One of my great mentors in life was Marv Moorehead. He was a legendary football coach in Ohio that changed the lives of many young men, including me. He is in The Ohio Football Hall of Fame and was remembered fondly last weekend by members of one of his three consecutive State Championship teams. After reading about today’s Supreme Court decision involving Joseph Kennedy the high school football coach from Bremerton Washington who after many years won a 6-3 decision saying that his praying at midfield after high school football games was not a violation of anyone’s First Amendment Rights, my thoughts went back to my past. A key part of the Majority Opinion written by Judge Neil Gorsuch were these words:
“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”
My high school coach encouraged us to pray. He was a devout Christian man, but even 55 years ago there were parents who confronted him about his faith.
The only time we prayed together as a team was right before kick-off in the locker room. The words:
“We ask that we may be able to do our best, and our success will be in proportion to the effort put forth”.
That is all. It was voluntary and those wishing to not pray were not ostracized or identified. We had Catholics, Protestants, one Jewish player, and several atheists on our team. I don’t remember who prayed or who didn’t. That was none of my business. We never prayed to win or for success. Football teams at all levels pray. Watch a BSU football game and the players come out on the field and take a knee in the South end zone before the game. This is never shown on TV or acknowledged on the radio or in the press. Same with coverage of football during D-1 College broadcasts and professional games. At the end of all those games teams come together at midfield and pray together. It is never acknowledged in the media. Is that censorship or just a lack of respect? Maybe at the root of censorship is a lack of respect?
The second thing I was reminded of last weekend by my former teammates was the habit that Coach Moorehead had before and after every practice and game of huddling with his coaching staff and asking the question “Are we making better boys?” He never forgot his mission. Not to win games, but to teach life lessons. If he did that the winning would take care of itself—like a 63-1 record his last five years. So many times, in our personal lives and in our professional lives and vocations we forget about what the point is. Being reminded that doing “the right”, giving our best, and being a positive example are what should be at the front of everything we do.
The final lesson that seems apropos and relevant this week considering very important Supreme Court Decisions being celebrated by Pro Life, and Pro Second Amendment Conservatives is the idea that the score is always “nothing to nothing” (0-0). The last two years for conservatives have been tough with progressive liberals holding all the cards. Our country is weaker today economically, militarily, and spiritually than it has been since the Carter administration. When the score is against us, we should proceed as though the score is “nothing to nothing”. When we are winning some battles, it is still “nothing to nothing”. In our minds—it is our mind that determines our actions, the score is always “nothing to nothing”. The progressive secularists will never quit. We should “toe the line” every time they confront our values and try to change the country. I believe the tide is turning in America.
Another GREAT AWAKENING can happen.