Tipping Point Quick Hits (6.30.22)
Public prayer, Israel's government, and the famine in Africa
Supreme Court Victory for Praying Football Coach
Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court delivered another major victory for Christians, ruling 6 to 3 that the post-game prayers of Joseph Kennedy, a former high school football coach in Washington, were acceptable, even though he was coaching for a public school district.
Here’s how Christianity Today described the ruling:
Joseph Kennedy’s prayers are protected by the First Amendment’s right to free speech and free exercise of religion, the court decided. The coach didn’t coerce any Bremerton, Washington, high school players into praying, so the school district was wrong to try to stop him from practicing his Christian faith.
“The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the conservative majority, citing a 1992 precedent. “Learning how to tolerate speech or prayer of all kinds is part of learning how to live in a pluralistic society,’ a trait of character essential to ‘a tolerant citizenry.’”
Had the coach forced students or athletes to join him, the ruling might have been different. The majority opinion said that the coach’s prayers were acceptable because they were private moments of devotion, occurring after the game, rather than a public demonstration of his faith.