Image: Defending freedom
Our Work

Defending freedom

Protecting the most vulnerable by defending freedom for all faiths

Learn More
Image: Beards Win Big 1 Year Later
Becket In the News

Beards Win Big 1 Year Later

In the year after Hobby Lobby, there's one surprising winner

Learn More
Image: Dedicated to protecting the free expression of all faiths
About the Becket Fund

Dedicated to protecting the free expression of all faiths

Our clients have included Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians

Learn More
Image: Becket Wins Landmark Case
Recent Victories

Becket Wins Landmark Case

Becket Fund wins “Most important religious liberty case in a half century” – WSJ

Learn More
Image: International Religious Freedom
International Religious Freedom

International Religious Freedom

A project of the Becket Fund dedicated to promoting and sustaining religious freedom of all faiths around the world

Learn More
Image: Canterbury Medal Dinner
Canterbury Dinner

Canterbury Medal Dinner

Honoring courageous men and women who advance religious liberty for all

Learn More
home-slide-11945-thumb
home-slide-28136-thumb
home-slide-11912-thumb
home-slide-11941-thumb
home-slide-11930-thumb
home-slide-11943-thumb

BREAKING NEWS

More Breaking News +
Religious Groups Ask Supreme Court to Bring Olympian Jim Thorpe Home

Religious Groups Ask Supreme Court to Bring Olympian Jim Thorpe Home

July 2nd, 2015

Remains of Native American sports hero should be reunified with family members on tribe’s historic lands, in accordance with religious customs

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2015
Media Contact: Melinda Skea, mskea@becketfund.org, 202-349-7224                                                        

Washington, D.C. – Today the Becket Fund led a coalition of Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Santero religious groups to the Supreme Court in a fight to honor the religious beliefs of Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe, members of his Native American Sac and Fox tribe, and his two remaining sons. Previously, a Pennsylvania court rejected their Native American beliefs, saying they were “absurd.”

“Since when does a court get to decide that someone’s religious beliefs are absurd?” said Stephanie Barclay, Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “No American’s faith should be mocked by our courts. Jim Thorpe said he wanted to be buried with his family and his tribe, and that should have been the end of it. Especially given the government’s history of mistreating Native Americans, there should be particular care taken to protect their religious practices.”

Since Thorpe’s death in 1953, his sons have sought to honor their father’s wishes to be buried on traditional Sac and Fox tribal lands in Oklahoma. However, as a result of a family dispute at the time of his death, Thorpe’s body was auctioned off to the highest bidder—which was a small Pennsylvania town he’d never even visited. Now his only remaining children—themselves now elderly—want to bring him home to bury him near his parents and other family members in Oklahoma. The town’s refusal to return Thorpe’s remains is not only a clear violation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), but it also tramples on the tribe’s religious beliefs that Thorpe’s spirit will not be able to complete its spiritual journey until the proper burial ceremony is completed.

Read More

Latest @ Becket

More News +

Featured Cases

More Cases +

Featured Events

More Events +

We Need Your Help

Support Us +

Help Us Defend Religious Freedom for All

Stay Up To Date - Subscribe

Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter and breaking news updates.

Stay Up To Date - Subscribe
Are you a member of the media? Click here

Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter and breaking news updates.

We value your privacy. Your personal information will be kept confidential and will never be sold to third parties. It will only be used to send you the Becket Fund’s weekly e-newsletter you are requesting by checking this box.
Thank You!
Could not process request, sorry. Try again please.
Stay Up To Date - Subscribe

Subscribe to receive our newsletter and breaking news updates.


Thank You!
Could not process request, sorry. Try again please.