Public Prayer and the Result, ‘Woodlawn’


Joe Kennedy

I don’t have TV nor do we watch TV in the MacAulay household but recently I caught a short clip on of a former TV child star Candace Cameron-Bure on a show called “The View” where they were discussing the story about a high school football coach who recently defied a lawsuit threat demanding he stop praying on the field after games.

This persecuted assistant coach’s name is Joe Kennedy and he is claiming the post-game prayer session is not mandatory and is therefore protected free speech under the First Amendment where “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the Free Exercise thereof.”

“The separation of church and state does not mean that we cannot pray publicly,” Bure correctly asserted. “It actually guarantees our free exercise of religion so that if it is voluntary, we are allowed to pray wherever we would like to.”

“But that’s not fair to somebody who doesn’t pray,” Raven-Symone added.

“You don’t have to — it’s voluntary,” Bure said. “If people would actually put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer, you would see a whole difference in this country to see that power of prayer.”

Did you hear that??!! Ms. Raven Symone is offended because this strange delusion of religious prohibition has been allowed to dictate the moral compass of Christianity in America.

Woodrow Wilcox


Bure went on to praise the football coach for taking a stand for prayer and said schools need to hire “more men like this who are willing to pray for our students, for our athletes, for protection, for safety.”  The audience, including myself, erupted into spontaneous applause.

I can see Founding Father, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, abolitionist, First American Surgeon General, and founder of Dickenson College, Dr. Benjamin Rush bursting into this conversation… “I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them…we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this Divine Book, above all others, constitutes the soul of republicanism.” “By withholding the knowledge of [the Scriptures] from children, we deprive ourselves of the best means of awakening moral sensibility in their minds.”


A misguided non-jihadist professor of the religion of Islam is absolutely thrilled to have a country where his or her rights are protected because you aren’t gonna find that in a Muslim-jihadist led country.  Atheists, you aren’t going to find the right to Life, personal liberty, or property in a socialist controlled government; that is why you are in America.

I have met both classes of individuals all over the country in my travels who are so grateful our founders perpetuated Christianity as their religion and the religion of America and its citizens.

If we truly want to see the power of healing, peace and restoration to our country we would follow the examples of men like Coach Joe Kennedy and perhaps we could have more events like that of Woodlawn High School in 1974, whose spiritual awakening captured the heart of nearly every player of the Woodlawn High School football team, including its coach Tandy Gerelds. Their dedication to prayer, love and unity in a school filled with racism and hate, lead to the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama.

Benjamin Franklin acknowledged, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

I have to ask the question, why do certain splinter groups get so upset over people praying for our children and our nation?

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Jake MacAulay serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), an educational outreach that presents the founders’ “American View” of law and government. The former co-host of the syndicated talk show, The Sons of Liberty, he is an ordained minister and has spoken to audiences nation-wide, and has established the American Club, a constitutional study group in public and private schools.
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  • IslandAtheist

    The coach is going against well established case law and school policy. The school’s coddling of this coach is just turning this issue into a circus.

    • The coach is exercising his God-given religious liberty, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution-something everyone understood for the first 175 years of this nation’s history. He is also setting a good example for the children (unlike the scumbags who consider it more appropriate to teach children how to put on a condom and to accept sodomy as natural and moral, rather than to honor the Creator who endowed them with their inalienable rights).

      The U.S. Constitution is the highest law of this nation, not the edicts of back-robed tyrants.

    • DCM7

      This is how “law” and “policy” works for your side:
      (1) Push for laws and policies that unjustly suppress those you disagree with.
      (2) Point to said laws and policies as justification for the suppression.
      It is inevitably your side that has to try to silence opposition, rather than addressing it; that speaks volumes in itself.

    • Thisoldspouse

      Yes, the coach is going against something. But it’s not the Constitution. Actually, he’s going against anti-constitutional thinking.

  • smr06va

    Complete nonsense.

    • Yes, attacks on religious freedom and public displays of faith are based on complete nonsense.

      • smr06va

        The author conveniently fails to discuss the constitutional issues involved, including the decades of court rulings interpreting the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses.

        As the Chief Operating Officer of the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), he must be aware of these. So why leave them out?

        • I’m pretty sure the author is acutely aware of the constitutional issues involved, including the relatively recent anti-Christian perversions of the First Amendment-an amendment to the U.S. Constitution designed to PROTECT the God-given right to freedom of religious expression which has been hijacked by God-haters to DENY the God-given right to freedom of religious expression.

          No state religion is being established by this coach’s prayer, no state church is being established by this coach’s prayer, no one is being forced to surrender property or fealty to a particular church or religion by this coach’s prayer, and no one is even being forced to participate in something as simple as a prayer.

          If God-haters had a shred of integrity, they’d keep their pie hole shut and not try to interfere with the freedom of any of the 80% of Americans who do believe in God. But they don’t, and reveal that like most God-haters, they’re more interested in silencing things with which they disagree and controlling other people than in upholding traditional American values.

          The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations] and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, 1833

          • smr06va

            More nonsense.

            • I agree. Attacking other people’s God-given liberties and subverting the U.S. Constitution’s protection of those liberties is pure nonsense.

              Nevertheless, in an atmosphere of widespread ignorance and moral cowardice, nonsense proliferates.

              • smr06va

                Discussion with you is like trying to mop up a flood.

              • You’re too kind. I know that I have a lot of knowledge about the American form of government and our history, but it’s come only after many years of study. Anyone can have that kind of knowledge if they just apply themselves. I hope you’ll pursue a study of the American way; it’s well worth it!

              • smr06va

                Hm, it’s worse than I originally thought. Discussion with you is like trying to mop up a flood with a tissue.

                Some don’t need many years of study; many are able to grasp ideas quickly and thoroughly. This allows them to reach higher pinnacles of knowledge and expertise.

                Sorry, but I can’t wait for others to catch up.

              • Yes, I know it’s a lot to take in if you haven’t taken the time to learn about our nation’s history and the way our government was designed to work.

                But it really is worth the effort to try. Our nation and our way of life are too important to let slip away due to ignorance and apathy.

                A good place to start-other than reading through the original documents themselves, of course-would be to read the Federalist Papers which explain why the Constitution was set up the way it was, and how it’s supposed to operate.

                Another good source is Justice Joseph Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States.”

                Still another is the unabridged version of Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America.”

                Of course, there are several compilations of the letters and writings of the founders, many of which can be obtained free online.

                Yes, it’ll take a while to read through these foundational sources and absorb them, but there is probably no greater service you can do your country than to learn about its foundation and how it was intended to work.

              • smr06va

                You keep saying the same thing.

                Your literary name dropping isn’t all that impressive.

                Start reading constitutional jurisprudence.

                Get back to me in a few decades.

              • Please, for your sake as well as that of your country, start reading your country’s actual founding documents and those who know them best. Ignorance is one thing; deliberately avoiding an unwelcome truth is another.

              • smr06va

                Again you keep saying the same old, untrue thing.

              • WXRGina

                “…the same old, untrue thing.”

                Well, now. I’m wondering how you-YOU-determine that what Bob has told you is “untrue.” It seems to me that you reject what the God of all creation has made clear to every man throughout history-aside from the like-minded fathers of our nation. I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.

              • Like one can only lead a horse to water, I can only lead you to the truth. You have to choose whether to take it in or to continue in error.

              • smr06va

                You, again, purport that I need you to educate me. I do not.

              • I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business. - Pennsylvania Governor Benjamin Franklin, June 28, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention

                Explain logically and lawfully how it is that an official government delegate to the Constitutional Convention that produced the U.S. Constitution can call for public prayer at that same Constitutional Convention, yet the constitution these government officials produced prohibits a school coach from praying in public.

              • smr06va

                I don’t have the time or desire and am wise enough to know that you will not be able to process the facts I give you.

                Any discussion of our Constitution must include the decades of court rulings interpreting, among other things, the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses. We do not govern solely by the original document.

                We do not live in the 1700’s. Even back then, politics played a role. Concessions and compromises were made to further the finalizing of the document at the convention.

                As far as the situation described in the article, recommend you start with the school district policy and research any legal precedents cited in it.

                I am done. This has not been enjoyable.

              • DCM7

                Vague references to “decades of rulings,” interspersed with lazy name-calling (toward others who are, frankly, making much more detail arguments than you), don’t really amount to “facts.”

                Statements like “we do not govern solely by the original document” sound like they could be expanded on, but by not making any particular effort to so you end up sounding like you want to appear knowledgeable without actually being that way.

              • smr06va

                You wouldn’t recognize a cogent argument if you tripped over one. The only thing vague is your reasoning.

              • Still waiting for a logical and lawful explanation of how something specifically designed to protect the public display of religious liberty can now rightly be used to prohibit the public display of religious liberty.

              • DCM7

                “You wouldn’t recognize a cogent argument if you tripped over one. The only thing vague is your reasoning.”

                That’s basically just childish name-calling such as would one would expect from a troll. It’s all the more sad because you’re apparently intelligent enough that you shouldn’t have to resort to that kind of thing.

                You might as well just say “I can’t actually respond to the points made but I won’t admit it” because that’s the message you’re sending. It’s not like we don’t see a lot of that around here, you know.

              • smr06va

                Have you met Bob?

                Engage with him. The two of you can have hours of nonsensical, self-congratulatory interactions.

                I have better things to do with my time.

              • WXRGina

                It’s too bad you seem to truly believe that, SMR. Plain, simple truth is “nonsensical” to you. That’s sad.

              • DCM7

                I wish you could see how thoroughly you’re proving my point by your responses.

              • smr06va

                I’m sure you’ll be named a “mod” any minute now. Congrats!

              • I have done nothing but produce facts here, and you have done nothing but stand like a guilty child behind the legs of black-robed tyrannical bullies.

                Yes, the reason we have such tyranny today is because we do not govern by the original document, instead substituting the corrupted opinions of tyrants.

                By your logic, if we just got a few judicial tyrants to swing things back the other way and come up with some so-called “case law” which, say, forced God-haters to be silent about their hatred for God and the Christian faith, then that would be just fine, then. After all, we don’t need to govern by the original document, do we? As long as we can get some judges to rule for something, that somehow magically supersedes the written and duly established law, right? Somehow I suspect your misguided opinion would change dramatically if we got some “rulings” and “interpretations” from judicial tyrants that forced God-haters to suck it up.

                Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. - President George Washington, October 3, 1789

                Explain logically and lawfully how the first President of the United States (the one who also presided over the Constitutional Convention which produced the United States Constitution) can issue an official proclamation of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the purpose of encouraging the people of the United States to thanksgiving and prayer, yet the constitution that this president helped produce prohibits a school coach from praying in public.

              • DCM7

                “Explain logically and lawfully how the first President of the United States… can issue an official proclamation of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the purpose of encouraging the people of the United States to thanksgiving and prayer”

                Now, come on, Bob — you know the founding fathers didn’t have any Christian-y stuff in mind. All that Christian-y stuff they supposedly said doesn’t mean anything, nor does the fact that the nation they set up was radically, completely different from any other secularly-based nation!

                (Yes, many people actually believe this kind of thing. Only sheer, stubborn denial and ignorance could make that possible.)