Class, Talking about freedom of speech is ironic right now sincewe for some reason keep having a huge debate with our President of thingspeople don’t understand. For some reason people think they can tell someone offand label it “freedom of speech” or kneel for our National Colors… I am asoldier and man does it really get to me that people do such a thing like that!Knowing what we do for there freedoms! Anyways back to the class and letsreview our weeks reading assignment about religion in sports. The first part ofthis Amendment that deals with religious freedom is referred to as theestablishment clause and the free exercise clause. The establishment clausebans the government or its agencies from establishing a state-sponsored religion,promoting (endorsing or aiding) a specific religion, or favoring one religionover another. This is referred to as separation between church and state. The free exercise clause bans the government or its agenciesfrom interfering with anyone’s religious belief. In other words, the governmentcannot interfere with an individual’s practice of his or her religious beliefs.The U.
S. Supreme Court has established three tests to determine whether religiouspractices challenged under the First Amendment are unconstitutional. The Lemon test,which is a three-part test, used to determine whether a government/religiouspractice is constitutional. To be constitutional, the practice must be secularin purpose, the practice’s primary effect can neither advance nor inhibit religion,and the last one is practice must avoid excessive entanglement with religion(Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971). The Endorsement Test used to consider whether thegovernment endorses a particular religion or disproves of any religion. Thegovernment cannot endorse, favor, or disprove of any religion or practice(Lynch v.
Donnelly, 1984). The Coercion Test that examines a religious practiceto determine whether people are pressured or coerced to participate. Thegovernment may not coerce individuals to participate in religion or itsexercise (Lee v. Weisman, 1992). Religious practices, such as pregame prayers,have been common at U.S. sporting events for many years.
Several recent lawsuits have forced to the courts to determinewhether such practices, particularly in public schools, are constitutional. InSanta Fe Independent School District v. Doe 2000, Texas high school students heldelections to vote on whether a prayer would be said before the start of homefootball games and, if so, who would deliver the prayer over the public addresssystem.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appealsand held that student-initiated and student-led prayer at public high schoolfootball games is unconstitutional. V/rRyanReference Kritzer, Herbert M.;Richards, Mark J.
(2003). “Jurisprudential Regimes and Supreme CourtDecisionmaking: The Lemon Regimeand Establishment Clause Cases”. Law & Society Review.
37 (4):827–840 Hersman, Nancy Blyth(1985). “Lynchv. Donnelly: Has the Lemon Test Soured”. Loyola of LosAngeles Law Review.
19 (1):133–177. United States Court ofAppeals for the Seventh Circuit (July 23, 2012). “UnitedStates Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit case 10-2922 John Doe v.Elmbrock School District”Santa Fe Independent School Dist.
v.Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000).