As seen in Fox News' copious and supportive coverage of *Coach Joseph Kennedy, Fox News loves its persecuted public high school Christian coaches - a love that is being shown to yet another Christian coach who was attacked by those nasty Jesus haters at the Freedom From Religion Foundation. But never fear, Fox friend Abby Huntsman is there to defend him!
The newest victim of those evil secularists who take the First Amendment's "establishment clause" seriously is Eddie Metcalf, who coaches football at the public Wakulla Middle School, in Wakulla County Florida. After a recent game, he was videotaped in the act of kneeling down, on the field, to pray with his players while "The Lord's Prayer" was being said. After the Freedom From Religion Foundation (which is one of Fox's favorite targets) complained, the coach was reprimanded. Mandatory training on First Amendment issues has been scheduled for the entire school staff.
Fox News had already started the cheerleading befor Huntsman took up the cause. Fox News Insider quipped that the school's action "took the Hail Mary" out of the coach's playbook. The article showed tweets in support of Metcalf. Fox's Todd Starnes predictably hyperventilated about how the school is "hostile to people of faith." So Huntsman's endorsement of the coach's action was hardly surpising.
She began yesterday's patented Fox & Friends "Fight for Faith segment with a report on the "controversy" over the coach "simply taking a knee and bowing his head even though he didn't recite a prayer...but he says he's being unfairly singled out." She introduced Metcalf and his lawyer. In asking for an explanation of the situation, she did the popular "but this is tradition" Fox argument with her point about, "This is a routine that players have done for a long time...after the game and now it has turned ugly."
She introduced Metcalf's lawyer, Jeremy Dys, an attorney from Liberty Institute, an advocacy group for persecuted Christians and a big Fox fave! In speaking about the tradition of post -ame prayer, Dys said that the coach, who was on his knees during the prayer, "didn't think it was respectful to pull away..." He described the FFRF's action as "shocking" and expressed sympathy for the Florida-panhandle school district.
Hunstman read the FFRF's statement which clearly described why the coach's actions were unconstitutional. Rather than react to that, Huntsman described the image of the praying coach in the video: "What a nice moment, after the game, coming together..." Coach Metcalf said he wanted "to share his respect" to his players as they exercise their religion freedom. He noted that his players are "supportive."
Metcalf said the coach and players no longer praying together but that the school has offered a solution. Dys hoped that there would be some "middle ground" and that there is no need for a "letter of guidance" in the coach's file. Not surprisingly, he accused the FFRF of "unfairly" targeting the school.
Huntsman asked Metcalf to talk about the awesomeness of getting together, with his team, to pray. After he said that it is a "bonding" moment, she wished him "all the luck."
As per the usual in Fox coverage, Abby Huntsman ignored the court precedents which clearly establish the unconstitutionality of public school prayer.
Wonder if she would be as supportive of a public school's Muslim team praying with their Muslim coach. Just saying....
*Update on Coach Kennedy - In October, he met with Donald Trump who said that Kennedy's prohibition from praying on the school football field is "horrible" and "very sad."
Watch it below. From December 18th's Fox & Friends.
The coach participated, which is a violation of The Establishment Clause and several major SCOTUS decisions. Stepping back from a spontaneous religious activity is the correct action. He is also required to not give any indication of participating from afar, including bowing his head.