Christianity Attacked by School District in Washington


John R. Houk

© October 30, 2015

Did you happen to catch a 20 second blurb on any TV news about a Bremerton High School (Washington State) football coach that got in trouble because his School District told him he couldn’t exercise his First Amendment right to pray on the fifty yard line after a game because some idiot probably complained it violated a myth that the Constitution says there is a Separation of Church and State clause in said Constitution?

 

Here is an excerpt from gopusa.com that was acquired from the Seattle Times:

 

BREMERTON — Surrounded by members of his team, players from the rival Centralia High School and scores of supporters from Kitsap County and beyond, Bremerton High assistant coach Joe Kennedy knelt on the 50-yard line after Friday night’s game and prayed.

 

It was some version of the basic prayer he’s said for years, he said afterward.

 

“Lord, I thank you for these kids and the blessing you’ve given me with them. We believe in the game, we believe in competition and we can come into it as rivals and leave as brothers.” (Crowd prays with football coach as he defies school district; By Seattle Times; GOPUSA.com; 10/19/15 6:55 am)

 

image00217
Joe Kennedy-Media-Half Time. 10-29-30

 

I’ll be honest I was a bit amazed to hear of a coach in Washington State, especially west of the Cascade Mountain Range, in which a huge part of the population are Leftist or have Leftist sympathies. I grew up in Washington State. However I grew up east of the Cascades. The difference between Eastern and Western Washington is like night and day.

 

Most of the State’s population live on the Western side. Probably a little less than a third live on the Eastern side which consists of two-thirds of the State area. The East side is more Conservative but the dispersion of various State Universities on the East side injects the draw of students brainwashed by Left oriented professors. The dynamics of people going to college and work for the college has injected West side Left think in significant voting areas on the East side.

 

But getting back to Bremerton High Schools Coach Joe Kennedy, that Christian man is smack dab in the middle of the powers that be that are hot to enforce the Separation of Church and State concept. That concept NEVER existed in America’s rule of law until SCOTUS opinion handed down by Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority decision fabricating the myth exists in the First Amendment in disestablishment clause:

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”

 

This is the ONLY place in the Constitution addressing the relationship of government to religious faith in America.

 

While the concept of separation of church and state might be implied by the First Amendment which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….”, it says nothing about the “separation of church and state.” And, even if you accept the principle of the separation of church and state being implied by the First Amendment, it’s implication is not there to protect Americans from religion, it is there to protect religious Americans from the government.

In their desire to promote their secular humanist philosophy using the power of government, many liberals today want to alter America’s Christian heritage and replace it with the 10 Planks of Communism. They want to remove religion from our history and replace it with the Soviet doctrine of the separation of Church and State. They don’t want to safeguard denominational neutrality by the state as the Founders intended, rather they want to eradicate every vestige of religion from our public institutions. (The bold emphasis is mine. America’s Godly Heritage; Jeremiah Project)

 

Hugo Black wrote the majority 5/4 decision that created extra constitutional law by fiat in the case of Everson v. Board of Education of the Township of Ewing on February 10, 1947. Even after 1947 the Black decision did not go into immediate effect until America’s Left began whittling the Christian faith out of the taxpayer public forum for a good twenty years or via judicial case law after case law. Black’s wording created ex nihilo from a Jefferson letter to a Baptist Church concerned about the state government establishing a Church became the foundation for Leftist case law.

 

Although I am surprised about a man like Joe Kennedy taking a stand for Christ and the Original Intent of the Bill of Rights. I am not surprised that anything west of the Cascades is pushing an extra constitutional concept against a Christian man devoted to Christ.

image0038
Asst. Coach Joe Kennedy

 

AFA Petition: Stand With Coach Kennedy and His Right to Pray

 

JRH 10/30/15

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Praying football coach placed on paid leave by district

 

By Associated Press

October 29, 2015

One News Now

 

SEATTLE (October 29, 2015) — The coach of a Washington state high school football team who prayed at games despite orders from the school district to stop was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday.

 

Bremerton School District officials said in a statement that assistant football coach Joe Kennedy’s leave was necessitated because of his refusal to comply with district directives that he refrain from engaging in overt, public religious displays on the football field while on duty as a coach.

 

Kennedy has vocally engaged in pregame and postgame prayers, sometimes joined by students, since 2008. But the practice recently came to the district’s attention, and it asked him to stop.

 

He initially agreed to the ban, but then, with support from the Texas-based Liberty Institute, a religious-freedom organization, he resumed the postgame prayers, silently taking a knee for 15 to 20 seconds at midfield after shaking hands with the opposing coaches. His lawyers insist he is not leading students in prayer, just praying himself.

 

“While the district appreciates Kennedy’s many positive contributions to the BHS football program, and therefore regrets the necessity of this action, Kennedy’s conduct poses a genuine risk that the District will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others. For this reason, Kennedy will not be allowed to further violate the District’s directives,” the statement said.

 

The district said Kennedy remains employed by the district and unless his status changes, will be paid through the remainder of his contract term. He won’t be allowed to participate in any activities related to the Bremerton football program although the district said he can attend games as a member of the public.

 

The controversy has focused attention on Bremerton, across the Puget Sound west of Seattle, and on the role of religion in public schools. On Tuesday, dozens of lawmakers in the Congressional Prayer Caucus sent a letter to the superintendent expressing support for the coach.

 

Also this week, The Satanic Temple, which has 42 members in its Seattle chapter, announced that its members were open to being invited to a game, and a few students and teachers extended such invitations. The organization doesn’t believe in Satan except as “a potent symbol of rebellion against tyranny,” it says on its website. It’s an atheist group that rejects the notion of supernatural deities and espouses values such as scientific inquiry and compassion, it says.

 

The group suggested that by allowing the coach to continue praying, the district has created a forum for religious expression open to all groups. It requested permission to perform an invocation on the field after the game. The district had not responded as of Wednesday and did not respond to a request for comment regarding the group.

 

On Wednesday night, Kennedy’s lawyer, Hiram Sasser, called the paid leave a hostile employment action.

 

“It’s surprising and shocking,” Sasser said.

 

He said they plan to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which he said is a next step.

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[Blog Editor: Below is a side story on the same One News Now article. I find it creepy that Seattle Satanist atheists attend Bremerton High School football game exerting their First Amendment rights. Atheists don’t really pray so the Left doesn’t go after them. Creepy Halloween in Bremerton Washington.]

 

Sr. class president: I invited Satanic group

 

(Associated Press) – A student leader at a Washington state high school says he invited a self-described group of Satanists to protest a Christian football coach’s postgame prayers.

 

Bremerton High School senior class President Abe Bartlett says he was one of a few students who invited The Satanic Temple of Seattle to attend today’s game. He called it an effort to get the school district to clarify its policy: While officials last month asked assistant coach Joe Kennedy to stop praying at the 50-yard line, he has continued the practice.

 

The Satanic Temple wants to hold an invocation on the field. The group says the district, by tolerating Kennedy’s actions, has created a forum for religious expression that should be open to all groups.

 

Kennedy’s lawyers, who are with the Texas-based Liberty Institute, say allowing Kennedy to pray silently doesn’t create a public forum.

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Christianity Attacked by School District in Washington

John R. Houk

© October 30, 2015

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Praying football coach placed on paid leave by district

 

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The Truth about Separation of Church and State


1st Amendment

 

I have been several parts of a series entitled Disputing Separation Church/State (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). As of this writing I am up to Part Six and there is more to come. In doing the reading for these posts I came across a PDF designed as a brochure to dispute the Leftist influence that has move American Courts to stretch the interpretation of the First Amendment beyond the scope of its original intent. As I said I am still continuing my series on the subject; however below is an excellent to the point and relatively brief synopsis of reasons the present exploitation of the rule of law pertaining to the separation of Church and State is not a legal concept in the U.S. Constitution.

 

JRH 3/31/14

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The Truth about Separation of Church and State

Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution.

 

From PDF Brochure:

Alliance Defending Freedom

 

While the First Amendment clearly forbids the creation of a national denomination, it says nothing about the so-called “separation of church and state.”

 

§  The term “separation of church and state” was first used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1801, when he responded to their concerns about state involvement in religion. Jefferson’s letter had nothing to say about limiting public religious expression, but dealt with government’s interference in the public expression of faith.

 

 

§  It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black who first inserted the term “separation of church and state” into American jurisprudence in his majority opinion of Everson v. Board of Education (1947). He wrote: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

 

 

§  Black’s opinion was based on a previous misreading of Jefferson’s 1801 letter in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. United States (1878). Black also confused his history. In the opinion, he wrote that the Danbury letter was “almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the First Amendment.”

 

 

§  The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” No mention is made of a “wall between church and state.”

 

 

§  The true purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the federal government from establishing a national church, like the Church of England, or require that sectarian policy be forced on an individual state or on the federal government. While the amendment does recognize a “differentiation between church and the government, it does not mean that they could not cooperate with each other.”

 

 

§  In 2001, Daniel Dreisbach, Associate Professor of Justice, Law and Society at American University, wrote that Black was wrong to apply the term “separation of church and state” to the First Amendment. The danger of Black’s argument, according to Dreisbach, is that it gives constitutional reasons to “separate religion, religious values, and religious organizations from public life.” He continues: “If we can’t talk about religion in any meaningful way in public schools, religious citizens can’t communicate their faith in public life. [The public square] must be ‘sanitized’ of religious messages, and we are left with a strictly secular public life.”

 

 

§  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its allies, along with other groups hostile to religious freedom, have used Black’s wording to:

 

o   Deny churches the right to rent public school facilities for Sunday worship services.

 

o   Have public displays of the Ten Commandments removed from public buildings.

 

o   Prohibit students from praying at graduation ceremonies or football games.

 

o   Threaten fixed income housing project residents with eviction for displaying signs about prayer in their apartment windows.

 

o   Tell an eight-year-old girl that she cannot pass out handmade Valentines that read “Jesus Loves You.”

 

o   Tell pastors that they do not have the right to speak freely from their pulpits applying Scripture and church teaching to candidates and elections.

 

 

§  In 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in ruling in favor of a public display of the Ten Commandments, wrote: “The ACLU’s argument contains…fundamental flaws… [It] makes repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.’ This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”

 

 

For almost four decades, the ACLU’s distortion of the “separation of church and state” went nearly unchallenged. Since 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom has taken the ACLU and its allies head-on to expose this distortion and restore the original intent of U.S. Constitution with regard to religious freedom. Since its inception, Alliance Defending Freedom has helped to win many groundbreaking cases in defense of religious freedom and expression. The result is that the so-called “wall of separation,” erected by Hugo Black and others, is slowly starting to crumble. With your prayers and support, Alliance Defending Freedom will continue to tear down the “wall of separation.”

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Recognizing the need for a strong, coordinated legal defense against growing attacks on religious freedom, more than 30 prominent Christian leaders launched Alliance Defending Freedom in 1994. Over the past 18 years, this unique legal ministry has brought together thousands of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations that work tirelessly to advocate for the right of people to freely live out their faith in America and around the world.

 

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