. The Senate confirmed 234 of his judge appointments, including a landmark 3 Supreme Court Justices. It is abundantly clear that SCOTUS was an integral part of God’s plan. Now, the conservative court planted a mustard seed. Maybe my grandchildren will know a world where a man who prays for his team is valued. A world where a prayer is appreciated. That world will raise a generation of great thinkers, much like our grandfather’s fathers did.