Controversial Prayers, Courageous Coaches and Court Rulings

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Controversial Prayers, Courageous Coaches and Court Rulings

Welcome to “Athlos” a weekly Wednesday blog which examines pillars of personal excellence and regularly brings together the worlds of spirituality and sport.

The Courage to Speak Freely

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”-Galatians 5:13

The Courage of the Court System

“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

The above excerpt, quoted by the Los Angeles Times newspaper, succinctly captures the spirit of the 6-3 majority decision of the US Supreme Court on Monday June 27, 2022 in the case of Kennedy v Bremerton School District. I wrote about this case earlier this year when I addressed the issue of praying after playing in both Part 1 and Part 2 of that particular post.

Understandably, the ruling produced varied reactions. It is the nature of the law. Furthermore, religious questions carry that additional weight of sensitivity because of how deeply personal, matters of spirituality can be. This is why I have deemed the court’s decision as a courageous one. The judicial officers would have been aware of the backlash they would receive no matter the outcome.

The court referred to the freedom of speech and free exercise of religion as they allowed coach Joe Kennedy to continue his prayer rituals after football games. Freedom is a big deal, both secularly and spiritually. It is one reason why the apostle Paul quoted above cautioned Christ followers to use their liberty for love and service and not for egocentric ends.

Do you value the freedom of choice available to you? Are you exercising it with prudence, consideration and generosity? Whether we are dealing with speech, religion, career or relationships, let us treasure the privilege and responsibility of freedom and embrace the courage that it takes to make bold decisions.

The Controversy behind Courage

Choosing courage over conformity can cause controversy, but it also builds character.

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. MDT

    Thanks Tyrone for this, sometimes it is so much easier to say nothing to not be courageous, but when I think about what God has done for me and how I have chosen to live my life for him, I speak out with courage that no matter with outcome once I speak with truth that everything will be just fine.

  2. J.Tyrone Marcus

    Courage coupled with truth is indeed a potent combination, Maria. Thank you.

  3. Allison

    Yes – I value the freedom of choice given to me – freedom to choose to improve on many of them, like integrity, faith etc. There may be times when practicing some values may often make other uncomfortable. When someone who isn’t use to such practice, find themselves in an environment that practice those values, it can shock them, to a feeling of discomfort. It reveal that demonstrating certain values at times can be new to some… but with time I trust that God will reveal his plan.

  4. J.Tyrone Marcus

    Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, Allison. I appreciate, in particular, your perspective that God will reveal his wisdom and plan over time.

  5. Michelle Marcus

    This is inspiring on all levels as it has called me to become courageous inspite of opposition around me. It is so much easier to give in at times. The coach cared more about what mattered- pleasing God and did not give into the whim and fancy of those who objected.

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