The Supreme Court heard a case this week involving a high school football coach who was in the habit of praying with his players at the end of a football game on the 50 yard line.
As reported by NPR, Joseph Kennedy, a coach for the varsity and junior varsity high school football teams in Bremerton, Washington, would routinely take a knee and say a prayer with his players at midfield. Eventually school administrators asked Kennedy to stop praying with students. While he cooperated for a short time, the Marine veteran soon returned to his practice of praying right after the game. Initially this was mostly at away games, and with little fanfare. By the time of the big homecoming game, Kennedy had lawyered up and decided to make a big spectacle of his public prayer.
Kennedy claimed it was a “personal” choice.
The school system’s administration retorted that he had made a public spectacle of it.
Attendance at the game doubled, five TV stations showed up, and a group of Satanists unsuccessfully attempted to take the field to perform their own competing ritual. After the final whistle blew, a largely pro-prayer crowd mobbed the field, knocking over some band members and cheerleaders. Surrounded by TV cameras and some of his players, Kennedy knelt to pray on the field while a state representative placed his hand on Kennedy’s shoulder in support.
Now, personally, this is an issue that I don’t care much about. I’m secure enough in my beliefs that public prayer doesn’t bother me at all. If others want to pray, I can just close my eyes and meditate.
But these are high school kids. And many of them may feel that they need to pray in order to keep their place on the team.
Don’t Christians have enough places where they can pray that they don’t have to do it at school?
Like at home.
Or in a church.
In any event, the case is Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. I don’t think I’m too far from out in left field when I predict that this conservative court will side with the football coach.