Government Watch / Politics / We The People

Justices Ask Whether Left’s Wokeness Should Be the Only Religion Allowed in Public Schools

Over the past 60 years, public schools have been scrubbed of religion, stripped bare in the name of the name of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bars favoring one religion over others. Now the void is being filled by social justice ideology, the left’s religion by another name.

Why should traditional religion be discriminated against while teachers and coaches are allowed to proselytize their woke belief system, displaying Gay Pride symbols and BLM slogans in the classroom? Are children any less at risk of coercion or indoctrination by these ideas presented by authority figures whom they’re eager to please?

That’s the inflammatory context for a high school football coach’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was heard Monday. Joseph Kennedy, who coached for the Bremerton School District in Washington state, customarily took a knee and prayed quietly on the 50-yard line after games. Occasionally, some players and attendees joined him, though he didn’t call for them to participate.

Bremerton officials told him praying within sight of students violated the Establishment Clause and asked him to go across campus and pray in the janitor’s office. Kennedy refused, arguing that would send a message that prayer is bad and must be hidden. The refusal cost him his job.

Kennedy’s lawyer told the justices on Monday that the firing violated the coach’s right to freely practice his religion. Clarence Thomas asked whether Kennedy would have been fired had he taken a knee to protest racism. Samuel Alito queried whether a coach taking a knee to protest the invasion of Ukraine, or climate change, or another political issue would have been fired.

If the reason for the firing is religion, Alito said, that’s unconstitutional discrimination.

Much of the back and forth was over whether the coach’s barely audible prayer amounted to government speech, which can be regulated. Probably not. He was praying after the game, when his duties were over, and his words were barely audible even to people close by.

Bremerton School District’s lawyer also tried to argue that students might feel compelled to join in the prayer because the coach is an authority figure and can determine who gets the most playing time. The case could turn on that, though the facts again seem to undermine the argument. Kennedy coached JV football, and both players who expressed personal reluctance to pray became captains of the JV team, nonetheless.

Monday’s oral argument signals the Court is poised to welcome more religion in public life, including public schools. The question several justices posed again and again is, why should religion be singled out for disfavored treatment, compared to other ideas?

Some areas of Maine are so thinly populated that towns can’t afford public high schools. Instead, the state of Maine offers tuition assistance for families in these rural areas to send their children to the private schools of their choice. The hitch is, state law says they must choose a secular school, not a religious one. Parents sued, challenging the religious school exclusion.

If schools that teach religion are ineligible for state money, Alito asked, are schools that teach critical race theory also ineligible? The lawyer for Maine’s school system stammered and confessed he didn’t know.

Alito’s question was on the mark. The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, the most powerful teachers unions, promote a curriculum that stresses transgenderism, white guilt, the 1619 Project and other progressive ideologies. But these unions want no part of traditional religion. They know religion is the kiss of death for their anti-family values agenda. The unions weighed in with a joint brief to the Court against coach Kennedy.

The educational bureaucrats are fast making public schools into temples of progressivism. Fortunately, the Court appears on the verge of striking a fairer balance, protecting the rights of teachers who practice traditional religion and the rights of students to be taught by them. Parents should be glad.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “The Next Pandemic,” available at Amazon.com. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey.

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Robin Boyd
1 month ago

Religions are merely faith based beliefs. Any strong belief that cannot be scientifically justified must be on par with religions. Marxism is the belief of Progressives based on belief that social engineering can actually achieve good.

PIDL
2 months ago

The sad thing is that this is a result of unintended consequences of the 14th amendment enacted in1868 after the end of the Civil War. The Federal Government unintendedly used that to push the separation of church and state of the First Amendment, the establishment clause, to every state.

Separation and Church and State has long been misinterpreted and used to destroy religion in schools. Teachers are not allowed to even have a moment of silence any more because it is forcing the children to do something they do not want to do. The children do not want to be forced to think!

Hopefully the conservative justices will prevail. Especially when they can bring to light the other non-religious teachings they are forcing on the students about critical race theory and transgenderism.

But the most important thing out of this whole lawsuit is that local schools are the ones teaching our kids. And they need to be accountable to the students and all of the relatives of these students. They do not get to make up the rules all on their own. Funny how Wokeness has driven us to this! Again, an unintended consequence to them of their woke policies!

Karen
2 months ago

Stop the BS you “woke” people. It’s sick, mentally deranged, and will probably fade out considering we still have the sane people in the US. Tired of this crap and it should end post haste.

Angus
2 months ago

These Justices made some Excellent points ! ????????????????

Becky
2 months ago

It should also be noted that the muslims have NOT had their BS ‘religion’ banned from schools.
THAT tells us what the real agenda is: anti-America.

anita
2 months ago

I just read the first few paragraphs but can get the gist – why in the world would any school DARE to promote the abomination of sodom and gomorrah to children – has the world lost their minds??? Beyond that how did dare to make homosexual marriage legal – how did society in general and men in particular allow this? What have we become???

Becky
2 months ago
Reply to  anita

Wimps, cowards, perverts, and sickos.

PIDL
2 months ago
Reply to  anita

Justice must be equal for all. But some of us are more equal than others? I hope they do the right thing here to help straighten out this mess. If they can teach any one religion in school, they need to be allowed to teach all religions in school. I remember seeing articles about Muslim religious education recently in schools. But Atheism is a religion, too, or lack thereof!

If I replace the word “religion” with “idea” it seems to get the point across to me and hopefully the justices of the Supreme Court who are using that same word here.

This is all about freedom.

Larry W.
2 months ago

The woke people are weak people in the fact that they cannot convince enough people that their views are rational and sensible so they must strong arm everyone that does not agree with them. They are bullies and terrorists in suits.

Becky
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry W.

????????????????????

PIDL
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry W.

We must have tolerance. But that does not mean we have to agree with anyone.

Glenda
2 months ago

As I sit in a hospital room where my husband is a patient in Houston, Texas, every night my view is of the LGBT flag colors in bright lights on a nearby building. It offends me, but I have to be silent. I am not allowed to have a view of a cross because THEY are offended. This is wrong in so many ways. The left has tried to take away my right to be comforted by symbols of my Lord Jesus Christ.

Becky
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenda

The Commie Left has stolen, and destroyed, everything good and decent in America. Hopefully their comeuppance is on its way.

Charlie
2 months ago
Reply to  Glenda

That’s where you are wrong. Sometimes the only way to some peoples attention is to say how you feel about something. Keeping quiet then you’re giving them what they want and that is complyence.

Michael
2 months ago

The one issue that the attorneys for this coach should be stressing is that there is no statement in the Constitution or Bill Of Rights that talks about the “Seperation of Church and State”. As most of us conservatives in Constitutionists know that was a statement made by Thomas Jefferson in a letter he wrote to the Danbury Baptist in response to their belief that he was going to create a state religion. In that letter he made the comment about a “Wall of separation between the Church and State”. I don’t know if this argument has ever been used before the Supreme Court but if it has not it very well should be! I would think that any constitutional attorney worth his weight would know this and use this in his arguments before the Supreme Court or any other court that this attack on free speech by Christians would come before.

Garye
2 months ago

The marxist democrat party,along with the woke crowd need to be embarrassed and removed from ALL political positions for their failure to abide by the Constitution and their oaths of office.
This destruction of Our Country ends NOW!
2022 and 2024 We the People MUST take control and THROW OUT all democrat and rino traitors!

anita
2 months ago
Reply to  Garye

100% – Amen Gary Amen.

Becky
2 months ago
Reply to  Garye

And yet the bloody fools in Maine just put the Traitor, Susan Collins, back in.

jake the snake
2 months ago

With the amount of woke and CRT the teachers and schools are “sneaking” into the schools the increase in religion in the schools woudl be good.

i personally believe any sex discussion at all before 7th grade shoudl be considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child abuse. it shoudl probable be considered and attempt at grooming children for sex and the teacher should go to prison.

Luke
2 months ago

“The unions weighed in with a joint brief to the Court against coach Kennedy.” That’s the one statement in this entire article that implicates a huge number of like-minded, (albeit braindead), voters. Unions are Godless. I’m from Minnesota. District 5 has a call to prayer through many thousand watt speakers every day. The unions here constantly vote DFL but absolutely will NOT see this elephant in the room.

Ray Kneisley III
2 months ago

People vote for Progressive Democrats for several reasons.
-They’re ignorant and disconnected. Thanks to MSM and Big Tech and educational system.
-They gain equitably because of liberal policy and won’t give it up despite the fact that those policies prevent personal growth.
-They’re part of the machine that provides them power.
Conservatives thrive by adhering to foundation winsome and wholesome values.
We’ve reached the point of Truth vs Evil

Mike
2 months ago

It will probably again be a 6 to 3 decision with the Three Democrat Justices voting once again against our US Constitution and 1st Amendment, and the Conservatives voting to Conserve our Constitution and bill of rights just as it was written.

Sharon Ormsby
2 months ago

Thank God for Alito! Praise the Lord! Good questions poised here.

BAE
2 months ago

Well, since one Justice doesn’t know what a women is; I don’t know if we should ask…………..

anna hubert
2 months ago

the only worship to be performed is at the altar of the left which is trying to build the utopian society and to build the monument to the vanity of the looser “intellectuals ” failure is assured but at what cost,

Steve Weidert
2 months ago

Absolutely not!!! Anything “woke ” is trouble. And the courts should stick law, not politicism. Shame on them for sticking their noses where they do not belong. Woke is a Joke!

Centurion
2 months ago

“Parents should be glad.”

Well, that depends. We’ll wait to read the entire ruling after it comes out to see if we’ll be glad or not.

teresa Ann d'alessandro
2 months ago

people if you can afford it, just send all your kids to catholic school – it’s the only place left that you can depend on to not wipe everything off the face of this earth

Sharon Ormsby
2 months ago

Disagree with that, we’re not Catholics and the Catholic school thirty miles away hid sexual abuse the past two years. Our area is horrified. All the top people from the Coaches and Principals have been charged and these people went to STATE last year. They bribed the parents to keep it quiet. NO WAY! Those things have to be immediately reported, church school or NOT! There are lots of charter schools and private schools and in Texas, public schools. We have a moment of silence before school begins and prayer before every football game. Anyway, things don’t bode well for the Catholic school which was deemed the best school in our area the last twenty years now. Other schools are definitely picking up the slack, thank goodness.

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