I am not religious. Practically speaking, I consider myself an “ethnic Jew”, often neutral on the religious side, believe strongly in the separation of church and state, and am extremely wary of those who justify politics based on their belief system. but at the same time,
I respect those who believe in their religion, not because I share their beliefs but because I recognize their right to believe. And being a member of a religion shared by a small minority of Americans, it never bothered me that the religion of most Americans, Christianity, was treated differently, better, than theirs. It was the only practical way to deal with it, as there doesn’t seem to be much point in keeping the school open on Christmas Day when only a few of us show up.
But that was when the free exercise of religion was seen as a valuable right rather than a battle line. Religion has since lost its respect for a certain segment of society, but it has become a stain of madness. Affirming one’s belief in God no longer calls for jerks, but mockery. To be fair, some use religion as a political weapon, some use it honestly and some use it deceptively. Demanding religious exemption from anything you would rather not do, wearing a mask for example, not only reduces the legitimacy of your belief system, but reinforces the belief that religion is a ploy to circumvent responsibility to others.
The Supreme Court granted testimony in a strange case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.
Petitioner Joseph Kennedy lost his job as a public high school football coach because he knelt and gave a quiet prayer by himself in the middle of the field after the game. After considering the preliminary petition in which Kennedy sought to review lower courts’ refusal to grant him a preliminary injunction, four members of that court noted that “the Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public school teachers is troubling and may warrant review in the future”, but concluded that this The court should remain in its own hands until lower courts finally determine the reason for Kennedy’s termination.
The statement also noted that Kennedy had a claim that had not been processed at the time under the Free Exercise Clause. On remand, lower courts found—and the school district eventually agreed—that Kennedy lost his job solely because of his religious expression. However, the Ninth Circuit ruled against him again. The court did not double down on its “disturbing” finding of free speech, which turns nearly all speech of public school employees into government speech lacking any protection under the First Amendment, but it did come to the remarkable conclusion that even if Kennedy’s prayer was private expression protected by free speech clauses and freedom of exercise (which it was undoubtedly so), the incorporation clause nevertheless required its abolition. The court refused to conduct an OnBank review of the 11 judges’ objections.
One of the main objections to the assertion here was that the “facts” at issue were in substantial dispute, even though the facts of the case are corrected by the appellate courts setting them up as if there could be no probable question as to what happened. Essentially, the Supreme Court chose to rule on a hypothetical case, with the coach kneeling and praying in the middle of the field after the game. He didn’t make the team pray. He did not impose his beliefs on anyone else. But he showed his beliefs in a very public way.
Was this an educator of young, impressionable minds using his position to appear to enforce religion, or to tacitly promote a religious practice in the context of his homework, or just a human being practicing his personal beliefs?
The questions asked are:
1. Whether a public school employee who says a short, quiet prayer by himself while in school and visible to students is engaged in governmental discourse lacks any protection under the First Amendment.
2. Whether, assuming that such religious expression is private and protected under the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Practice clauses, the founding clause compels public schools to prohibit it.
Whether or not these questions reflect the actual facts of the case to some extent. These facts will be under consideration by the Supreme Court, even if they are not really what happened below. But the court is considering the case, given its current constituency and excessive fears that a “conservative majority” is bent on raising debt above other concerns, such as equal rights, in the protection scheme and constitutional exceptions.
In the case’s first iteration, four justices issued a statement in response to the refusal to testify that was almost certain to raise eyebrows, stating that the refusal was not because the case was unworthy of testimony, but because there was insufficient evidence. Factual determination of whether the coach was fired for religious observance or failure to perform his duties as coach. Since then, another female judge has joined the court, and there has been some controversy over her religious sensitivity.
Perhaps most disturbing about the opinion of the Ninth Circle is the language that can be understood to mean that the coach’s duty to be a role model requires the coach to abstain from any semblance of religious faith—even when the coach is clearly not on duty. . I hope this is not the message the Ninth Circuit intended to convey, but its opinion can certainly be read that way. After asserting that the petitioner had been hired to “deliver a positive message through the example set by his conduct”, the court criticized him for “appearing in the media and praying in the BHS stands (while wearing BHS clothing and surrounded by others).” This disposition, in the opinion of the Ninth Circuit, is a “signal[ed] His intention is to send a message to students and parents about appropriate behavior and what he values as a coach.”
The clear division here is between those who argue that the coach can pray whatever he wants in his own time, but when it is at school hour, leave the prayer outside, and those who argue that this was a harmless and entitled choice. He rides on his knees and practices his religious beliefs. But the unspoken argument is that the two sides would shift in an instant if he rode it during the national anthem to support Black Lives Matter, reflecting the “religious” beliefs held more highly by the warring tribes at the moment.