I Prayed have prayed
Jesus, You are the Truth. We pray that You would preserve free speech in America and help us do what is necessary to preserve and exercise our free speech rights.

There is a new free speech case filed against a university this month. A former Illinois State University (ISU) assistant football coach, Kurt Beathard, has sued IS head coach and the school’s former athletic director. Both are being sued in their official capacities for Beathard’s termination after he removed a Black Lives Matter poster from his door and replaced it with poster that read, “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” The case raises significant free speech issues and could result in an important ruling under the First Amendment.

Beathard worked for roughly 25 years as a football coach. He was successful at ISU as an offense coach including the season of this controversy. Indeed, he was asked back to ISU to rebuild the offense. This is how his complaint describes what then unfolded: . . .

Throughout his career, Beathard has successfully worked with young men of all races. While he believes black lives matter, he is opposed to the Black Lives Matter organization because it was founded by self-described “trained Marxists,” it divides human beings by skin color, and it supports violence and property destruction.

During mid-August 2020, ISU’s Department of Athletics printed Black Lives Matter posters. Several football coaches put Black Lives Matter posters on their office doors. Someone put a Black Lives Matter poster on Beathard’s office door.

Beathard removed the Black Lives Matter poster from his office door and replaced it with his own message: “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Beathard’s poster was on his office door for less than two (2) weeks.

On or about 8/29/20, Spack came to Beathard’s office and asked him to remove his poster – “All Lives Matter to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” After considering Spack’s request, Beathard removed his poster, and Spack thanked him.

By 8/30/20, some student athletes had put together a list of demands, one of which was that the Department of Athletics must publicly support Black Lives Matter.

On 8/31/20, the Department of Athletics responded by issuing an “Action Plan for Social Change,” wherein it announced its public support for Black Lives Matter. The Plan also promised “education” for Lyons, all athletic administrators, and coaches on “diversity, equity, and anti-racism.”

Meanwhile, another coach who wanted to replace Beathard as offensive coordinator had taken a picture of Beathard’s poster and shared it with the football players. Apparently, the picture upset some of the football players.

On 9/1/20, some of the football players boycotted practice. Spack came to Beathard’s office and informed him that it looked like Lyons was going to keep his job but that Beathard was in trouble over the poster.

On the morning of 9/2/20, Spack called Beathard into his office and informed him that he didn’t “like the direction of the offense” and that he was being terminated from his position as offensive coordinator. Spack’s explanation was 100% pretext. The offense had thrived under Beathard, and Spack had never complained about the direction of the offense. . . .

discovery is so key in these cases. Documents and depositions will indicate whether the signage controversy was the impetus for the termination rather than the performance of the offense on the field.

The other problem is the boycott and whether, regardless of the merits, the offense had broken down due to the conflict between Beathard and his players. Yet, the university guarantees employees that they retain free speech rights and, as a state school, Beathard has the protections afforded under the First Amendment. . . .

The key from a free speech perspective is neutrality. If one message is allowed, so too must be opposing or different messages. If you print or allow BLM posters to be posted on doors, you also must allow posters expressing alternative values. Many people do not support the BLM organization while supporting the underlying cause. Recently, for example, BLM announced a boycott of any white business during the holidays, a move viewed by many as racially discriminatory and socially divisive. Some people may feel uncomfortable with supporting BLM over past controversial positions (including past criticism of the “nuclear family structure”), but want to speak against all forms of discrimination.

I support faculty and students in displaying BLM posters and flags. I also support alternative messages and imagery. Free speech is the life’s blood of higher education. Tolerance for a diversity of values allows our schools to foster robust intellectual exchange. The worst situation is for schools to push or sponsor one viewpoint while harassing or punishing those with opposing viewpoints.

The Beathard lawsuit could force these issues into open court as the judge and jury address the rivaling claims.

 

(Excerpt from JonathanTurley.org.)

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Otilia Osterlund
January 2, 2022

From where the Lord sits, He laughs at the foolishness of man who boast on things that are carnal. Jesus is the Way, theTruth and the Life. The Truth sets us free and set free, we are made free, indeed. Lord, You are the Sovereign Lord of Host. Those who know You speak and declare what is of You and nothing will alter that for it is of You. Purge us of all that is not of You and pour down your righteousness that we may experience Your peace that is beyond undestatnding for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who lives and reigns with You now and forevermore. Amen.

Christine Stott
December 9, 2021

Dear Lord Jesus Christ! Please help this man and provide for him and his family, please give him courage to continue to speak the truth because every life matters to You, regardless of what shade the skin covering is, You love each and every one of us and we all matter to You!

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Elizabeth Schneider
December 9, 2021

I am glad he stood his ground!! If we ALL did this to this satanic agenda being pushed in America we will be a MUCH better place!
Black Lives matter is nothing but a partisian collective ideological movement to go against ANYTHING that is American! It’s to destroy the United States at its roots! God Bless this man for realizing the hidden agendas behind it!!

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