Talking about freedom of speech is ironic right now since
we for some reason keep having a huge debate with our President of things
people don’t understand. For some reason people think they can tell someone off
and label it “freedom of speech” or kneel for our National Colors… I am a
soldier 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 lets
review our weeks reading assignment about religion in sports. The first part of
this Amendment that deals with religious freedom is referred to as the
establishment clause and the free exercise clause. The establishment clause
bans the government or its agencies from establishing a state-sponsored religion,
promoting (endorsing or aiding) a specific religion, or favoring one religion
over another. This is referred to as separation between church and state.
The free exercise clause bans the government or its agencies
from interfering with anyone’s religious belief. In other words, the government
cannot interfere with an individual’s practice of his or her religious beliefs.
The U.S. Supreme Court has established three tests to determine whether religious
practices challenged under the First Amendment are unconstitutional. The Lemon test,
which is a three-part test, used to determine whether a government/religious
practice is constitutional. To be constitutional, the practice must be secular
in 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 the
government endorses a particular religion or disproves of any religion. The
government cannot endorse, favor, or disprove of any religion or practice
(Lynch v. Donnelly, 1984). The Coercion Test that examines a religious practice
to determine whether people are pressured or coerced to participate. The
government may not coerce individuals to participate in religion or its
exercise (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 determine
whether such practices, particularly in public schools, are constitutional. In
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe 2000, Texas high school students held
elections to vote on whether a prayer would be said before the start of home
football games and, if so, who would deliver the prayer over the public address
system. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
and held that student-initiated and student-led prayer at public high school
football games is unconstitutional.
Kritzer, Herbert M.;
Richards, Mark J. (2003). “Jurisprudential Regimes and Supreme Court
Decisionmaking: The Lemon Regime
and Establishment Clause Cases”. Law & Society Review. 37 (4):
Hersman, Nancy Blyth
v. Donnelly: Has the Lemon Test Soured”. Loyola of Los
Angeles Law Review. 19 (1):
United States Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (July 23, 2012). “United
States 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).