Matt Walsh: Kneeling to honor God is offensive but kneeling to protest America is heroic

Matt Walsh: Kneeling to honor God is offensive but kneeling to protest America is heroic
Thearon W. Henderson / Stringer / Getty Images

This is insane. I feel like I start every new post that way, but there is just so much insanity in our culture. Here’s the latest: a federal appeals court ruled against a high school football coach who was suspended for kneeling in prayer after games. His First Amendment rights were not violated, they declared, because the act of silently kneeling on a football field is oppressive to the people forced to witness it. The coach “took advantage of his position to impress his views upon the impressionable and captive minds before him.”

Madness.

Impress his views? Did he force them to pray beside him? Did he threaten to bench the starting quarterback if he didn’t profess Jesus Christ his Lord and savior? Or did he simply kneel and pray?

If the slightest expression of personal spiritual devotion by a public employee is not allowed, does that mean orthodox Jewish teachers should be prohibited from wearing a yarmulke at work? Would the donning of a religious skullcap be tantamount to forcing Judaism on unsuspecting students? Perhaps we’ll get there eventually as we slide down this slope.

Of course, the argument is made that the people forced to witness this vulgar act of religious exhibitionism are the ones who’ve had their First Amendment rights infringed upon. This would be a great argument if only there was anything in the First Amendment guaranteeing our right to never see, hear, or otherwise encounter anyone else’s religious expression. But the First Amendment contains no such guarantee. Nor does it prohibit public employees from praying “in view of students and parents.” In fact, all it does is grant religious liberty to all citizens — be they public employees or private — and it states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

This coach is not Congress. He’s not even a congressman. And by saying a prayer he has not made any laws. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Schoolhouse Rock episode about how a bill becomes a law, but I’m pretty sure that a football coach can’t establish a state religion by kneeling on the grass.

Besides, it’s obviously hypocritical and contradictory to a maniacal degree for any leftist judge to fret over public school staff “impressing their views on impressionable and captive minds.” That’s all that goes on at public school. All day, every day. Are we supposed to believe that a coach has no right to “impress on captive minds” by kneeling after a football game, but a kindergarten teacher is perfectly free to stage a transgender cross-dressing show for her 5-year-old students? Of all the biased, subjective, inappropriate brainwashing that goes on in our public school system, this is what we have to worry about? A guy saying a prayer?

Madness.

And you really can’t talk about this issue without noticing the most glaring contradiction of all. As many people have no doubt already pointed out, there is an interesting contrast between the reaction to this coach kneeling and Colin Kaepernick kneeling.

The left has heralded Kaepernick as a hero for kneeling in protest of the national anthem. There have been protests and rallies held in his honor. He’s even going to be featured in the African American history museum as a hero of civil rights. And why did he kneel? To protest … something. America. The police. The Anthem. Whatever he’s trying to say, it’s beautiful. It’s courageous. He’ s exercising his First Amendment rights and sending an important message. Some team ought to give him a job no matter if he’s a mediocre talent who’d bring far more trouble than he’s worth. But that coach kneeling to honor God? No, he has no right. He’s a tyrant. A bully. Fire him.

What if the coach had knelt in solidarity with Kaepernick? He’d still be expressing personal opinions and “impressing them on captive minds,” yet do we think the 9th Circuit would have ruled the same way? Do we think the left would treat him the same way?

Well, we don’t have to speculate. A high school football coach knelt along with his entire team last year in a show of support to Kaepernick and his views. The coach “took advantage of his position to impress his views on captive minds,” yet the gesture was described as “powerful” and “extraordinary.” Another team took it a step further. They all laid on the ground with their hands up. Far more disruptive and demonstrative than taking a knee, but, again, we are meant to be moved and inspired.

This is clearly not about the First Amendment or the Constitution. As with most things, what motivates one side of this debate is nothing more than their utter hatred of God. They loathe religion. They despise God. This is the only consistent thread you will find running through all of these stories. You can kneel to honor Colin Kaepernick but not God because, as far as the Left is concerned, God is not welcome here. And they are not making any attempt to hide it anymore.

To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.

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