DAVE ROSS

Ross: The case of kneeling former Bremerton coach interrogates the humility of prayer

Apr 26, 2022, 7:07 AM
Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy takes a knee in front of the U.S....
Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy takes a knee in front of the U.S. Supreme Court (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In the Supreme Court Monday, the justices were trying to figure out when the constitutional right to practice religion collides with the constitutional right not to have religion forced on you.

It was the case of former Bremerton football coach Joe Kennedy, who would pray alone, quietly, at the 50-yard line after games, to give thanks. That was no big deal until some of his players started joining him. Then more players, and then players from the opposing teams:

“Our kids started inviting the other teams … which was really amazing,” Kennedy said.

There are videos of this – opposing teams praying together after a hard-fought game. It is actually very inspiring to watch.

In Monday’s argument, the coach’s attorney Paul Clement said his client’s public display of faith was no different from athletes who salute God, on live TV, right in the middle of a game.

Yet, some parents felt their kids were being pressured to pray, so after seven years of litigation, the court will have to decide where to draw the line on public displays of faith. That means we will likely end up with yet another complicated government rule on religion.

The problem here is that the Court, under the Constitution, is not allowed to ask the most important question, which is what does God think? Too bad.

It turns out that there’s good news on that – and I use that phrase on purpose – because the Gospel itself tells us what God thinks:

“And when you pray…reward you openly,” Matthew 6:6, as said by Johnny Cash, reads. I wanted to be sure it was accurate.

So, there is Jesus himself – saying that God does not want our virtue signaling. God wants humility. That means the real question here – for a Christian, anyway – is whether choosing to pray when you have made yourself the center of attention – is a Christian act.

I could argue that, far from punishing the coach for praying, the school district was trying to get him to pray in the manner actually prescribed by Jesus!

But I would be the first to say that is far beyond the scope of the High Court, as it should be. Since, for Christians anyway, it’s already been settled by a much higher authority.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

(Unsplash)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Have Seattleites gone soft on crime?

The Seattle Police Department recently came out with some advice on what to do if a burglar breaks in while you’re at home. The advice… is to get out, ASAP.
21 hours ago
Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) speaks during a roundtable at the White House (Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Why Oklahoma’s stance on abortion will echo throughout the country

12 states have trigger laws that take effect if Roe v Wade is overturned – and Oklahoma is one of them.
2 days ago
Katie Wussler, a program coordinator at Mother & Child Education Center, checks the lot number on a...
Dave Ross

Ross: Baby formula shortage puts new mothers in difficult spot

I’m having trouble accepting that the US is dealing with a baby formula shortage – especially when the main advice is do NOT try to make your own.
5 days ago
(Unsplash)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Are vasectomies the best form of birth control?

A Tweet caught my attention because it was a sketch for a short story about a world where abortions aren’t necessary.
6 days ago
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: A dip in the stock market asks us to look at our savvy non-investments

The way stocks have been melting over the past 16 months, those of us with the courage to open the monthly statement are wondering how low can they go…
7 days ago
(Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Are Americans ready for Big Tech to eliminate passwords?

Apple, Google, and Microsoft announce that they have joined the FIDO alliance: FIDO stands for Fast Identity Online, and its mission is to end password hacking.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Ross: The case of kneeling former Bremerton coach interrogates the humility of prayer