Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
Finkelman, Paul <email@example.com>
Paul.Finkelman at albanylaw.edu
Sat Mar 3 12:31:56 PST 2012
The "common sense" is what is often lacking and with a sense of fairness and toleration. Apparently for the leaders of the TAPP "common sense" means everyone is a Christian and all people have a Sunday sabbath. The lawyers serve as educator to teach common sense and respect for other religions.
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From: Alan Armstrong <alanarmstrong.com at verizon.net>
To: Law & Religion issues for Law Academics <religionlaw at lists.ucla.edu>
Sent: Sat, Mar 3, 2012 19:56:56 GMT+00:00
Subject: Re: Basketball tournaments on the Sabbath
My understanding is that Jewish and 7th day adventists consider sabbath as going from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. I do not know of any christian denominations that use sundown Saturday to sundown on Sunday as the Lord's day.Therefore a Saturday night game should be acceptable to all.
A little thought and common sense and we would need fewer lawyers.
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On Mar 2, 2012, at 11:48 AM, Douglas Laycock wrote:
Some of you may have seen the story in the Times the other day about the Beren Hebrew Academy in Houston, whose basketball team has reached the state semi-finals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools tournament. The semifinal game was scheduled for tonight; the Academy is Orthodox and observant, and could not play. The other school was willing to reschedule, but the TAPPS Board voted 8-0 not to allow that. Most TAPPS members are church affiliated, and as a matter of policy, it never schedules games on Sunday.
Beren parents and students filed a lawsuit this morning in the Northern District of Texas, alleging unconstitutional religious discrimination, Texas RFRA, and breach of contract (based on a provision in the TAPPS bylaws). The complaint’s state action theory was that the game was scheduled to be played in a public school gym, which is surely not enough. The contract claim looked stronger, judging only by the complaint.
Richard Friedman at Michigan tells me that TAPPS caved as soon as the complaint was filed, and that the game will begin imminently and will be completed before sunset. If your position is utterly untenable as a matter of public relations, it may not matter that the other side’s state action theory is very weak. But they had to file the lawsuit before common sense could prevail.
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University of Virginia Law School
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