The left always goes too far. And each time, it often serves to torment people who just want to be left alone. This time going too far meant challenging a high school football coach in Washington State for praying on the football field after each game—at the 50-yardline—silently—alone. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, recognized the First Amendment’s Religion Clause has two equally important parts.
The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” [emphasis added].
According to the New York Post, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, put it like this, “The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”
The opinion noted, as reported by Townhall’s Katie Pavlich, that the former Marine and football coach, Joseph Kennedy, “began working as a football coach at Bremerton High School in 2008… Like many other football players and coaches across the country, Mr. Kennedy made it a practice to give ‘thanks through prayer on the playing field’ at the conclusion of each game.”
Kennedy had made a sacred promise to thank God for “what the players had accomplished…” and for being a part of the players’ lives. Kennedy would take a knee and pray after each team had completed their handshakes with the other team.
Somehow, that was too much for leftists.
But Gorsuch’s opinion recognized though Kennedy prayed briefly, silently, and alone, “the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway. It did so because it thought anything less could lead a reasonable observer to conclude (mistakenly) that it endorsed Mr. Kennedy’s religious beliefs. That reasoning was misguided.”
The opinion concluded, “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. The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”
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