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28th Jun 2022

Days after abortion decision, Supreme Court protects man’s right to pray on a football field

Kieran Galpin

So much for the separation of church and state

Mere days after the Supreme Court overturned the historic Roe V Wade ruling, they have directed their powers to a very serious issue facing Americans – the right to pray on a football field.

Joseph Kennedy worked as a part-time assistant football coach in the city of Bremerton, Washington until 2015 when he was told by the school district that he could no longer pray on the football field. The district did offer to provide a private space for Kennedy, to which he declined.

However Kennedy saw their decision as an infringement on his religious freedom and took it all the way to the Supreme Court which recently ruled in his favour on June 27. So much for the separation of church and state.

The conservative judges ruled in a 6-3 majority, with liberal judges dissenting, reports Reuters.

Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, with Sotomayor penning a letter that talked about the “disservice” to schools, students and “the nation’s longstanding commitment to the separation of church and state.”

She wrote: “Today’s decision is particularly misguided because it elevates the religious rights of a school official, who voluntarily accepted public employment and the limits that public employment entails, over those of his students, who are required to attend school and who this Court has long recognized are particularly vulnerable and deserving of protection.

“In doing so, the Court sets us further down a perilous path in forcing States to entangle themselves with religion, with all of our rights hanging in the balance.”

“You know, I’m still in shock,” Kennedy told the King 5 news station after the ruling. “Just so grateful that this long hard fight is finally over, and we won, thank God and everybody.”

He continued to say that this is “great news for the entire nation.”

On June 24, the very same people voted to overturn the Roe V Wade ruling of 1973 that protected a person’s right to an abortion under the United States Constitution. The move was condemned across the globe, from US senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who dubbed the move a “crime against humanity”, to our own PM Boris Johnson, who said the change was “backwards.”

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