Religious Freedom Had A Very Bad Week

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Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Kennedy v. Bremerton School District

Laser said this devastating decision is only one among a series of recent Supreme Court cases that have resulted in setbacks for individual rights, such as reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality and voting rights. In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court abolished the constitutional right to abortion. And in Carson v. Makin, the court forced taxpayers to fund religious education.

Americans United: Supreme Court Ruling Is Greatest Loss Of Religious Freedom in Generations
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Doug Berger 0:00
What is the long term Fallout now that the right to privacy is in danger with the end of Roe v. Wade? And how can this turn out worse for the Democrats. We also take a look at the ramifications of the football coach prayer case, that also helps Christian nationalists. I’m Doug Berger. And this is Secular Left.

Doug Berger 0:35
The thing that we were all afraid of that was going to happen when it was leaked in May officially happened shortly after 10am On Friday, June 24 2022, when the United States Supreme Court released its decision in the Dobbs versus Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in a six to three ruling, Roe vs. Wade was overturned. The KC ruling the later Casey ruling was overturned. And basically, the court said literally and figuratively, that abortion is not a constitutional right, because it was not mentioned in the Constitution and hid and there is no historic precedent for there being abortion rights. In fact, it pointed out all the times that abortion was criminalized throughout history. And they figured that that’s what the Founders intended, was for abortion to be criminalized. And said it was not a right to be dealt with, on the federal level, through the through the Roe v. Wade, court court ruling in 1973. And so it remanded the decisions on reproductive choice to the States. Now, I’m not going to rehash every point in the decision, because there’s really no need to it’s a ridiculous decision, that candy be dismissed entirely. It’s chock full of religious bigotry, and biases. And they just totally ended up putting logic up on it on the end, demolishing two major precedents. And, in fact, at least three of the recent court appointees pointed meanwhile, by Presidents by a president who did not win the popular vote, actually told people in Congress during their confirmation hearings, that row was settled law. So you wonder, well, why did they then vote to overturn Roe v Wade. Now, not to mention the fact that Alito in his, in his majority opinion, roe quoted or referred to some guy that lived in the 1600s, who can prosecuted women for being witches and burned them at the stake, and then quoted him and referred to him as an authority on abortion law. And it just, it’s just Daffy the whole the whole opinion is just Daffy. However, there’s going to be consequences of that decision, consequences that are going to go far and wide. The least of which is that women now no longer have a right to an abortion, only if they live in an area that has agreed to allow that. So it’s no longer part of the Bill of Rights. It’s no longer part of the constitution. So you women will now have to depend on the kindness of the states in which they live. I just read an article the other day after this ruling came out that some pro life groups are going to start going from city to city to ban abortion in states that allow it you know, they’re just not they’re going to they’re not going to be done until every state bans abortion.

Doug Berger 4:51
The congressional Republican people that are in Congress, have stated that they’re going to go for a federal ban on abortion, because now that that’s possible if they win Congress in 2020, this this year 2022 That they could possibly outlaw completely abortion in the United States by 2023 or 2024, when they expect to get a Republican president. And then the other damage from this ridiculous decision is that we, that we read and Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion, and concurring means that he agree with the outcome of jobs, the jobs case, but had different reasoning. He said that he’s, he’s never he’s never believed that the Constitution guarantees a right to privacy for anyone. And so any previous ruling, that dependent on a right to privacy, which Roe v Wade did, should be looked at again, and one of those was Griswold v. Connecticut, which allowed married couples to receive information about contraception. It basically invalidated the Comstock law which, which prevented the mailing and distributing of information about contraceptives. Yeah, that’s right. If you wanted to find out about rubbers or IUDs, you could not receive that information publicly, you could not get that information through the mail. And if you did, you could be arrested, the people who disseminated that information could be arrested. Margaret Sanger, I believe was somebody who was arrested once for violating the Comstock law for distributing contraceptive information. Justice Thomas would want to revisit that he’d also want to revisit the landmark ruling that allowed sodomy to happen between committed couples and the privacy of their own home. So now, you’re looking at a dangerous field where LGBT people are going to LGBTQ people are going to lose even more rights could possibly, and same sex marriage, which also dependent on a right to privacy, a constitutional right to privacy that seems not to exist anymore, could be revisited. And then the one that Justice Thomas did not mention, for obvious reasons, I believe, interracial marriage, that was also a decision that was ruled on or made a decision in that allowed people to be married and interracial couples to marry was right to privacy. The government unless the government had a substantial reason for preventing something, they want to stay out of your lives. And so all of those different rights that we come to know and enjoy, could go away. All we take would be a lawsuit or would take would it be a religious zealot like the ones that tried to get Roe v Wade overturned, to file a lawsuit to try to invalidate the same sex law? We know that will probably happen you know, so not only now does this Dobbs decision render women as second class citizens again. You know, prior to 1973 That’s what women were. Were second class citizens now they are again. And then we have Justice Thomas, who is Uber conservative saying all these other different rulings should get revisited. And and I know there’s still some people that say, oh, no, no, no, no, it will. There will be some or the religious zealot out there that will want to do it. And and people are going to be shocked when it happens, and we lose another right. Now, the other thing that I wanted to touch on besides warning people, that these other rights are in danger now

Doug Berger 9:51
if we don’t have a right to privacy. The other thing I wanted to touch on was the reaction by the National A Democratic Party. I am not a fan of the Democratic Party. I’m not a fan. I’m definitely not a fan of the Republican Party. But the National Democratic Party, I have not been a fan of for quite some time. Because for the most part, they try to appeal to people who won’t vote for them. And by doing so, they either hurt people like me, or people that are progressive and left. They either hurt us, or they don’t help other people like they should be okay. After the road decision came down to the dogs decision came down on Twitter and stuff, things are going on and Twitter. And I saw something that I really, really took to heart because I believe it was true. You know, somebody commented that the Democrats seem to lose elections, because of broken promises. But the GOP, they do what they say. And they got it exactly right. You know, time and time again, the Democrats say we’re going to do this, this and this. And time and time again, they say we can’t do that, that and that. For whatever reason, whatever reason it is, you know, after the 2020 election, they have a majority in the Senate, the House and the presidency. And they did nothing, they did nothing to protect a woman’s right to choose. They could have, they could have fixed this back in May, when when a Leo’s decision was leaked. They could have fixed it 50 years ago. And they should have. But, you know, the misogyny and the the religious zealotry has been there this whole time. That’s what I believe why it was never codified. But the Democratic Party could have codified Roe v. Wade, and fixed all of this before that decision came out. And they did nothing. You know, and there’s some people that are very, very democratic, very much into the party. They’re like, Oh, no, don’t say you’re gonna burn the whole party down because they didn’t do so. Well. They deserve it. At this point, they deserve it. Because this is what there’s going to be two things that are going to happen. All right. Oh, well, let me finish my point about the fixing roe. They could have codified Roe v. Wade, they passed a bill in the House, which was naturally that they could they passed a bill in the House and it got to the Senate. And they allowed Manchin from West Virginia and seminar in Arizona to block it. Because they won’t give up the filibuster. And the Democrats didn’t force it. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was was campaigning and supported an anti choice Democrat in Texas, because they have this thing that we have to appeal to the people in the between the coasts. And so they watered down everything that they want to do if they want, like, like, Biden promise to forgive student loan debt. You know, first of all, it was $50,000 then it was $20,000, then $10,000. Now, I think it’s just gonna be $5,000. And not and probably not even that, because it hasn’t happened yet. You know, and so, when this road decision came out, this is what they did. A bunch of congressional Democrats went and stood on the steps of the Capitol Building and saying, God bless America. You know, that’s how tone deaf they can be sometimes. You know, religion is what got us the dots decision, religious bias and bigotry goddess, the jobs, the jobs decision, and they’re out there singing God bless America. That’s, that’s the last song you should be singing after religious bigotry takes away a right from a wall from women. And Nancy Pelosi, in a press conference was reading a poem. You know, we don’t want poems. We don’t want a choir singing God bless America.

Doug Berger 14:50
We want you to do your jobs. We want you to protect those rights. And the thing is that there’s gonna be like, there’s gonna be two reactions to this, okay? One is people are gonna be so fed up with the Democrats that they’re going to vote Republican. And usually it’s probably going to be white, probably male, white females, rich people that, that the it’s not gonna affect them because they’re just gonna be pissed off and they’re just gonna vote Republican just for the hell of it because they always vote and have to vote for somebody. And the other reaction is you’re going to have a demoralized progressive left part and and people who would normally be on your side to fight and they’re gonna stay home they’re gonna say what’s the point? Democrats aren’t going to fight for us? What’s the point? You know, it’s almost as bad as Tim Ryan commercials Tim Ryan’s a representative in Congress from Ohio, who’s running for the US Senate. And he’s like I agreed with Trump about trade. We need to get back in get manufacturing back to Ohio and be against the Chinese, you know, he’s trying to sound like a Trumper. And the Trump voters aren’t going to vote for him. But he’s doing it. See. That’s what Democrats do. That’s what pisses me off about him, sometimes. That’s why I refuse to be part of that party. I just refuse. I agree with a lot of their points. And more often than not, I can work with people like that. It’s not like the Republicans were, we’re just not gonna see eye to eye on anything. But it’s like, you’re you’re causing a problem. By not fighting for people and not doing, you’re not doing what you say you are going to do. And people don’t like that voters don’t like that. They will vote. I mean, that’s the one thing you heard over and over again about Trump was that he meant what he said. You know, as ridiculous and as off the rails and crazy as it sounded. He meant what he said. And that’s sad. That’s sad, that, that we don’t have a party that fights for people, and Inclusion and Social Justice, that do what they say they’re going to do. And they let bullcrap like this happen, they let the dogs decision happen. Now, it didn’t help. And I grant you it didn’t help that the Republicans stole the Republican stole three Supreme Court seats. You know, that was a problem. But like I said, the Democrats had the best opportunity in May to get to protect women’s right to choose. They also had the perfect opportunity to protect voting rights. And they did neither, because they wouldn’t get rid of the filibuster. And they were the ones that needed to get rid of the filibuster. So what are they doing now? Well, they’re saying, Well, you got to vote for us in November. So we can overturn this. You know, people hear that all the time. You know, they’re getting fundraising emails saying, Are you mad about, about the dogs decision to vote for me, send me money. We can’t do it all the time. You know, there’s a lot of people, a lot of scuttlebutt on social media and in the political sphere, that there’s gonna be some wholesale changes in in Congress, after this election. And, you know, I’m getting tired. I’m getting tired of doing it. I’m getting tired of fighting for the progressive cause the left cause I’m getting tired of fighting for people because I don’t get any help. You know, I vote, you know, somebody says, Oh, you know, I’m running for Congress. I’m going to do this for you. And I vote for him and then they don’t do it. You know, people get tired of doing that. And then and they know, voters are not stupid. Well, now voter, most most voters 99 90% of the voters are not stupid.

Doug Berger 19:38
Yeah, this isn’t. This is back in the day where you go into a voting booth. Oh, he’s got a D click, or he’s got to our click. Some people do that. Most people don’t. I don’t. I just haven’t voted for an R in probably 20 years. You know, because I vote For the people that I think are going to do the best for everybody. And it’s a real shame that they had to die on this hill that Democrats had to die on this hill to protect the vote filibuster. So just letting you know that it’s not over yet. I’m hoping it will change. I’m hoping that people come to their senses. And there’s a tidal wave of Democrats elected and they actually do some of the stuff that they say. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Sorry to say, but what I will do and what I will tell you out there to do is support those organizations that are helping women get abortions that need them. In the states that no longer allow it. There’s abortion funds, I’m going to have some links up in the show notes. There’s one locally to me, the Agnes Jackson fund, they help fund abortions for people that can’t afford them. Because that’s the thing is the poor people that are have little income. They’re the ones that are going to be hurt the most by the dollars rolling. You know, little Janie, out and out and Spencer turnouts, springs bring the whole township live in in their McMansion. She’s always going to be able to get an abortion. And it’s going to be at a hospital. And it’s going to be a quote procedure unquote. But somebody live in, in East Toledo, who, you know, works a minimum wage job and makes a mistake, or gets raped or whatever, for whatever reason. They’re, they’re stuck. Because these evangelicals that got this law, got This decision overturned. They’re not going to help. They claim they’re going to help they’re not going to help. You know, and it’s going to be a burden on the state once again. Because somebody believed it, their their religion more than people’s rights. And it’s a shame.

Doug Berger 22:21
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Doug Berger 22:49
Yeah, it’s been a fun few days that the Supreme Court wanted to talk about another decision that came down on Monday the 27th June 27. Kennedy versus Remington School District. This case was about a football coach at Burlington High School, who began praying after each football game in the center of the field at the 50 yard line. Over time, he was joined by his players and then by players and coaches from the opposing team. Kennedy continued the practice for seven years, but the school board only learned at the practice. After an opposing team commented positively that the district would allow for the practice. The board became concerned that they would be seen as complicit and violating separation of church and state by allowing Kennedy’s prayers to continue, as well as the implicit coercion that players may feel to join in on the prayer. The board negotiated with Kennedy to reduce the public display of the prayer, offering to provide Kennedy with a private location for his prayer or suggesting that he held his prayer after the spectators had left.

Doug Berger 23:58
Among other accommodations, through through the athletic director Kennedy was warned that any such display should be clearly student led. Kennedy wrote to his Facebook page that he felt he was likely being fired, and a few games later he continued to pray. Pray after the game with additional coverage by the press and local politicians as it happens with a lot of these religious zealots. Spectators knocked over members of the marching band while racing to join the prayer and directed profanity at Bremerton, his head coach, who said he feared being shot from the crowd. After Kennedy continued his prayer for two more games, the board put him on paid leave for violating the school’s policies and endangering students. The board suggested to not renew Kennedy’s annual contract, and Kennedy did not reapply. That’s an important point. In this case, the coach was not fired for praying. He quit. Now, you could say well, he was going to be fired well As my conservative friends tell me about Colin Kaepernick all the time, saying that he elected to quit, he was not blackballed. It should work for Kennedy as well. And I’ve seen this, this happens in other school districts. This wasn’t the only place that this happens. Where after the game, players from both sides gather in the sand at the center of the field and pray. I think it’s ridiculous. If I was a student, I played football when I was in high school, if I was a student, I wouldn’t participate. Okay. The thing is, the problem is, it’s the head football coach. All right. He is having doing this activity. I’m a 17 year old kid who wants to play football. My coach is praying at centerfield, what do I do? I go out to centerfield. I may not believe in what he’s praying, I might not even be the same religion, but I want to play football. So I’m gonna go out there. That is, that is indirect, implicit cohesion, okay. Where the power dynamic is such that the person in power compels somebody who’s not empowered to do something that they normally wouldn’t do. Because they don’t want to be the out out outlive your person they didn’t want, they want to don’t want to be outside the crowd, because they’re afraid it’s going to affect their status in the group. And that’s why it’s always been wrong for football coaches to leave or any teacher or faculty member or administrator to lead prayers in school, because the kids are captives. Which means they have to go to school, the faculty member or the teacher or the head football coach, they voluntarily took that job. They can leave any time, the kids can’t stop going to school. And so that’s why the courts previously have protected students, more so than the general public against cohort coheres prayer. All right. Now what the change in this court decision which was another six to three decision with the Conservatives winning the and they ruled that the school violated the coach’s first amendment rights by making him quit, for punishing him for praying. Which they also did not do. They didn’t punish him for praying. They punished him for insubordination. Anybody who’s worked a job knows what that’s about. You know, the boss says, Don’t do something. And you go ahead and do it anyway. Whether it’s legal for you to do it or not, you do it anyway. And a boss let you go because you didn’t listen. That’s why that’s what he was punished for. He was punishing for not following an order, or the school policies. All right. It’s just like if a teacher wanted to teach. I don’t know that the Confederacy won the Civil War. And the principal says, Well, you can’t teach that you have to teach that

Doug Berger 28:45
they lost the Civil War. It’s right here in our curriculum. And if he says, I know that, but I’m going to teach what I want to teach. And they continue to do that. Well, they can expect to be put on paid leave leave of absence, and ultimately fired. But again, Kennedy, Joseph Kennedy, Coach Joseph Kennedy, he didn’t he didn’t do that he quit. You know, the school board recommended he not have his contract extended. They didn’t take any action on that they suggested that they not renew it. I don’t know how it works in that school district. But usually the board approves you know, if the administration says we want to hire this guy, they approve it, you know, unless they’re convicted of sex crimes or something like that. But anyway, so this now this is this Court has been with these three stolen seats by the by the Conservatives is that they twisted this case. And they base their decision. On a twisted twisting of the facts, all right. And it’s been going down this way this road for for several years, many years. Basically, the way the court courts been ruling lately on Church State issues is unless there is an actual concrete harm. All right. Let’s say this Coach Kennedy, if he had said, Boys, we’re going to pray, and we’re gonna pray this prayer, they probably would have ruled against him. Right. But because he had a, quote, private prayer, and everybody joined him, they’re saying that that’s not cool years, you know, they’ve added an extra level to it. So somebody wants to prove that they’ve been harmed by an action, they have to prove that it actually occurred, not that it could occur. And that’s what that’s what a lot of the times that, that, that many of these secular groups like FFRF, and American Humanist Association, this is how they’ve gotten school districts to comply with separation of church and state, is they threaten a lawsuit. And they and the school doesn’t want a lawsuit. So they correct the error of their ways. And we move on. And now I don’t see them doing that anymore. Because if, because basically what they were saying this decision, this Kennedy decision, justice, Gorsuch wrote that the school’s actions against Kennedy violated his rights under both the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. He further wrote, we are aware of no historically sound understanding of the establishment clause that begins to make it necessary for government to be hostile to religion in this way. So basically, anybody that is performing their religious ritual, whatever it is, praying or singing or testifying, if they’re performing their religious ritual, and you want it to stop, because you have school and you’re disturbing, the the other students or it’s not appropriate or whatever, stopping that means that you’re being hostile to religion. You know, so they’re giving special privileges to the religious now, let me qualify that they’re giving special privileges to Christian religion. Because this is what it’s all about. It’s about Christian nationalism, protecting Christian nationalism, against laws that apply to everybody else. And that’s what this Kennedy ruling has done. Is, and we see it with the the COVID-19 rulings over the summer, last cut last couple of summers when they said that churches were the same as bingo parlors, or, or casinos, that they were essential business or that the Toledo lost the lawsuit by the Toledo sectarian schools, that you couldn’t separate the religion from school.

Doug Berger 33:40
You know, it’s all it’s all in the same line. So basically, what you’re gonna have or try to have is, now you’re gonna have teachers leading prayers. And they’ll probably say something to the effect. Well, you don’t have to participate. But how’s the kid going to know that they didn’t get a C in that class because they weren’t Christian? Or they weren’t of that particular Christian set that that teacher was? Or that they didn’t believe that, that their Christmas doesn’t exist, that we celebrate Jesus’s birthday? You know, or what if they’re Jewish? What if they’re Jewish and the teacher is saying, well, Jews, you know, killed Jesus. Let’s have a prayer. It’s setting back is setting back church and state legal rules, setting them back to almost back in the 60s when we still had Bible reading and class. Now, there’s a couple other things other things that I see in the future. That is a problem because of this ruling and rule leaves like it. And one of them is going to hurt the Catholics. There’s a lot of Catholics on the Supreme Court. The Catholic school system got started. Because back in back in the 40s and 50s and 60s, Protestants ruled the public schools. The Catholics wanted to read their Bible. And the school districts refused to let them do it. And they went to court and lost in court. So what did they do? They started their own school school system, so they could read the Bible, their Bible and learn their religion. So what happens if you do away with these protections for students and public schools, and you return these Bible readings and prayers? The Catholics are going to be left out again. You know, because you know, you won’t hear Catholic prayers you won’t hear and while unless all the unless the majority of the students in the score Catholic, but what I also see a possibility to now that they also undid the protections against paying for religious education and the main decision as you might see Catholic school systems have been having have been struggling with low numbers and and money problems, especially related to priests, the priests pedophilia cases, and they’ve been losing a lot of money. What you might see is them tapping into the public tax dollars and one way to public the tap into public tax dollars and still stay religious is you do away with the lemon tests and you know, giving money to this Catholic school, we’re not supporting Catholic education, religion, which you are. Yeah, but if it’s not legal, illegal, it’s okay. Whatever. So, yeah, it’s gonna be it’s gonna be a lot of there’s a lot of work to do. You know, I think a lot of people have been complacent for many years. And I think it’s time not to be complacent anymore.

Doug Berger 37:27
Thank you for listening to this episode. You can check out more information, including links to sources used in our show notes on our website at secular Secular left is hosted, written and produced by Doug Berger, and he is solely responsible for the content. Send us your comments, either using the contact form on the website, or by sending us a note at comments at secular Our theme music is dank and nasty. Composed using ampify studio. See you next time.

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