SCOTUS to hear case of praying ex-football coach (yet another "religious liberty" case)

AP story here:

Mr. Kennedy’s side:

The school district’s side:

The SCOTUS side:

I thought the Holy Rule Book was against praying in public.

In context it is against praying to glorify oneself.

Which is what the coach was doing.
Any praying in public is likely to cross the line unless care is taken that there is no outward sign.

I was talking about the context of the Bible as the ‘Holy Rule Book’, not secular laws. In a biblical context it would seem to be a judgment of one’s heart, not actions that matter and if he were praying to glorify himself would be a judgment of God, not man. You even infer this with your statement when you say ‘is likely’, which leaves room for reasonable doubt.

And there are plenty of examples of Jesus praying in public, specifically for healing of others but much more also such as giving thanks which was exactly what this coach was doing, so there can be outward signs of prayer in public no problem at all biblically.

However one could make the case that a christian should follow the authority they are under as an instruction, but then again at the very least God has overridden a no prayer instruction biblically.

He wasn’t praying, he was performing miracles.
In fact, there are numerous examples of Christ going off to pray in private.

He gave thanks publicly in prayer. Prayer includes giving thanks. So yes Jesus prayed in public. And yes preforming miracles by asking God is also prayer.

And yes Jesus does go off in private too, not seeing an issue here at all.

What you are saying just does not seem to be what the Bible says.

Also to add Paul mentions prayers meant for the unbeliever to hear, something like praying in tongues or perhaps praying but avoiding tongues. I forget which one is it.

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

A sign-not under the control of the person.
This seems to refer to a gathering not in public but in private which someone voluntarily enters.

Here is a good summary as I see it: Is public prayer biblical? Is it okay to pray in public? |

But it all boils down to God judges the heart, not the act. That is the key difference. If the intent is to glorify oneself then that prayer will not be heard. If prayed earnestly, no matter what the circumstances the prayer will be heard.

1 Peter 3:12: For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[[a]

Or to put it another way, people search religion for rules of how to act, but that is not what God is about. It is only man’s request that gives hard and fast rules, but when it comes down to it, it’s love based, not rule based.

All the examples given are from The Old Testament. Jesus laid down the directive about praying in public.

I don’t care if people around me pray, or even pray for me as long as I do not feel forced to participate.

As to the whole self glorification thing, my take on that is thus [and sorry if I sound nasty, but I kept running into these asshats when I was living in the bible belt] - If you start waving a bible around, or your hands around and LOUDLY start proclaiming a prayer that pretty much instantly draws everybodies attention to you, you are attempting to glorify yourself by proving how ‘holier than thou’ you are.

I also dislike the megachurches. Back in about 87 I did a short stint at a telephone answering service, and was the middleman in a conversation between a mother with an ill child, and an actress for Pat Robertson’s studio. To make it short, mom wanted Pat to pray for her kid, actress said Pat wanted a specific amount of money to put her kid on the prayer list … I really REALLY wanted to tell the mom that God would listen to her more closely than someone that wants to be paid to pray.

I agree with this and think it matches the context of the Bible.

This is a typical statement of those who want it a certain way, and find it nice and need and help reconcile church and state, but the context of the example you have just does not support your contention. I’m even sure that believers have been swayed by your contention, but it is ultimately found to be something that if followed in the way you state would break scripture and also break grace (which ironically is what you lean on when you say Jesus changes things)

As noted in this case by Americans United for Separation of Church and State (and many others), no one can stop people from praying in public. Silent prayer can be accomplished during one’s work day with no one but the devout being the wiser.

That of course defeats the purpose of prayer for many, which is to proselytize others. And sometimes, you’re just so jammed full of the Holy Spirit that it’s impossible to keep quiet.

Still, someone managed to avoid loud public exultation over his/her stash of big bucks in the bathroom wall at Joel Osteen’s megachurch. :thinking:

But did the prayers work? Did the coach win more games than he lost? And why did he pray after games had ended, would it not make more sense to pray asking for divine intervention in his team’s favour before the games?

A direct petition is only one of a number of forms of prayer. In this specific case, the individual in question claims, through his lawyers, that he was “giv[ing] thanks through prayer at the conclusion of each game for what the players accomplished and for the opportunity to be part of their lives through football.” He then went on “to give motivational speeches that often included religious content and a short prayer.”

There’s no indication that I’ve seen that he was ever praying to win football games. What he was doing seems a lot more in line with what Wikipedia terms “educational” or “experiential” approaches.

[Just to be clear, from what I’ve seen, I’m definitely on the school district’s side on this case, and I’m not defending the coach’s actions.]

If I was one of his players, I swear I would start sacrificing goats in the end zone after every game.

Where will 'Muricans come down when the football team in deep red Baptist Texas is led in Quranic verses ?

Isn’t it really just that simple (not implying that this would be SCOTUS’s decision; just that it should be).