While other recent Supreme Court rulings have garnered a lot of attention recently, the one handed down Monday should make anyone who believes in the First Amendment celebrate.
In a 6-3 decision, the High Court ruled that high school football coach Joe Kennedy was wrongfully fired because he insisted on continuing his right to pray in silence despite the school telling him that ‘he could not. The court said it violated Kennedy’s First Amendment right to religious freedom.
For those unfamiliar, Kennedy was the coach at Bremerton High School in Washington State, which is a public school. After games, Kennedy would kneel at the 50-yard line and pray alone in silence. When the players noticed him and approached him asking if they could join him, he allowed them to. He never said or implied that he expected his players to or that the school that employed him endorsed Christianity over other religions, but that apparently wasn’t enough for the fanatics. anti-religious.
The argument against Kennedy was that by allowing him to pray in public, players might feel compelled to participate if they would not have done so otherwise, lest the coach hold back playing time from them. they didn’t. But if he never said or did anything that would make a reasonable person think that, why should the coach be punished?
In our view, the court scored a touchdown here.
Just because someone is at work doesn’t mean they have to give up their right to religious freedom. The First Amendment does not stop at the public school property line.
We doubt the three liberal justices who voted against Kennedy would ban him from wearing religious head coverings like a yarmulke or turban while on the job, even if these express their respective religions just as publicly as a silent prayer.
We think liberal justices — like many left-leaning anti-Christians — believe that the mere mention of Christianity in school should be verboten, which flies in the face of any plain reading of the First Amendment.
We hope this will serve as the final word for any other public school that wishes to stifle silent prayer in the name of “separation of church and state”.
We also hope that those who wish to practice their religion in non-obstructive ways, such as praying silently at work, will now feel free to do so, as permitted by the Constitution.