Since when is affirming someone’s right to say a private prayer in a public place equivalent to “Christian Nationalism”?
That’s exactly what critics in academia are saying about the Supreme Court’s recent Kennedy V. Bremerton School District decision upholding a Washington state high school football coach’s right to pray at the 50-yard line after football games.
First Amendment law professors Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle said the recent ruling “invites a form of totalitarianism” and called conservative justices “Christian Nationalists.”
“It does not take a Religion Clause scholar to see what has been going on at the Supreme Court over the last dozen years. Religion always wins,” they wrote. “And in every case before the Supreme Court, the religion in the case is Christianity.”
“The Christian Nationalists among us, and among the justices, must be thrilled. For those of us who know and fear the consequences of a state dominated by a single faith, the court’s trajectory is chilling,” they added.
While these law professors are toeing the liberal line, they could not be more wrong about how religion was meant to be treated, all the way back to the Constitution.
While they say that letting a coach pray on the field after a football game, and letting others join him if they want to (and not join him if they don’t), is oppression, it is exactly the opposite.
Not letting that coach pray–stopping him from expressing and practicing his religion–is oppression. The fact that they can’t see this is very worrying for those of us who value our religious freedom.
Treating religion like a virus
Senior counsel at First Liberty Institute which represented Coach Joseph Kennedy Jeremy Dys said the left’s view of religious freedom comes from a mistaken interpretation of the Establishment Clause, and was grateful that the court is now ready to correct that mistake.
Because the courts viewed the Establishment Clause as charging them to prevent any religious expression at any public or secular institution or event, they treated “religion as if it was some sort of virus.”
“We are more free today because of Kennedy,” Mr. Dys added. “Our nation has a history and tradition that welcomes religion into the public square.”
Of course, this newfound freedom is fragile and under constant threat from the left, which we have seen is not above using executive action and rule changes to overrule courts and get what they want, no matter the consequences.