The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an important religious freedom case Monday. You can be part of a network of people praying and rallying for Coach Kennedy’s freedom to live out his faith.
You may remember reading about Kennedy in a previous FMF. He’s the Washington state high school football coach who prayed a silent prayer of gratitude on the field after each game. He prayed to himself at first, but soon, his team joined in until one player went to school officials who, then told the coach to stop praying.
On Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. Arizona time, the Court will hear oral arguments and later decide if coach Kennedy is free to pray on the 50-yard line. Our partners at Family Policy Alliance teamed with Focus on the Family for a nationwide call to prayer this Sunday, April 24th. Get more details here and join the social media blitz to support Coach Kennedy and the right of every American to pray.
CAP will be participating as part of an ongoing effort to support the coach and to protect religious freedom. Earlier, I joined my Family Policy Alliance (FPA) colleagues in signing an amicus brief in the case known as Kennedy v. Bremerton. You can read it here.
The challenge to Coach Kennedy’s prayer claims he violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, essentially asserting a quiet prayer on the field is tantamount to establishing a religion in public school.
Leading up to Monday’s hearing, writers at the leftist “news” outlet Slate penned a scathing review of the case, calling it a “carefully engineered return to prayer in public schools … mark[ing] an effort to overturn nearly 60 years of precedent protecting schoolchildren from state-sponsored religion by flipping the First Amendment on its head.” They go on to write, “The case erases the rights of children who wish to avoid religious coercion at school, fixating instead on the right of school officials to practice their religion during the course of their formal duties.”
I doubt the writers at Slate wrote with the same indignation when parents throughout the country protested the sexualization of young children in public school, or the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) or diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) curriculum. I don’t remember a call for “the rights of children who wish to avoid coercion at school” when such topics were being espoused in the classroom.
It’s a point attorneys made in FPA’s amicus brief when writing, “School officials are often quick to point out that such advocacy in the classroom is really the faculty member’s own speech and not that of the school. Conversely, many schools like Bremerton immediately treat a faculty member’s religious devotion as attributable to the school. As a result, traditional religious beliefs are uniquely targeted for censure, while a host of comparable, religious-like beliefs receive a free pass or even endorsement.”
We could get an idea of what the justices are thinking when they ask questions during Monday’s oral arguments. I’ll keep you posted.
The Arizona Senate gave final approval this week to a parental rights bill that strengthens current laws affirming parents have the right to dictate the wellbeing and upbringing of their children. The Senate passed Representative Steve Kaiser’s HB 2161, which now goes back to the House for a final vote on the amendments made by the Senate.
HB 2449 , sponsored by Rep. Quang Nguyen, is a signature away from ensuring patients in assisted living and hospice facilities get access to a clergy visit during a public emergency such as the pandemic.
Arizona senators and reorientates also passed HB 2507, sponsored by Rep. Ben Toma, which would ensure churches and other religious organizations are deemed essential during a public emergency like a pandemic. The bill now awaits Gov. Ducey’s signature.
House members were one vote shy of passing SB 1211 this week when Representative Joel John voted against it, effectively killing it for now. SB 1211 would ensure parents have access to review available instructional material and activities used to teach their children. We are hoping to still see a strong transparency bill pass before the legislature adjourns.
- It’s not often the news media give full coverage to our perspective on local issues, so listen here to my interview on The Republic’s Gaggle podcast.
- Read here how “Florida follows the science with new guidelines on transgender treatment for kids.”
- Read here about a news reporter who doxed the person behind an anonymous social media account exposing a radical LGBTQ agenda in public schools.
- Read here how to help your children or grandchildren navigate the radical curriculum infiltrating many public schools.
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