Church and State
East Brunswick, N.J. high school football coach fights for right to bow his head, kneel with his players and pray
More separation of church and state paranoia and madness. This from the Washington Post:
After leading his team in prayers for 23 years, Marcus Borden, a football coach in East Brunswick, N.J., is involved in a legal battle that is pushing the courts to decide the boundaries of acceptable religious activity for coaches and other educators in public schools.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit heard arguments on whether Borden has the right to bow his head and kneel while his players pray around him. Borden says he is not leading his players in prayer but simply supporting them. School officials say the coach should not participate in the prayers.
The case began in 1997, when East Brunswick school officials told Borden to stop inviting clergy to lead pregame prayers. After Borden began leading the prayers himself, parents complained to the school board in 2005, and the board threatened him with disciplinary action unless he stopped.
Borden resigned, only to return to his job and launch a lawsuit against his employer. Last year, a federal district court upheld his right to bow his head and kneel on one knee as students prayed around him.
“This is not about me praying,” said Borden, an award-winning coach and Spanish teacher, in a telephone interview, adding that it is about whether he may show his players the respect of participating alongside them.