Reviews | For this Supreme Court, justice is not blind. Faith is.
This trend is certainly among the drivers of the resurgent Christian right, and it might even be on the minds of the current conservative majority on the Supreme Court, five of whom are Catholics and one of whom was raised Catholic but attends a church. episcopal. With their brand of religious dogma in decline, they impose it themselves on the country.
They target a vulnerable population. An atheist student in Kennedy’s team said they felt compelled to participate. He described feeling “uncomfortable and dangerous” during a chaotic scene in which more than 500 people stormed the field to join Kennedy in prayers. This deprived the player not only of his rights to free exercise, but also, according to the memoir, of “his love for football, his lasting friendships with his teammates and the respect he otherwise earned from his coaches. “. Years later, the brief reports, he feels traumatized.
It is also a largely powerless population. As the percentage of nonbelievers in America increases, secular humanists and atheists are among the least represented groups in American politics. And while 60% of Americans say they would vote for an atheist for president (up from 18% in 1958), only one member of the 117th Congress identified as being unaffiliated with any religion in a 2021 Pew poll. None identified as atheist or agnostic.
According to Rachel Laser, President and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, calling yourself an atheist is still dangerous in many parts of America. “We have religious and atheist minority complainants and clients who have received death threats and seen their children physically assaulted, their pets killed, their house windows knocked down and their businesses boycotted,” I said. said Laser. “Many are too afraid to be named complainants and insist on remaining anonymous because they fear for their health and safety and that of their families.”
Those who opposed Kennedy’s behavior were also harassed in their communities and on social media. When Jennifer Chamberlin, a school district teacher, spoke out publicly in favor of her employer, she became, in her own words, “a social pariah.” According to the amicus brief filed by community members on behalf of the school district, the situation forced her to “declare herself an atheist”, which she had not previously done because “she was afraid of being ostracized”. The memoir explained that being presented as an unbeliever “resulted in ‘one of the most difficult times of his life'” and that his son “also suffered and had to ‘constantly defend’ his mother against her classmates and community members.
Such intolerance reflects the strong intentions of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority. Dissatisfied with what much of the country believes, the right of the court chooses to believe what it wants and imposes the results on the rest of us. Like Coach Kennedy, they proselytize.