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Can I get a witness? It's very likely if you pray on the 50-yard line.

It is difficult, given the current composition of the United States Supreme Court, to single out any one particular malefactor as being more detestable than any other. But Neil Gorsuch would be hard to challenge for pure arrogance and overweening self-confidence.

Of course, Brett Kavanaugh may come more quickly to mind, but sometimes he surprises us with a somewhat moderate viewpoint; and even though he was able to mislead the eminently misleadable Susan Collins, he does not appear to be quite the zealot that we discern in Alito or Barrett, both of whom seem to have mastered Catholicism but don't quite "get" Christianity. (Lest you think I'm a Brett Kavanaugh apologist, let me add this: now that we know what a liar he is, don't Christine Blasey Ford's accusations ring even truer?

But Gorsuch may still be the most detestable–both liar and prig. When the court ruled in favor of the assistant football coach in Washington who likes to kneel and pray on the field after a game, Gorsuch said that once the game is over, a person can do whatever he wants because his coaching responsibility ends. "The prayer was quiet and personal," Gorsuch said...a statement which, for me, raises two questions: First, how would Gorsuch have responded to Colin Kaepernick's quiet and personal "prayer" before an NFL game? And second, what kind of religious exhibitionist needs to kneel on the 50-yard line to carry on a quiet and personal conversation with God? Doesn't he have a car? And what if God follows the Gorsuch Dictum and His responsibility also ends after the game? Maybe He checks the final score, then checks out.

Of course, Gorsuch's premise is wrong. Ask any coach when his responsibility ends, and he'll tell you: when the season is over. I've been coaching tennis for a long time, and I'm responsible from the moment the first player arrives for a game or practice until the last player drives away or gets a ride home...every day...all season. Only after all that can I kneel and pray on any court I want, though the surfaces are unforgiving and my knees aren't what they used to be. I choose to refrain–while I still can. Besides, I do most of my wishing, and hoping, and praying while the matches are in progress.


Gorsuch's attitude is indicative of an accelerating drift away from the separation of church and state. The situation is not new, but in the past, there have been guardrails to rein in the more extreme drifting. This hapless coach in Washington–who is probably a very good man–has come along when people like Neil Gorsuch are listening and willing to rewrite the Constitution to suit his own biases.

With a Supreme Court that no longer has the respect of most Americans, some football coach's

praying after a game pales by comparison with recent gun pronouncements and retrenching women's autonomy, but it all fits together. The move toward an authoritarian theocracy is progressing daily, just as it did in early New England when sanctimony determined a person's worth and the unsanctimonious were eliminated–broomsticks and all.

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