Episode 220

Coach’s Court Win & Don’t Play Favorites

Nov 7, 2022

A high school football coach whose right to pray at midfield following games was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court after he was removed from his job is to be reinstated by next spring. And, when we discriminate between people, we are making judgment calls we have no place or authority to make. It is impossible to know what is in people’s hearts merely by glancing at their outward appearances.

Transcript

A high school football coach whose right to pray at midfield following games was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court after he was removed from his job is to be reinstated by next spring.

In a 6-3 opinion in June, the high court ruled Joseph Kennedy did not violate the First Amendment’s ban on government establishment of religion with his post-game prayers. Instead, the justices decided the Bremerton (Wash.) School District actually violated his First Amendment rights by removing him as a coach because of its concerns his practice infringed on the Establishment Clause.

In a joint filing Oct. 25 in state court, lawyers for Kennedy and the school district said the coach “is to be reinstated to his previous position as assistant coach of the Bremerton High School football team on or before March 15, 2023,” ABC News reported the next day.

Jeremy Dys – senior counsel for First Liberty Institute, which is representing Kennedy – confirmed the agreement in a written statement provided to Baptist Press Friday (Oct. 28):
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When we discriminate between people, we are making judgment calls we have no place or authority to make. It is impossible to know what is in people’s hearts merely by glancing at their outward appearances. A Bible Study from Baptist Press tells about an instance when a woman learned the value of caring for someone in need.

Billy Ray Harris was homeless and panhandling at his regular spot on a sidewalk in Kansas City, Mo., when Sarah Darling dumped some change from her wallet into his cup. What she did not realize until later was that when she gave the money, her engagement ring slipped from her finger. Harris did not notice it either until he counted the money at the end of the day.

When Harris found the ring, he had a jeweler look at it, who offered him $4,000 for the ring. Some might have taken the money, but Harris decided not to. His grandfather, a preacher, raised him to be honest. He knew in his heart he had to return the ring.

When Darling realized the ring was gone, she went to Harris’ usual spot and was pleased with his response. He was waiting for her so that he could give it back. Sarah Darling shared his kindness on social media and raised $190,000 for him. He used the money to get a car, secure a place to live, and start a house painting business.

Read the full piece and sign up for our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.

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