Should a high school coach be permitted to initiate team prayer before a big game? Or any game? A federal appeals court decided no. After three years of legal battles, the coach is seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Interesting case, which brings into play the First Amendment rights of the former football coach, East Brunswick (N.J.) High School's Marcus Borden - and the competing rights of the players to be spared official team prayer.
In 2005, Coach Borden acknowledged leading prayers during team dinners and in the locker room before several games. School officials ordered him to stop, citing school policy, and he resigned at midseason. The coach filed suit and the case has been in the courts ever since.
The odds are against the case being accepted, as they are against any single case being heard by the Supreme Court. The panel hears just 700 of the 8,000 petitions it receives each year. Borden is expected to learn before the end of the year whether the justices will hear the case this term, according to the Asbury Park Press.
I don't know the former coach's religious affiliation. Whatever it might be, it almost certainly wasn't shared by all players on his team. Praying privately, off in the corner of the locker room, is a wonderful thing. So is praying at home before the game or dinner. Coach, why insist on group prayer when this is the inevitable result?
Thanks to USA Today's "Prep Rally"