The Sunday Message

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. -The preamble of the United States Constitution

This upcoming week (September 17-23) is Constitution Week. Here are two places to find out more about Constitution Week:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. – Amendment 1

The first amendment is my favorite. The fathers of our country, many who believed in God, wanted to make sure that our government would not promote a certain religion or prevent us from exercising the religion of our choice. Basically, that means we can participate or not.

Of course, the freedom of speech and of the press are vitally important to our country.

Sometimes when I read the Constitution I marvel at the vision of our founding fathers for a “more perfect union.”

Enjoy Constitution Week.

The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree. – Edward Kennedy



The Sunday Message

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV)

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. -1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)

You may have heard the story of Joe Kennedy, a Washington state high school football coach who took a knee on the 50-yard line and prayed after football games.

According to several articles including this one from Fox News, a federal court has ruled that violated the U.S. Constitution and Kennedy lost his job as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in 2015 after the school district suspended him for his post-game prayers.

Kennedy sued and accused the school of violating his free speech. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district’s suspension was justified.

If you have followed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals very much then you probably know their rulings are overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court often.

We’ll see if Kennedy appeals to the highest court or not.

I’m somewhat torn on this issue. I think Kennedy has a right to pray as long as he is not forcing his players to participate. But then, he is the coach and may unknowingly exert influence on his players to participate.

When I played high school football, we recited “The Lord’s Prayer” before each game. I doubt that is allowed these days.

In fact, in looking back there are a lot of things we don’t allow any more. That does not mean we are better off…


Duck Dynasty: Quack Quack

The cable network A&E suspended Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame a few days ago after the reality television star made some disparaging remarks about homosexuality that were published in GQ magazine.

In my life I’ve heard people say some pretty ignorant things that have gotten them in trouble with the public, with their constituents, and with their employers. Believe it or not, I’ve said some pretty stupid things myself. I even worked for a few people who said ignorant things that landed them in hot water.

I hunted ducks as a kid, and I listened to my dad’s 33 1/3 rpm record about duck calling.  I practiced enough with my duck call that ducks actually came when I called them. I never knew someone could make millions from making duck calls. I think I missed out. It seems that Duck Dynasty stuff is everywhere these days.

The Duck Dynasty show is not on my regular schedule so I watch it when I think about it. It is funny – and their life story is remarkable. The first time I watched it I thought that down the road they would probably crash and burn because people probably won’t understand the Robertson family and their beliefs.

Several folks said that Phil Robertson suffered an attack on this freedom of speech rights. These people are wrong. I don’t think Robertson had his free speech rights attacked. Phil Robertson has a right to his opinion – and he has a right to express it. He did. His employer, A&E, did not like what he said, so they suspended him.

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