Will the Supreme Court Remind Americans: “…or Prohibiting the Exercise Thereof” Religion?

After a 7-year legal ordeal, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in high school football coach Joe Kennedy’s prayer case. According to The Daily Signal, the Court will “ultimately decide whether a public-school employee is allowed to participate in silent prayer in view of students while on the clock.”

MSN.com reported Coach Kennedy “was fired by a Washington school district for kneeling and praying on the field after games.” He put it succinctly, saying, he wants “to be a coach, and I get to thank God afterwards.”

Kennedy has prayed after each game, “win or lose,” since 2008, when he became the Bremerton High School football coach. But this act, though brief, wasn’t frivolous for Kennedy. For him, when he accepted the coaching position, he’d made a “covenant with God” that he “would give him the credit and thank him after every game….”

For people watching, it was “not a big deal.” As Kennedy explained, after each game, he goes to the 50-yard-line, kneels, and prays for several seconds. That’s it. Reportedly, “players became curious… and some asked if they could join him.”

The odd thing is, “no one had filed a complaint about the prayers….” It appears the school district decided on its own that “he could no longer pray with his players.”

Coach Kennedy accommodated the district when he agreed not to pray with players, and he said he “never prayed with the kids ever again.”

But there was that covenant he’d made with God. Not something that, for the coach, was negotiable. But, as things are with school districts these days, they pushed it further. Total submission, or else.

Kennedy didn’t pray with players, but he continued to pray after each game in the middle of the field, alone, silently, for “eight to 12 seconds.” Then Kennedy said, “moving the goalpost,” the district told him he could no longer pray on the field “if people could see me.”

Apparently, the district views Kennedy’s silent prayer as an “establishment of religion.”

Perhaps SCOTUS will remind people about the second portion of the U.S. Constitution’s “religion clause.” “…or prohibiting the exercise thereof.”

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