Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Appeals Court upholds ban on coach's prayer participation

New Jersey high school football coach Marcus Borden's legal action against his employers suffered a setback, when the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals found that Borden and other coaches are not allowed to bow heads or show other support during student led prayers. The court found that a public school coach's so doing would violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. Borden intends to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to this article in a local newspaper.

The article notes that the court's opinions seem to state that head bowing might be appropriate for other coaches, who have not participated in prayers or other religious activities with players in the past, because the coach's actions might be seen as a sign of respect for the religions of others.

An important element, missing from this story, is why, in his own words, Borden feels that he should pray with his team. this story, from 2005, mentions Borden's faith and quotes him as saying the prayers are a part of his personal expression.

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