The coming weeks will be filled with significant Supreme Court decisions that will determine the way America will look and function in the near future. Everyone's eyes, of course, are on the Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which was originally an attempt to safeguard their right to kill more infants. In light of the draft decision of Justice Alito that was leaked in the early part of May, it could result in the throttling of Moloch himself. There is also a case involving gun rights which is likely to end the constitutionally unconstitutional “may issue” laws that restrict all but a small portion of American citizens from carrying guns in public. In the final decision, the school choice case of Maine will, in conjunction with Hosanna-Tabor Trinity Lutheran and Espinoza, eliminate the majority of the Blaine Amendments. These amendments prohibit states from treating private secular schools with more respect than religious schools.
There isn't much that has been reported about a case involving school prayers that originated in Washington, named Kennedy V. Bremerton School District. The details are a bit obscure, but the issue is straightforward. Are there any restrictions on an American citizen praying during a sporting event when there is no requirement to join him in prayer, or could his employer, which is a local school board, sack him for doing so?
The ruling, which is expected to be 6-3 to affirm the validity on the rights of a football coach to say the prayer, will rewrite some of the dumbest Supreme Court decisions on religion. The left naturally views this as a crisis of the soul. While they claim to have the right to make your children a better person while shouting “Armageddon!” at the mention of the name of our Lord and spreading of His instructions.
The article is lengthy with 7,000+ words and appears to be more focused on discrediting the defendant in the case: Joe Kennedy. The reason I was able to work my way through the abyss of obscurity was to figure out how sitting in prayer at a football field could possibly be classified as “an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy.”
This is the way Sports Illustrated frames the issue.
Laser is the lead lawyer for the Bremerton School District, and the President/CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Rachel Laser's argument for a wider range of rights begins with a base, which is the same for both sides, that the two distinct sides of a country are at opposite ends of a wide and ever-growing divide. Both advocate for their versions of “rights.” Both cling to the same document which is the U.S. Constitution. However, Laser is able to distinguish the manner in which they are pushing. One side relies on facts, she claims. Another, she says that they distort the facts. (Four scholars were in agreement.) She (and three scholars) identify the other side to be “white Christian nationalists.” They believe that America was made by a dominant group of their kind and must always have laws which reflect the origins of America.
Many of them, Laser continues (and four scholars concur) reside in a nation they claim they no longer recognize, as well as many of them who believe in an “other” America that now is there. One which has elected the first Black president (2008) and embraced the demise of an ethnically majority of white Christian majority ('14) and praised the legality of gay marriage ('15) and was the first to elect a record number of women into Congress (124 in the last election).
Although its numbers declined, Christian conservatives were reenergized over the last seven years in general. This is due in large part to the presidency of Donald Trump as well as his plans for a Muslim bar and immigration policies as well as his border wall and encouraging rhetoric; and also the appointments for religious conservatives in the most powerful judiciary post.
The Christian conservative undertaking–described by three Kennedy supporters to SI as “a war”–led to an informal playbook, a strategy that Laser refers to as “jujitsu” and others (including two scholars) describe as “white Christian fragility.” At its core, they argue, is an intentional misdirection built not on facts but fear. Similar to when religious conservatives asserted that those who advocate for marriage equality do not support equality, but are opposed to religion. People who fight for equality are often portrayed as trying to take away rights from Christians. This logic twisting renders the arguments nonsensical and implies it is true that Christian nationalism has lost its rights. All to continue a culture war strategy that is based on an exaggeration of stakes.
“That's what this case is about,” Laser declares. “A movement that is so committed they're not going to stop. They will do anything to undermine our democracy in order to attain their objectives.”
The movement, as per Laser and three other scholars, is supported by a billion dollar industry that brands its arguments not under the guise of “Christian nationalism” but the more acceptable “religious freedom.” Laser (and three scholars) claim that this is part of the propaganda campaign to discredit others. She also refers to briefs that have been filed to support Kennedy and the SCOTUS docket of groups that have made public statements for a Muslim travel bans, and also against voter rights LGBTQ rights and uphold Roe v. Wade. The ledger is described by her as being a “who's who of religious extremists in this country.” (Responding to that description in an email, First Liberty special counsel Jeremy Dys wrote, “I am not aware of this. What I know is we would stand up for the Kennedy family regardless of what faith he holds.”)
Did you get it? If you're looking to prohibit public prayer, it is a sign of your commitment to Constitutional principles in addition to American democracy. If you are planning to hold a prayer in public, you're a “white Christian nationalist” obsessed with “white replacement theory” and likely a racist virulent at the same time.
Lawrence Tribe, who, when he's not talking about Trump, is able to appear to be calm, is in the middle position among all the “experts” interviewed by Sports Illustrated. He isn't a fan of the bizarre views pushed by Laser; however, he believes that her opinion should prevail.
When Trump appointed a moderate judge, Amy Coney Barrett, to the Supreme Court in October 2020, the conservatives added another judge to their court. Additional decisions on Kennedy followed, and more appeals followed too. However, in September 2021, just as it was predicted, SCOTUS put Kennedy on its docket. However, it only had a larger majority of conservatives to decide.
For Tribe and three other scholars, it's not an excellent thing. He believes that SCOTUS will decide with a 6-3 vote for Kennedy's side. If this occurs, he claims, America “will look much more authoritarian.” He refers to the case of Roe V. Wade, as an illustration, noting that those who favor ruling in the case are in a distinct majority (around 33%, according to an earlier Gallup survey). “Because of gerrymandering, they're exercising the majority of the power, and they have a court with true believers,” He says. “The nation is quickly moving towards a more or less dire situation. The country is less democratic, and more secluded.
“And, in the long run, that will make us all less free.”
I am not going to rehash the drum here; however, it is true that the “separation of church and state” isn't part of the constitution. How it is perceived in those in the Bremerton School District and some of the experts mentioned in this article, doesn't represent the majority of the history or the beginnings of the United States. Sure, there were a few “Deists” that the left is known to use as evidence that the Founders were not religious. However, they were in the minority. At the founding, all states required office holders to be Christian. More than a third of states imposed taxes to help aid the church that was established in the state. In the Colonial period, many colonies penalized people for not attending church. I'm not certain when that came to an end, however, the widespread nature of it was likely to have been well-known to the founding fathers. Blue Laws covering most commercial activities were in place well into the 1970s, and are still in force for the sale of liquor in more than fifty percent of the United States and the Supreme Court has upheld these laws.
If we look at it in the context of Jefferson’s (in)famous message to the Danbury Baptist Association, it is not in reference to the disconnection of religion from the government. it is clearly talking about the need to prevent the government from interfering in the affairs of religious groups or influencing the conscience of an individual to follow a particular religion. That is, even Jefferson did not consider removing religion and religious practices from public spaces.
Although it is not an element of that Supreme Court argument, I believe that each day, Americans at school and at work are faced with an unending stream of sermons for any of a variety that belong to Modernist and Secularist religions that range from Marxism, Climate Change, and mask-nazism, to Diversity and Inclusion. Each of them has the basic tenets of the religion of the creation of God, the original sin, the fall from grace, redemption, and salvation. There are laws that are required to follow and shibboleths to master at the risk of being censured or expelled. In fact you can remember Coach Kennedy who attempted to place an individual religion onto the same scale as the current religious institutions that are backed by the state.
What's more bizarre is that the same people who say that a football coach praying by himself or with a few players of both teams in the field, causes some players to feel excluded or uncomfortable are satisfied to defend “drag queen story hour” in the public library and teaching gay sexuality and transgenderism to students and demanding everyone agree that there's a thing called “birthing people” and there is a woman named “Lia Thomas,” and accusing you of being a bigot if you don't agree, or are thinking of bathing in lighter fluid or using a Brillo pad after hearing this stuff.
I'm hoping that the ruling in this case will begin slowing down Anthony Kennedy's wildly anti-religion-based jurisprudence which resulted in prohibiting school prayer entirely. At the very least, it will open an opportunity that we will have the space, similar to that of Dobbs and the Texas Heartbeat Law, to begin removing unconstitutional limitations on the free practice of religious beliefs.