|A high school football coach who was fired for praying on the field after games is about to have his case heard in the U.S. Supreme Court. And you – through your support and engagement with Family Policy Alliance – are in the thick of the action as it heads to the Court.
When Joe Kennedy coached the high school football team in Bremerton, Washington, he regularly prayed alone briefly at the 50-yard line following games. At one point, a couple of his students asked if they could join. He responded that it’s a free country, and so they did.
Eventually, nearly half of the team had joined him, along with students and even coaches from the other teams. Suddenly, he was told by the school that he could no longer pray publicly. At first, he followed their order, but then he felt that his freedoms of speech and religion were being violated, and so he continued his prayers.
The school district fired him, saying that they needed to avoid violating the Establishment Clause. At issue in the case is whether Coach Kennedy has speech and religious rights to pray briefly in public.
With your support, Family Policy Alliance is engaging directly on this case. Today, we filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court. Justices regularly read such briefs and sometimes even cite them in their opinions.
Among other things, this powerful brief (which can be found on the Supreme Court website) points out that public schools allow all sorts of highly controversial beliefs, while singling out religious views for particular discrimination:
“[T]raditional religious beliefs are uniquely targeted for censure, while a host of comparable, religious-like beliefs receive a free pass or even endorsement. Rather than creating ‘neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion,’ a reasonable observer would comprehend that traditional religion alone is being treated as poisonous and inappropriate in society.”
Family Policy Alliance filed the brief together with 29 state family policy councils from around the country, including Pennsylvania’s Independence Law Center, which authored the brief. Family Policy Alliance is pleased to host this alliance of independent state-based family policy councils around the country. Together, this alliance advocates on behalf of more than a million citizens across the nation.
Please pray for this critical case. And thank you for making this effort possible with your support.
Director of State Alliances