Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

Source: Associated Press.

Without reading the decision itself, I am glad to see this result.

My view is that the principle of separation of church and state does not require states or their agencies to avoid entanglement with religious practices. I see no Constitutional reason why there cannot be, for example, Catholic or even Muslim public schools, although I can imagine any number of social reasons why it might be best for schools to remain largely secular.

56 thoughts on “Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

      1. He also had no problem having sex with young slaves. He did write his own Bible, however, keeping Jesus as a man, not a god.

        This was not an earthshaking case. Most folks have little problem with prayer so long as it is strictly voluntary and not for coercion. I think this coach got caught up in a bureaucratic snag.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. But public schools are NOT religious in OUR lifetime. By having the appearance of school-sponsorship, the violation is there. The activist, religiously motivated Justices on SCOTUS have made it clear in both school related decisions this term, that they would prefer a Christian nation.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “By having the appearance of school-sponsorship, the violation is there.”

          The school made that argument. SCOTUS said no.


          1. RE: “Their interpretation is guided too much by their religious biases.”

            What makes you think so?


          2. RE: “Common sense.”

            In other words, you can’t explain yourself or there is no objective support for your assumptions.


          3. I have explained myself; you just don’t like my explanation. Not my problem.

            The religious zealots on the Supreme Court have shown their true colors with damned near EVERY ruling, including those concerning the doctrine of separation between church and state. Finding in favor of religious liberty over the liberty of others, and in conflict with the First Amendment, is a big issue, in my mind, as a member of a minority religion.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Try a little thought experiment, Mr. Roberts.

            If Coach Muhammad suggested his players join him and set out prayer rugs on the 50-yard line and bow down towards Mecca to pray, would you be okay with that? What if his players feared negative consequences if they did not go along? Still Okay?

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Maybe someone can fill me in on the particulars, but if it’s not mandatory, I don’t see why it should be a problem.

    An anecdote: I went to college with a guy who had played HS football. He said there was a team bible study type group and you were strongly “encouraged” to join, which he did not. He said he felt his playing time suffered as a result. People are really weird with their high school football and Protestantism.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The JV coach I played under MADE us say The Lord’s Prayer after every practice and game. I felt obligated to participate, even though I did not, at the time, know the words. (Jews don’t say that prayer).

      If the coach in question took his prayer circle, which I do NOT begrudge, away from the 50 yard line and not made a big showing of it, and it was understood that it was NOT mandatory, then there would have been no case. But Public Schools ARE, like it or not, part of the government of that particular state. By performing his ritual center stage and asking the players to participate, but not being clear that if they did not, it would have an effect on how they were judged by the coach, it appears to violate the concept of separation of church and state.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Do you know for sure if there were repercussions (limits on opportunities) for those who chose NOT to participate? He can say he didn’t ask them directly to participate, but implied outcomes could have been in place.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Once again, I see nothing that indicates how the PLAYERS felt to have their head coach pray in the middle of the filed when he could have easily done it on the sideline, in the parking lot or in his car, outside of the realm as his position as “head coach”. The implications the court considered did not take into account what the players thought or felt concerning the matter.

            Did they feel pressure, phantom or not, to participate in the prayers in order to maintain their positions on the team?

            So my question still remains unanswered. Were there implied outcomes in the minds of the players to feel coerced into participation?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. “They also recently ruled that Maine couldn’t stop parents from spending school vouchers at parochial schools”

            So, parents only could choose from secular schools? Isn’t that discriminating against religion?


          3. If we think that public education is good for society in general, like roads and clean water, then the tax money is not just tuition to be credited for private schools, secular or sectarian.

            Put another way, CO status does not entitle you to withhold taxes for defense. Or, closer to home, your arsenal does not give you tax credits against supporting the DOD.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. The wasn’t the issue.

            Maine sought to provide vouchers for private schools of the parent’s choice, UNLESS they chose a school run by a religious institution but otherwise fully accredited.


          5. So?

            They are given to allow parents to choose a private school.

            If the school is accredited, it is contrary to the First Amendment and the 14th to discriminate against those private schools operated by churches.

            Barring choices of religious schools is a religious choice.


          6. Be careful of opening a proverbial worm can.
            Religious organizations already get tax preferences. The argument is that the state should have no influence over religion as established by the First Amendment.

            Do private schools enjoy the same tax breaks?

            Liked by 2 people

          7. No. It is holding true to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Forcing the state to pay for religious schools with PUBLIC money is counter to that.


          8. Why is it establishment of religion for the state to provide a voucher for a private school of the parents’ choice if the accredited school is run by a religious organization? Isn’t excluding them a religious choice too?


          9. Because you say so?

            If a state awarded voucher ONLY to religious schools, or to religious schools only for certain religions, then you would have a point.

            But allowing religious and secular schools to compete for the parent’s choice on a level playing field is the only religion-neutral way to provide vouchers.


          10. Religious schools, regardless of affiliation, should not be receiving public monies. Period. When public money goes to religious schools of any kind, that is akin to endorsement of that religion. All should be EXCLUDED, not included.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. IF the state recognizes the rights of a religious school without providing PUBLIC money to them, there is no issue. When PUBLIC money goes to PRIVATE Religious schools, it is akin to the state endorsing the school with money that should not be going to them.

            It is not about religion; it IS about public funding for religions.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Another straw man? Two in the same thread. Are you going for some kind of record?

            Once that money goes in to the bank, the earner is free to do with it what he or she will. That includes tithing to their church of CHOICE. But for the STATE to directly fund religious schools, including through the use of vouchers because the number of public schools in this particular case are limited due to geography, is a violation of the separation of church and state.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. And firefighting parents are free to do with their earnings as they see fit. Forcing the state to fund religious schools is akin to endorsing a particular religion. A violation of teh Establishment clause.


          14. Parents are provided a portion of the money the state set aside to educate their children to shop for an education that suits them.

            At worst, it makes the public schools try harder to attract them.


          15. Camel’s nose. Kinda like your position on any tighter gun controls.

            Now do we have room for improvement in our public school systems? No argument there. The sad fact is that public schools in wealthy districts often excel. Some are on par with the most exclusive private schools.

            We have charter schools that seem effective in many places. And teachers’ unions can be coounterproductive in many instances.

            I submit that there are ways to really improve our public schools, but it takes political will and funding changes.

            I am of the belief that introducing religious schools funded by tax monies can chip away at the “wall” that a secular democracy needs to keep. Particularly in a country with a myriad of religions and hundreds of sects, many just within Protestant faith alone. And even more important, is the politicizing by religions seeking power.

            Liked by 2 people

          16. Target is as good as it is because there’s a Wal-Mart across the street.

            The same thing applies to schools. Competition drives quality better than regulation ever could. But competition can only happen on a level playing field.

            There is no level playing field in education because sending your kid to a private school means paying for their education twice,

            Should be benefits of the marketplace accrue only to the children of parents who can afford that?


          17. “There is no level playing field in education because sending your kid to a private school means paying for their education twice,”

            That is BULLSHIT. Society needs to educate children and everybody has to pay for that. People with children. People with no children. People who will never have children. It is a cost of a functioning society. The idea that these long-suffering “Christians” have to pay twice for their children’s education is dishonest propaganda. There is no more reason to give parents a voucher for a private school than to give me one for a trip to the Riviera.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. People who send their children to private school have already paid their share of the cost of education through taxation and must pay again for tuition.

            Are you justifying a two tier education system, one for the working family and another for the wealthy?


          19. “Are you justifying a two tier education system, one for the working family and another for the wealthy?”

            I am suggesting that we quit starving public schools. Especially in areas that serve the less wealthy. I will also note that the movement towards “Christian” schools was the direct result of Brown v Board of education. We have enough tribalism in our country without the government enabling it more.

            Liked by 1 person

          20. Odd, the Catholic school where I grew up was integrated before the public schools.

            Market competition will make the public schools better as well as offering superior comoetition.


          21. You claim to have superior knowledge of the Constitution on so many occasions, I am surprised you cannot see how state support of a religion through education vouchers (STATE money) is an affront to the establishment cause.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. Excluding a provider of any type from a government purchase because the provider is owned by a church would be a violation of religious freedom.

            SO long as the church owned school meets the State’s standards and accepts students without regard to their religion, they are just like any other private school.

            Note that SCOTUS agrees, 6 to 3. Do you also question their understanding of the Constitution.

            Baring religious schools has always been a payoff to the teacher’s unions who simply don’t want to compete.


          23. …a payoff to the teacher’s unions ”

            Teacher’s unions have nothing to do with the 1A and establishment of a state religion.

            Strawman number 3 today. Guinness just called to congratulate you on your new record.


          24. Was an amicus brief filed by the Maine teacher’s union in this case? If not, then your claim of union involvement in this instance is a LIE.

            If you are not seeing the theocratic agenda from the current court, you are blinding yourself to the possibility. I would. feel exactly the same way if it were a Jewish school being considered. You appear to agree with SCOTUS simply because it comports with YOUR view on the 1A. And like your view on 2A, it is full of holes.

            Liked by 1 person

          25. “Isn’t that discriminating against religion?”

            Sure. As the Constitution requires. We are a secular nation.

            A public school student should not be recruited, pressured, or influenced by a public school official to take part in public religious ceremonies on public property. A clear violation of the Establishment Clause if there ever was one. But we now have a Christofascist SCOTUS that does what it wants without reference to the Constitution or precedent. It needs to be drastically reformed. Congress has the power and the authority to do that. And it should.

            Liked by 1 person

          26. “Catholic school …”

            Catholic schools were not part of the wave of “Christian” schools that formed in the wake of Brown V. Board of Education. I think you know that. So again, not honest.


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