Let’s unpack this statement. In the case Kennedy v. Bremerton School District which was decided in June 2022, this supreme court chose religion over secularism in a big departure from decades of precedent from both “lower” courts and previous Supreme Courts. To summarize: Coach Kennedy made it a point to pray at the 50 yard line right after football games; he said that he was exercising his right as a citizen to pray to his god and give thanks. The problem is that he also has a coach’s cap on which brings his position as a government employee into the picture, thereby violating what is called the Establishment Clause of the Constitution (see the First Amendment). The school district said “Stop it” and Coach Kennedy said “No.” Fights in the “lower” courts consistently sided with that Establishment Clause over Coach Kennedy’s Free Exercise right as an individual. That is…until it made it to this Supreme Court.
The Bremerton lawyers argued that there was significant coercion and pressure placed on the young athletes when Coach went out to pray; while Coach (and oblivious theocrats) will say that students’ playing time and good favor with the Coach have nothing to do with whether or not they join in prayer…common sense says otherwise. Those same lawyers also argued that the parents’ free exercise to raise their children in the religion of their choice was also being infringed upon.
Coach Kennedy’s lawyers argued that he was exercising his Free Exercise as a private citizen and not as an employee of the school district. That’s all Gorsuch needed to hear when he stated as part of the majority opinion that Coach Kennedy’s prayer was “short, private, personal”.
This Supreme Court sided with Coach Kennedy’s Free Speech and Free Exercise over the Establishment Clause. In generations past courts consistently used what is called the “Lemon Test” to guide their decisions when those two rights conflicted, usually erring on the side of separation of church and state. Not this court. They actually said that they look at “history and tradition” over “purpose and precedent”; this should scare you, especially since it won’t be the last time that they use that. The separation of church and state is fundamental to this country; without it we become a theocracy. That is exactly what we are fighting to prevent. This is why we ask for your help in this fight.
#secular #separationofchurchandstate #supremecourt #theocracy #christiannationalism #secularism #establishmentclause