Former Bremerton High School coach Joe Kennedy argues that his Christian faith “compels” him to do this. I am a Christian myself, and I believe that his ostentatious use of prayer is not only wrong for our tradition of separation of church and state, but against his own Christian faith. Did not Jesus say to pray in private, not in public displays like the Pharisees?

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them, for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven … And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at street corners, so they may be seen by others …. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1,5-6)

Let’s hope that the members of the U.S. Supreme Court who have agreed to hear this case will be well-versed not only in the U.S. Constitution but also in the Gospel.

Libby Ryan Goldstein, Master of Divinity, Seattle