The Supreme Court just allowed religion to peek out of the closet

For years, a public high school football coach made a practice of saying short prayers after football games. He prayed whether he won or lost. Some of his players typically joined in, and some didn’t.

For that, he was fired.

This has been a long drive for the left. It started on their own 2-yard line about two centuries ago with Karl Marx scorning the masses he pretended to champion by mocking their “opiate” of religion. Marx and his fellow travelers preferred the opiate of opiate.  

Marx’s antipathy toward religion gained traction in the Soviet Union. Revealing one’s faith was a detriment to advancement in the Communist Party, and the Party controlled everything. The faithful had their property confiscated and they endured open ridicule and ostracism by institutions such as schools, employers and the media. (Does this sound eerily familiar?)

The Soviet Union wound up in the trash bin of history. But not before it corrupted Russian culture, perhaps irrevocably so. Communism slayed 100 million people, plus God to the extent he was Russian.

The ultimate fall of the Soviet Union is one of those game-changing historical events about which the left forgot nothing and from which they learned nothing. Armed with assertedly good intentions, the American left is determined to march down that same well-paved road straight to hell.

Like the Soviets, the American left has good reasons to hate religion. Religion threatens their authority. People of faith tend to be faithful to a miraculous God and the powers they derive from him, rather than faithful to an omnipotent but incompetent and corrupt government of hypocrits and authoritarians. People of faith believe in a nation under God, not the other way around.

(I often ask atheists a question which annoys them: If there’s no creator, then who or what created creation? Their typical answer is that it just happened for no reason – it was an effect without a cause. So… which of us is being unscientific?)

The second reason the left hates religion is that they see religion as a habit of conservatives or moderates, and they have no tolerance for either. That’s about as far as they go with that analysis. If the opposing tribe likes something, then the left reflexively thinks it must be bad. Same goes for motherhood, apple pie, Ronald Reagan, red meat, American flags, Mount Rushmore, country music, and pickup trucks (OK, they have a point about pickup trucks).

As the left dismantled American culture – and, indeed, Western Civilization – public observances of religion were increasingly frowned upon. On the rationale that church and state must be kept separate under our Constitution, our secularized culture has allowed the state to eradicate the church.

This is a misread of the Constitution. The “establishment clause” of the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Those are the words quoted by secularists objecting to religious displays in government places and, by extension, in any other public place.

But the “establishment clause” is not the end of the sentence containing that clause. The sentence goes on to state, “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These words are sometimes called the “free exercise” clause.

Those two clauses – two parts of a single sentence – are not at war with one another. The Founders were better writers and thinkers than that. To the contrary, those two clauses reinforce one another. The Founders wanted to avoid establishing a state religion like the Church of England. A mechanism to avoid that was to guarantee the free exercise of all religions.

The Founders would be aghast that their anti-establishment clause has been contorted into an anti-religion clause. Putting religion – any religion – into the closet was exactly the opposite of their intent.

The anti-religion left knows this, of course. Their misreading of the Constitution is not accidental.

They deliberately misread the Constitution because they want to abolish religion. If they can’t abolish it, they want to make it shameful. I’d say they want to equate religion with masturbation – it’s something that should be done in private and never discussed – but actually they seem OK with the latter in public.

The football coach sued. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court.

This week, they decided in his favor in a beautiful opinion written by Justice Neil Gorsuch (who comes from a storied Colorado family). The coach won. He can now pray in public. He can now enjoy his personal light without a bushel over it and without fear that it will cost him his job.

Personally, I specialize in snark, not light. And I never proselytize, as I don’t feel competent to do so. But readers who have met me know that I always wear a small, simple cross necklace barely visible under my shirt. That cross and I have been through a lot together.

I admit that sometimes I’m self-conscious about my cross. I admit that sometimes my cross is something I bear. In Aspen, after all, it doesn’t exactly make me one of the Cool Kids. But this Supreme Court case reminds me that it’s legally and morally right to wear a cross if you believe in what it stands for. I feel the same about a Star of David, a Crescent and Star, and other religious symbols.

As religious people, let’s not get in people’s faces – that’s no way to show them the light – but let’s do get out of the closet. Let’s lead not by lecture but by example. Let’s show who we are. Let’s show our faith.

A high school football coach shows how. He. Could. Go. All. The. Way.

Glenn Beaton never played football and is notoriously bad at all team sports. But he practiced law at the Supreme Court and writes a bit. Join his 800,000 readers with a free subscription HERE or just send an email to theAspenbeat@gmail.com

The Aspen Times censors are literally crying about their new owner “censoring” them

Readers will remember the Aspen Times. They’re the little but old – venerable, we’re told – newspaper of Aspen. These days it’s a hard left rag in a hard left town of limousine liberals who are screwed, swindled, salved and soothed by the local Stalinists in an obscene spectacle something like a Mexican donkey show.

One of the frequent perks for Aspen Times editors and reporters, as for many other members of the ruling Aspen establishment, is housing subsidized by the limo-libs for dimes on the dollars – often slopeside.

I was the token conservative columnist with the Aspen Times for seven years. But I grew a little big for my britches. Over that time, I became the most-read columnist in the newspaper. Then I started to become more-read than even front-page news. I was occasionally the very most-clicked item in the newspaper.

Ah, but that wasn’t their goal. I was hired not to succeed in offering a viewpoint contrary to the Aspen leftwing establishment, but to be a token. So, on Christmas Eve in 2019 they fired me. By email.

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Mommas, don’t let your cowboys grow up to be babies

It’s a biological fact that, generally speaking, males in relation to females are naturally larger, more physical, more ambitious, stronger, faster, cruder, stinkier, hairier, more competitive and hornier. Those traits are wired into them as tightly as the DNA in their Y chromosome, and are all awash in the testosterone hormone produced in their testicles.

At times, those traits can be problematic. At other times, they can save the day, save the world, or save a child.

But men are out of fashion these days. Boys, too.

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The boys of Pointe du Hoc

–Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984 at Normandy (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved and the world prayed for its rescue. Here, in Normandy, the rescue began. Here, the Allies stood and fought against tyranny, in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

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Maverick is still a maverick and we need him more than ever

I figured that Tom Cruise playing “Maverick” in the sequel to Top Gun would be all woke. He’d also be at least bi or gay, and probably trans. Look what Hollywood did to Star Wars.

After all, something like 20% of attention starved, navel-gazing, influence-susceptible college students with too much time on their hands – I’m talking about the movie-going crowd – now “identify” (whatever that means) as something other than what used to be called “normal.” And is still called “normal” by statisticians, given that only 2% of the population at large fall outside that category.

I further figured that in the unlikely event that Cruise was neither woke, nor gay, nor bi, nor trans, then he’d just be a cinematic strawman to remind us that biological male masculinity is toxic, primitive and, worst of all, uncool to everyone. (Except, men might observe, to healthy women. Try getting laid with a limp wrist etc.)

I was wrong. Either Hollywood has changed or maybe we’ve passed peak wokeness and peak sexual deviance (I use that term “deviance” in the statistical sense — I make no judgments about your bedroom habits).

Hollywood let Maverick still be a maverick. He’s taking no advice, no excuses, no cover, no prisoners, no guff, no anti-depressants, and no supps. He’s the real deal.

That said, Maverick is not exactly MAGA-rick. Thankfully, overt politicking has been kept out of the film.

The closest we have to politics is the rumor that Hollywood edited out a scene showing Mav in his iconic jacket preserved from the first movie – the one with, among other things, the flag of Taiwan on it – for fear of offending the Chinese who regard Taiwan as a breakaway province that is really part of China. But then the producers reinserted the scene albeit for only a brief second.

I wonder if this was a strategy cooked up by the movie marketing department, or was really the decision and spontaneous turnaround that it’s portrayed to be. Either way, I like it.

Back to Mav, the aging Naval Aviator. The word “Aviator” deserves upper case in this context for reasons of culture if not grammar. They’re the best of the best. Special Ops like the Navy Seals and the Army Green Berets are plenty tough and I advise against a bar fight with them, and Air Force pilots are no slouches, but – hey! – Naval Aviators land jets on boats. Their eyesight, judgment, reaction times, testosterone levels, decision-making, testicles and killer instincts are the best.

In a day when we mock such traits and suppress them in our sons (and then wonder why some of those boys snap) we still value such traits in the particular men, and also a few women now, who are willing to die to kill an enemy who wants to kill us.

The original Top Gun movie was in 1986 when the Soviets still terrorized and tyrannized Eastern Europe and a year before President Reagan demanded at the Brandenburg Gate that they “tear down this wall.” (Did that movie influence him?) There’s a lot of water under the bridge and people through the wall since then. Wokeness accounts for exactly nothing of that victory for humanity.

If naval aviation didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it just to preserve our species. A memorable line in this movie is when Maverick’s commanding officer scolds him that his kind are headed for extinction because future wars will be fought by drones operated remotely by dweeb-like soldiers thousands of miles apart with no danger to their own selves.

With a shrug, Maverick replies, “Maybe so, sir, but not today.

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