23 November, 2008

Freedom of Religion and Public Prayer

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791 :

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Marcus Borden is the coach of the East Brunswick High School football team in E. Brunswick, New Jersey.
Coach Borden is accused of breaking the "law" by repeatedly bowing his head and kneeling down during pre-game prayers by his students. As a result of these "charges" Bordon is prohibited from participating in student initiated prayer or devotions.

"Coaches and teachers shouldn't be told to disrespect religious students on a public school campus," ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull said. "We're in big trouble in this country if a high school football coach can't even show respect during the prayer of his players. The Constitution does not prohibit him from bowing his head or kneeling during student-led prayer."(Alyssa Farrah, Worldnetdaily)

The law, however is clear. Coach Bordon's right to participate with his students is guaranteed by the first ammendment to the Constitution of the United States. His right to kneel in prayer, to bow his head and to speak a prayer if he wishes is a 100% guarantee to him by our founding fathers.
It is the politically correct of the far left who would take away the freedom of religion in this nation and replace it with repression of religious speech, thought and practice.
Every relgious holiday is under assault in the United States, prayer, sermons based on biblical belief are all being brought under the evil scope of the gun of repression by special interest groups who all whine to get their own way.
It is the dawning of a new religion in America, that of secular humanism( defined by Justice Hugo Black as a religion) and atheism (another religion, though they like to deny it) and a add your own names to minority groups who want to trample freedom.

It is time that Americans learned the first Ammendment and begin to finally live it and to stand up for it. Freedom of religion is one of the most valuable freedoms we have in America and is a backbone of the a free and democratic nation.
If the prayers are not "your" religion, then just don't join in but don't seek to silence the right of others to express their belief. If they offend you, Auntie Lemon suggests you just shut up and sit in the back of the room with your fingers in your delicate little ears til they are over, or just go home and fume in bitterness but ....shut up.
Remember that old tale.. first they came for this one..then that one and I did nothing.. finally they came for me? Well consider that when you find yourself fuming over someone else's religious rights.
You don't like their religion...shut up. Who asked you? Practice your own and shut up.
Bothers you that a team kneels in prayer? Shut up.. sit down and go away. This is America and that's what people have done since the beginning.
You want your own religion only? Fine, find a nation where your religion is the official state religion and go there.. the door is open don't let it hit you in the behind when you leave. Auntie Lemon will even drive you to the station as long as you ride strapped to the luggage rack on the back.

As counsel Benjamin Bull said,"We're in big trouble in this country if a high school football coach can't even show respect during the prayer of his players." He is right. We are in big trouble as there is afoot in the nation a deliberate, evil surge to wipe religion from public view. It will then be only a matter of a short time before it is wiped from private view also.
Put the ten commandments back in public buildings, put prayer back into public schools and public meetings. If this offends you stay home in a closet where you belong.


  1. the thing does move to absurdity and past absurdity, it's one thing not to introduce mandatory school prayer but this is not a coach led prayer

  2. I have rejected comments due to nasty name calling of other people's religious figures. I won't tolerate that on this blog at all.
    I have Jewish, Christian and others as readers and I will not tolerate insults to any of them.

  3. I can't help but wonder how atheists would feel if their religion (and it is a religion, religion being defined by law as a firmly held belief) were infringed upon.

    ABC's Nightline had a feature a few months ago on how atheists are now holding Sunday meetings for individuals and families and teach ethics, games for children, communal dining. It looked a lot like a church gathering and secular Sunday school to me.

    A lot of people would like to change the constitution to read "freedom FROM religion."

    The coach kneeled down and showed respect. So now courtesy and good manners is a violation of the First Amendment?

    I personally don't like to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public (not an anti-government statement, I just don't like drawing attention to myself and most adults recite it in a sing-song voice which I feel uncomfortable doing).

    But I still stand up as a show of respect for the country, the pledge, and those who are reciting it. I think that's all the coach was doing, here. But even if it were a prayer, he has the right to join in or stand at a distance.

    I remember in grammar school getting out early on Wednesdays to attend Catechism classes. In high school a Muslim student prayed in the front lobby everyday. It wasn't a big deal.

    For some reason now any hint of religion in public is considered a federal crime.

  4. Regarding the First Amendment in general:

    Elijah Parrish Lovejoy, an anti-slavery newspaper editor and a martyr of the abolitionist movement wrote:

    “We distinctly avow it to be out settled purpose-- never, while life exists, to yield to mob violence the right to conscience, the freedom of opinion and of the press.”

    I used this quote as in introduction to an article I wrote in December 2003, nine months after I had been shot for my coverage of community meetings and the police blotter. Trust me, once you experience physical violence for exercising your First Amendment rights you take it very seriously.

  5. Oh for crying out loud. It's practically a tradition for coaches and players to kneel and pray before a game! And with teams where it isn't a tradition, various players go off in a corner alone. It's tradition!

    Why on earth are they making a big deal of it now?

  6. BS"D

    I'll bet if he were performing a shamanistic ritual or bowing to New Age crystals they would allow it.

  7. There are those who certainly would call me a "secular humanist" or "atheist". I do not use these terms myself because of my belief no single term or set of terms speaks of the whole person. I will not be limited by labels and wish to be fully understood - not simply understood by blanket terms. Suffice to say, I am religious in my life, however, I reject the belief in any notion of a "supernatural" or of "higher powers" than those of nature itself.

    At any rate, as I interpret events since the beginnings of the United States, the predominate philosophy, quite contrary to that supported in the constitution has been a mixture of christian beliefs and the same is true today. Secular humanism and atheism do not dominate American thinking now nor has it ever dominated American thinking. I cannot speak for all "secular humanists" but, for my part, let me say this: I do not and will not oppose the right of everyone to belief and practice as they choose as long as that belief and practice does not infringe on my freedom to do the same. Having said that, I believe the point has never been adequately made that the majority of those who may be called "atheists" or "secular humanists" do not oppose christianity or christians nearly to the degree they oppose christian domination. The Constitution is quite clear on this point when it says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ..." This means that no one religion will dominate. Congress shall make no law restricting the practice of any religion either. This means one is free to belief and practice as one wishes without the threat of domination from one set of beliefs or practices. Many disagree, however, this amendment protects Christians AND atheists or secular humanists equally. Congress and the government cannot grant favor to Christianity any more than it can grant preference to atheism or any other philosophy other than the principle of inalienable individual rights and the liberty to practice them with respect for others to do the same.

    What I see all too often is fear-mongering among Christians and other beliefs in the United States with respect to beliefs other than their own. For my part, I can say I do not fear Christian domination, however, I do suffer its imposition without respect to my own beliefs on almost a daily basis. I have never seen that my believing differently than a Christian is an imposition on their free practice, however, there is an abundance of Christians in our culture who claim my very existence is an insult to all they value and would see me expelled from my native land, not to mention deny me the vote, the right to serve in the military (I am a fifteen-year honorary veteran of two armed services) and even the right to hold public office. I would not deny them these things because they are Christians. Why do they wish to deny me the same? I would not write my beliefs on public buildings or on public monies nor make you take oaths to disbelieve to prove your allegiance. Why am I coerced to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian god by my government? Am I not guaranteed by the constitution to be free of such coercion?

    These and many more questions continue to lack reasonable explanation. All I can finish with is this, if those who hold to Judeo-Christian beliefs feel fairness to other sets of beliefs to be unfair in their estimation, it becomes clear that it is not fairness they value but rather unquestioned and undeserved supremacy over those who disagree with their point of view.

  8. Rick, the subject here is a man being treated as a criminal for kneeling down and bowing his head while his players "choose" to pray.
    No one forces anyone to pray in the United States ,there is no office of the Inquisition here.
    If you do not wish to pray, to sing the national anthem or to go to a church or synagogue no one puts you in prison for that.
    The reverse, however is coming to pass and those who are religious are finding their rights trampled more and more.

    I find that American atheists etc did not speak up at all when children in California schools were being literally forced to pray to allah and to memorize the pillars of islam. Nor were they vocal about them being asked to bow down to mecca and dress up like mohammedans.