High school football coach Joe Kennedy would go to the center of the football field after a game to kneel and say a prayer. He would not ask any high school player to join him yet some players voluntarily followed him. It’s common after many college and professional football games that some players and coaches from both teams to meet at midfield and say a prayer.
Coach Kennedy was fired for this. His case is now being heard by the US Supreme Court as a case resolving Coach Kennedy’s 1st Amendment right to free speech against the constitutional prohibition that the government will not advocate a religion.
Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who was appointed by Barack Obama in 2009, noted during oral arguments that teachers can “put a kind of coercion” on students to do things “they may not wish to.” This is not some remarkable insight. All of us who went to school knows that teachers have tremendous influence on students and each of us at some time experienced this in school. In fact, most parents want teachers to influence their children to study hard, an activity that many of us, including me, didn’t want to do in high school let alone grade school.
Perhaps this truism, that teachers have tremendous influence on students to do things they may not want to do, is part of the rationale behind the Florida Parental Rights Law that prohibits teachers from teaching in kindergarten thru 3rd grade sexual orientation or gender identity. Justice Kagan, Barack Obama and Disney executives weren’t thinking that teachers can “put a kind of coercion” on students to do things “they may not wish to” when they condemned this law.
Time for a commonsense check. Who would be more easily coerced:
a high school football player voluntarily joining his (or her) coach praying after a game; OR
a kindergarten child sitting in class with bright charts saying you can decide to be a boy if you’re a girl, a girl if you’re a boy, or both sometimes?
In the Coach Kennedy case, there is no evidence that Coach Kennedy intended to coerce any player to pray with him. The issue is that Coach Kennedy praying in public could have been enough of a coercion.
Kindergarten teachers do not intend to coerce a 5-year-old to question his or her gender identity. But the mere teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity by a teacher to a 5-year-old is coercion enough.
Culture evolves in ways that society allows it; thus, it becomes culture. Usually cultural changes are deliberate and slow with ample time for society to embrace these changes or not. The left is force feeding cultural changes with the natural reaction being that large parts of society are regurgitating these changes.