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“ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: btfc
Date: April 25, 2022 03:12PM
Why, of course they do!

‘ The Supreme Court’s conservative majority seemed to be searching on Monday for a narrow way to rule in favor of a former high school football coach who lost his job for praying at the 50-yard line after his team’s games.

The task was complicated by factual disputes over the conduct of the coach, Joseph A. Kennedy, and the shifting rationales offered by the school district in Bremerton, Wash., for disciplining him.

According to Paul D. Clement, one of Mr. Kennedy’s lawyers, his client had sought to offer only a brief, silent and solitary prayer of thanks after his team’s games. Earlier episodes, including prayers in the locker room, were not relevant, Mr. Clement said.

Richard B. Katskee, a lawyer for the Bremerton School District, said the school was entitled to require that its employees refrain from public prayer if students were likely to feel coerced into participating.

He was challenged by some of the more conservative justices, who said the district had initially argued that it could stop Mr. Kennedy from praying on a different ground: that the school would be perceived to be endorsing religion by allowing it. They suggested that the fear of coercion was a rationalization after the fact.

Justices across the ideological spectrum peppered the lawyers with hypothetical questions. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked whether Mr. Kennedy could have prayed aloud while standing with his arms outstretched. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked whether Mr. Kennedy would have been disciplined for protesting the invasion of Ukraine, climate change or racial injustice.

The tenor of the questioning from the court’s conservative members was unsurprising, as four of them had issued a statement questioning a preliminary ruling in favor of the officials from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco.

“The Ninth Circuit’s understanding of the free speech rights of public-school teachers is troubling and may justify review in the future,” Justice Alito wrote at the time. He was joined by Justices Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. ‘

[www.nytimes.com]


Free speech for students; that’s completely different!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2022 03:22PM by btfc.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: April 25, 2022 03:28PM
Nearly sixty years ago, on June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayers unconstitutional in the landmark case Engel v. Vitale.

The 50s and 60s were great, we shouldn't be afraid to go back there. Cuz we are going back there.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: pdq
Date: April 25, 2022 03:42PM
If he had bent over toward Mecca at midfield and thanked Allah for his team’s win, do you think it would have gotten this far?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 25, 2022 03:48PM
Quote
pdq
If he had bent over toward Mecca at midfield and thanked Allah for his team’s win, do you think it would have gotten this far?

Nope.



e pluribus unum
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2022 03:54PM
When the Christians take over the government, do you really think they will act as a unit and get along? The Baptists, the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses, the Methodists, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Pentecostals, and on and on?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 25, 2022 04:14PM
Quote
Dennis S
When the Christians take over the government, do you really think they will act as a unit and get along? The Baptists, the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses, the Methodists, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Pentecostals, and on and on?

Past history says no. Catholics will be on the out first. I wonder how long the Mormons can hide in plain sight.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Speedy
Date: April 25, 2022 04:17PM
Quote
Dennis S
When the Christians take over the government, do you really think they will act as a unit and get along? The Baptists, the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses, the Methodists, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Pentecostals, and on and on?

You forgot the Roman Catholics who have already taken over the Supreme Court.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 25, 2022 04:23PM
I fear where this is headed.

Then again, I’m glad to see the sanctity and privacy of the fifty yard line codified into law.



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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 25, 2022 05:11PM
I think the Satanic Temple should weigh in on this one, as amici curiae... that'd be devilishly clever. (See what I did there?)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: $tevie
Date: April 25, 2022 06:04PM
I think we all knew as soon as we heard about this that SCOTUS will rule on the coach's side.

I will be so freaking happy if I am wrong. But I doubt it.



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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: bfd
Date: April 25, 2022 06:38PM
And Americans are willing to criticize the Taliban … SMFH
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: April 25, 2022 07:25PM
If the opinion goes for the coach, I expect this to bite Xtianofascists in the ass really, really hard.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 25, 2022 07:26PM
Quote
$tevie
I think we all knew as soon as we heard about this that SCOTUS will rule on the coach's side.

I will be so freaking happy if I am wrong. But I doubt it.

You won't be wrong. Of course the Court will rule for the coach. I think the only questions are how far they are going to go in trampling over past precedent and how much they are going to allow religion to be pushed down your throat in public settings. I'll bet that it will be up to you to prove that you have been coerced by religious activities in public settings and the coercion will have to be proved to be really very onerous. And if they live up to their previous low standards, they will make any "standards" they establish so vague that no one will have the foggiest notion of where the line is.



e pluribus unum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 06:42AM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Don C
Date: April 25, 2022 07:36PM
I too was wondering how a Muslim or even a Jewish prayer would have played out. I have not heard anyone mention that he has a private office available which would have been perfectly suitable. Except for the public display, of course.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 25, 2022 09:04PM
Now that I've actually had a chance to read it, this part of the NYT article struck me as interesting:

"Justice Kavanaugh, himself a basketball coach, said the possibility of coercion posed an authentic problem.

“What about the player who thinks, ‘If I don’t participate in this, I won’t start next week?’” he asked, adding that “every player’s trying to get on the good side of the coach.”

Justice Kavanaugh said the solution was elusive. “I don’t know how to deal with that, frankly,” he said."

... he just admitted that coercion is a real issue; and by bringing up the issue of every player trying to get on the good side of the coach, it also brings up the issue of religious favoritism/nepotism: do the players get rewarded in some way for praying with the coach? Even if it's minor, like they get picked more often to play in key positions? This is a very slippery slope... "if you don't pray (or pray with me), there's something wrong with you" is the implicit message here.

As much as I can't stand Kavanaugh, the fact that he brought this up tells me that there's at least the possibility of seeing why this is all such a problem.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: April 25, 2022 09:12PM
Jesus loved beer!
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 25, 2022 09:16PM
Quote
PeterB
Now that I've actually had a chance to read it, this part of the NYT article struck me as interesting:

"Justice Kavanaugh, himself a basketball coach, said the possibility of coercion posed an authentic problem.

“What about the player who thinks, ‘If I don’t participate in this, I won’t start next week?’” he asked, adding that “every player’s trying to get on the good side of the coach.”

Justice Kavanaugh said the solution was elusive. “I don’t know how to deal with that, frankly,” he said."

... he just admitted that coercion is a real issue; and by bringing up the issue of every player trying to get on the good side of the coach, it also brings up the issue of religious favoritism/nepotism: do the players get rewarded in some way for praying with the coach? Even if it's minor, like they get picked more often to play in key positions? This is a very slippery slope... "if you don't pray (or pray with me), there's something wrong with you" is the implicit message here.

As much as I can't stand Kavanaugh, the fact that he brought this up tells me that there's at least the possibility of seeing why this is all such a problem.

but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 25, 2022 09:25PM
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Are you angling for a judgeship??



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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 25, 2022 09:25PM
Quote
Speedy
Quote
Dennis S
When the Christians take over the government, do you really think they will act as a unit and get along? The Baptists, the Mormons, the Jehova’s Witnesses, the Methodists, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Pentecostals, and on and on?

You forgot the Roman Catholics who have already taken over the Supreme Court.

I don’t consider Catholics Christians. (See what I’m talking about.) I’m just kidding to make a point.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: April 25, 2022 09:29PM
Same old 'Christians trying to push everyone around' garbage. I'm sick of it.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Racer X
Date: April 26, 2022 12:01AM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Are you angling for a judgeship??

no. I see a connection, but I don't consider personal worrying or second guessing favoritism as coercion.



********************************************
“A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand.” Seneca the Younger

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)

Judge Lee wrote that “we cannot jettison our constitutional rights, even if the goal behind a law is laudable." 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

[www.youtube.com]
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Janit
Date: April 26, 2022 05:50AM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Are you angling for a judgeship??

no. I see a connection, but I don't consider personal worrying or second guessing favoritism as coercion.

So a page from the mobster's playbook is not coercion? "Such a great career you could have. It would be a pity if something got in the way,"
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 26, 2022 08:07AM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Are you angling for a judgeship??

no. I see a connection, but I don't consider personal worrying or second guessing favoritism as coercion.

The semantics do matter and your points are valid, but I think that under the semantics is the notion of whether or not a person is harmed by allowing such practices. And harm can come in many forms. A person can be harmed by favoritism; for example, a person much better qualified for a job can be harmed by not getting a job due to nepotism or gender and racial discrimination. So maybe we should focus on potential harm done by such practices rather than on coercion.



e pluribus unum



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 08:14AM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 26, 2022 08:26AM
Quote
Ted King
Quote
Racer X
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Are you angling for a judgeship??

no. I see a connection, but I don't consider personal worrying or second guessing favoritism as coercion.

The semantics do matter and your points are valid, but I think that under the semantics is the notion of whether or not a person is harmed by allowing such practices. And harm can come in many forms. A person can be harmed by favoritism; for example, a person much better qualified for a job can be harmed by not getting a job due to nepotism or gender and racial discrimination. So maybe we should focus on potential harm done by such practices rather than on coercion.

This. If I don't pray with the coach, will I not get made the team captain, etc.? Then I'm losing out because I'm not agreeing with his religion. Or worse yet, if I don't pray with the coach, then I don't get to play in an important game, or I get benched for good. Even if it doesn't happen, the perception matters. By the coach putting his own personal religion on display and encouraging the students to go along with it, he's created an atmosphere where the various players may feel compelled to go along, if for no other reason that they may perceive a consequence if they don't do so.

It's a really slippery slope and if we want to go down this route, again, I'm inclined to ask what the response would be if he happened to be a member of the Satanic Temple and this were happening.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 26, 2022 08:26AM
Quote
PeterB
Now that I've actually had a chance to read it, this part of the NYT article struck me as interesting:

"Justice Kavanaugh, himself a basketball coach, said the possibility of coercion posed an authentic problem.

“What about the player who thinks, ‘If I don’t participate in this, I won’t start next week?’” he asked, adding that “every player’s trying to get on the good side of the coach.”

Justice Kavanaugh said the solution was elusive. “I don’t know how to deal with that, frankly,” he said."

... he just admitted that coercion is a real issue; and by bringing up the issue of every player trying to get on the good side of the coach, it also brings up the issue of religious favoritism/nepotism: do the players get rewarded in some way for praying with the coach? Even if it's minor, like they get picked more often to play in key positions? This is a very slippery slope... "if you don't pray (or pray with me), there's something wrong with you" is the implicit message here.

As much as I can't stand Kavanaugh, the fact that he brought this up tells me that there's at least the possibility of seeing why this is all such a problem.

That is good to see, but maybe I am overly cynical in thinking he will probably find a way to rationalize around the problem.



e pluribus unum
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 26, 2022 11:13AM
I'm sorry to see such deep cynicism about the Court in this thread, because the case actually presents a fascinating problem of the tension between the two "freedom of religion" parts of the First Amendment. There's not just the Establishment Clause preventing government from prescribing religion. There's also the Free Exercise Clause preventing government from interfering with religious practice.

The factual background is critical here. Was there a real danger that students would feel coerced to participate, or that they'd feel the coach favored those who also demonstrated piety? Does the same apply if the coach comes in on Ash Wednesday with a smudge on his forehead? Crosses himself before beginning to eat at the year-end banquet? Prefers not to schedule weekend practices on Sundays?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 26, 2022 11:37AM
Quote
Mr Downtown
I'm sorry to see such deep cynicism about the Court in this thread, because the case actually presents a fascinating problem of the tension between the two "freedom of religion" parts of the First Amendment. There's not just the Establishment Clause preventing government from prescribing religion. There's also the Free Exercise Clause preventing government from interfering with religious practice.

The factual background is critical here. Was there a real danger that students would feel coerced to participate, or that they'd feel the coach favored those who also demonstrated piety? Does the same apply if the coach comes in on Ash Wednesday with a smudge on his forehead? Crosses himself before beginning to eat at the year-end banquet? Prefers not to schedule weekend practices on Sundays?

If you are asking for my personal opinion, then I would say that the Ash Wednesday smudge to the forehead is okay because it is very unlikely to cause players to think they have to also have a smudge on their heads or it could negatively impact their chances of playing. The same pretty much goes with the crossing himself before eating at a school sponsored event. The "no practice on Sunday" thing could be a problem if he instead insisted on practices on Saturday if there were observant Jewish kids on the team that felt their religion forbade them from practicing on Saturdays.

But that is just my personal opinion. The bigger issue here is how the Court will choose to balance religious rights against possible harm to others. Do you think the Court will answer those questions using the "Lemon test" or do you think the conservative majority will use this as an opportunity to create a new set of standards?



e pluribus unum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 11:38AM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: RgrF
Date: April 26, 2022 11:44AM
He wasn't passively practicing his religion, he's an authority figure who had the entire team kneeling and praying with him.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: April 26, 2022 01:13PM
Quote
Dennis S
When the Christians take over the government, do you really think they will act as a unit and get along? The ...the Jehova’s Witnesses...

Well... according to their advertising, JWs won't be involved.

"Jehovah’s Witnesses remain politically neutral for religious reasons, based on what the Bible teaches. We do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments. We believe that the Bible gives solid reasons for following this course."

[www.jw.org]
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: April 26, 2022 01:39PM
Quote
Racer X
but is that coercion? Or just a form of perceived favoritism?

coercion (but not the legal definition) the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats

Coercion
the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will

Moral Coercion
a term that means to exert extreme pressure on a person to make them do or not do a thing.

Criminal Coercion
the term given to restricting unlawfully the freedom of another person by threatening to commit a criminal offense.

Implied Coercion
where a person induces another person into doing something that he does not wants to do.

And...

Undue Influence
improper influence that deprives a person of freedom of choice or substitutes another's choice or desire for the person's own
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 26, 2022 01:48PM
Don't forget the stands full of overly-invested parents watching who is closing their eyes and who is not.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 26, 2022 02:31PM
Quote
RgrF
He wasn't passively practicing his religion, he's an authority figure who had the entire team kneeling and praying with him.

But where's the evidence of coercion? Here's the factual recitation in the Ninth Circuit opinion:
Kennedy began performing these prayers when he first started working at BHS. At the outset, he prayed alone. Several games into his first season, however, a group of BHS players asked Kennedy whether they could join him. "This is a free country," Kennedy replied, "You can do what you want." Hearing that response, the students joined him. Over time, the group grew to include the majority of the team. The BHS players sometimes invited the opposing team to join. BHS principal John Polm testified that he later became aware of a parent's complaint that his son "felt compelled to participate" in Kennedy's religious activity, even though he was an atheist, because "he felt he wouldn't get to play as much if he didn't participate."Kennedy v. Bremerton Sch. Dist., 991 F.3d 1004, 1010-11 (9th Cir. 2021)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 02:44PM by Mr Downtown.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: April 26, 2022 02:37PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
RgrF
He wasn't passively practicing his religion, he's an authority figure who had the entire team kneeling and praying with him.

Cite?
will this do?


Bremerton assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia High School football players as they kneel and pray with him on the field after their game against Bremerton on Oct. 16, 2015, in Bremerton, Wash
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: mattkime
Date: April 26, 2022 03:10PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
I'm sorry to see such deep cynicism about the Court in this thread, because the case actually presents a fascinating problem of the tension between the two "freedom of religion" parts of the First Amendment. There's not just the Establishment Clause preventing government from prescribing religion. There's also the Free Exercise Clause preventing government from interfering with religious practice.

I just don't see anything 'fascinating' about this. If he prayed alone and continued to pray alone then there'd be nothing to talk about.

Quote
Mr Downtown
The factual background is critical here. Was there a real danger that students would feel coerced to participate, or that they'd feel the coach favored those who also demonstrated piety?


Once again, just not interesting. Students will try to get into the coaches good graces so they're offered better opportunities. This is high school sports 101.


Quote
Mr Downtown
Does the same apply if the coach comes in on Ash Wednesday with a smudge on his forehead? Crosses himself before beginning to eat at the year-end banquet? Prefers not to schedule weekend practices on Sundays?

I just don't understand how any of these examples are worth comparing to the case before the court.



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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 26, 2022 04:18PM
.



e pluribus unum



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 04:55PM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: $tevie
Date: April 26, 2022 05:49PM
That photo kind of says it all. Praying in a crowd isn't "private prayer".

Quote

Jesus taught, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.”
A little biblical quote (Matthew 6:5-8) for the oh-so-Christian coach to ponder.



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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 26, 2022 06:09PM
Quote
$tevie
That photo kind of says it all. Praying in a crowd isn't "private prayer".

Quote

Jesus taught, “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.”
A little biblical quote (Matthew 6:5-8) for the oh-so-Christian coach to ponder.

That's exactly what I thought when I saw that photo. There's a huge difference between offering a personal, silent prayer, and leading others in an obviously public way. How would we feel about him doing this if it were a classroom? He'd have been fired in a minute.

Here's the ADL's very nice summary of the existing law, which seems pretty clear-cut on this issue:
[www.adl.org]

"Can there be prayer before or after athletic events or activities?

A school district's policy of permitting student-led, student-initiated prayer before football games is unconstitutional.vii It is also unconstitutional for a school official, including a coach, to initiate, lead, or participate in a team in prayer. viii Nor may a school official ask a team member or any other student to initiate or lead a prayer before, during or after a public or school-sponsored athletic activity or event.ix It is also unconstitutional for a member of the clergy to offer prayers before or after public school athletic activities or events.x Voluntary prayer presented and led by students without official permission or sanction may be constitutional, provided that it is not coercive in any way."

... so... fine if it had been unofficial and initiated by students (and isn't coercive), but it wasn't in this case.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2022 06:11PM by PeterB.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Speedy
Date: April 26, 2022 09:53PM
If you don’t pray, you risk being preyed upon by your teammates. That’s a bigger coercion than what the coach might do (speaking from experience).



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Janit
Date: April 26, 2022 10:16PM
Quite frankly, I find this photograph terrifying, and the idea that the Supreme Court might condone it is even more terrifying. There is good reason for separating church and state.

Quote
Steve G.
Quote
Mr Downtown
Quote
RgrF
He wasn't passively practicing his religion, he's an authority figure who had the entire team kneeling and praying with him.

Cite?
will this do?


Bremerton assistant football coach Joe Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia High School football players as they kneel and pray with him on the field after their game against Bremerton on Oct. 16, 2015, in Bremerton, Wash
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 27, 2022 01:33PM
So when the students asked the coach if they could join him in prayer, what should he have answered? That they are not allowed to offer a prayer of thanksgiving while on school property? Our Constitution, after all, says the government cannot restrict their religious freedom. Do you really think the only way American high school students might choose to engage in religious expression is if they were coerced into it by an authority figure?

Could Bremerton School District also ban the wearing of hijabs and yarmulkes on school grounds? Gold cross necklaces? The carrying of Bibles?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 27, 2022 01:51PM
"Leading you in prayer in my position as a coach could be perceived as coercing others who do not believe to join us, and that would be unconstitutional as well as rude to your teammates. God doesn't need us to pray together to be heard."
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: April 27, 2022 02:00PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
So when the students asked the coach if they could join him in prayer, what should he have answered? That they are not allowed to offer a prayer of thanksgiving while on school property?

"Along with communicative restrictions, less protection is afforded to uninhibited speech when the government acts as subsidizer or speaker, is an employer, controls education, or regulates the mail, airwaves, legal bar, military, prisons, and immigration."

As employer:
The government is not permitted to fire an employee based on the employee's speech if three criteria are met: the speech addresses a matter of public concern; the speech is not made pursuant to the employee's job duties, but rather the speech is made in the employee's capacity as a citizen; and the damage inflicted on the government by the speech does not outweigh the value of the speech to the employee and the public. Specifically, speech is "treated as a matter of public concern" by reference to the "content, form, and context of a given statement". The exception with regards to balancing the harm of a statement and the value of the statement (the Pickering test) is done by considering the degree to which the speech either interferes with close working relationships, disrupts the office, or even has the potential to do either.


Quote
Mr Downtown
Our Constitution, after all, says the government cannot restrict their religious freedom. Do you really think the only way American high school students might choose to engage in religious expression is if they were coerced into it by an authority figure?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Quote
Mr Downtown
Could Bremerton School District also ban the wearing of hijabs and yarmulkes on school grounds? Gold cross necklaces? The carrying of Bibles?

A specious analogy.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 27, 2022 03:25PM
Mr Downtown, you've been talking about instances where it appears evident to you where expression of religion does not cross the line. Maybe we can delve into situations that are perhaps not as evident to you.

In the Court arguments an example was brought up of a teacher reading the Bible aloud right up til the bell rings to begin class. Is that acceptable? (Especially given that many schools expect students to already be in their seats and ready to begin when the bell rings.) Why would or would that not be acceptable religious expression in a public school?

The coach in question in this suit had led players in prayers in the locker room in the past. Should that be acceptable? Why or why not? What if he didn't lead the prayers but simply knelt down in the middle of the locker room and prayed with almost all the players joining him? Would that be acceptable? Why or why not?

In the arguments Alito asked the lawyer for the district what if the coach had grabbed a Ukrainian flag and waved it in the middle of the field, would that have been acceptable and the lawyer replied that it wouldn't be acceptable because they didn't want the event to be taken over for political speech. Do you disagree with the district's lawyer about that? Why or why not?

Is the only relevant consideration of coercion one of whether or not the players voluntarily joined the coach in the prayer? What if a coach did something like this in a place where almost everyone were very ardent Christian conservatives and non-believers were strongly ostracized in social settings in the community? Does it not matter that a young person may feel immense peer and other social pressure to partake in prayer with the coach? Isn't that a form of coercion?



e pluribus unum



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2022 03:28PM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 27, 2022 04:34PM
The reason this is in the Supreme Court is because it's not an easy question. There are two parts to the religious protections in the First Amendment, and they sometimes may conflict with each other. DeusxMac colors one of those clauses red, but ignores the other. His discussions of restrictions on ordinary speech—and Alito's Ukrainian flag hypo—are not particularly relevant, given the special protection our Constitution offers for the Free Exercise of Religion. The First Amendment does not guarantee freedom from religion.

As for the hypothetical you pose—for what it matters—I'd view reading the Bible aloud right up to belltime as overly difficult for students to avoid. Silent prayers in the locker room also present an avoidance issue and more danger of coercion, since the players didn't voluntarily gather there as they did for the postgame midfield prayers.

Religious tolerance and social coercion is always a problem, but it's not something we can let determine whether a constitutional right can be exercised. There are lots of places in America where there would be enormous pressure for a teacher, or a student, to not wear a hijab. But our Constitution, unlike France's, gives them the right to do so.

Imagine that the teacher in question is Muslim, and during lunch period (when his room is empty) he kneels on the carpet, facing Mecca, and says his noon prayers. Some Muslim students learn of this and ask if they can join him each day. The school then seeks to forbid it. Does the liberal tolerance we see on display on this forum dictate a different result?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Ted King
Date: April 27, 2022 05:08PM
Quote
Mr Downtown

Religious tolerance and social coercion is always a problem, but it's not something we can let determine whether a constitutional right can be exercised. There are lots of places in America where there would be enormous pressure for a teacher, or a student, to not wear a hijab. But our Constitution, unlike France's, gives them the right to do so.

Imagine that the teacher in question is Muslim, and during lunch period (when his room is empty) he kneels on the carpet, facing Mecca, and says his noon prayers. Some Muslim students learn of this and ask if they can join him each day. The school then seeks to forbid it. Does the liberal tolerance we see on display on this forum dictate a different result?

You've flipped the situation on its head. I was referring to instances where the religious expression in a public setting caused the coercion not, as your examples are about, where there may be coercion to not allow religious expression.



e pluribus unum



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2022 05:23PM by Ted King.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: April 27, 2022 06:10PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
…the special protection our Constitution offers for the Free Exercise of Religion. The First Amendment does not guarantee freedom from religion.

Actually, it does; it guarantees YOU freedom FROM MY religion, and ME freedom FROM YOUR religion.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 27, 2022 06:29PM
Quote
Ted King
You've flipped the situation on its head.

Exactly. The idea that peer pressure can be part of the constitutional equation is just the flip side of the Heckler's Veto. How can the First Amendment protect an unpopular/minority religious expression, but not a popular/majority one?
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: btfc
Date: April 27, 2022 06:35PM
Are any representatives of any other religions offered the the same opportunity in the same situation?

Establishment Clause:

[www.law.cornell.edu]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2022 06:37PM by btfc.
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: PeterB
Date: April 27, 2022 07:47PM
Quote
Mr Downtown
Imagine that the teacher in question is Muslim, and during lunch period (when his room is empty) he kneels on the carpet, facing Mecca, and says his noon prayers. Some Muslim students learn of this and ask if they can join him each day. The school then seeks to forbid it. Does the liberal tolerance we see on display on this forum dictate a different result?

I think this is very nicely answered in the ADL link I posted and from which I quoted:

"Voluntary prayer presented and led by students without official permission or sanction may be constitutional, provided that it is not coercive in any way."

So if a student says "I want to pray", and other students join in (but do not feel coerced to do so), they may be able do it.

That's a far cry from the situation currently under review -- where a teacher/coach (not a student!) has initiated and is leading the prayer, and there may be coercion because of the fact that he's in a position of authority.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: “ Supreme Court Leans Toward Coach in Case on School Prayer “
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: April 27, 2022 08:01PM
Coercion is not supported by any finding of fact in this case.

Moreover, you wouldn't assume coercion if the coach were an observant Muslim whom a few likeminded students asked if they could join (italics are the actual factual finding in this case, as I posted above).
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