Brave Football Coach Defies School’s Ban on Prayer

Brave Football Coach Defies School’s Ban on Prayer

A football coach in Washington is taking a bold move by defying his school’s prayer ban.

Joe Kennedy, who is a coach at Bremerton High School, made the national news in September after the school district launched a formal investigation into his prayer routine which happened after the games.

Students would volunteer to say a prayer with the coach post-game, thanking God for the safety of his players.

The school sent him a three-page letter, banning him from saying the prayers. The letter said, “Your talks with students may not include religious express, including prayer. They must remain entirely secular in nature, so as to avoid alienation of any team member.

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Kennedy said, “I’m being investigated for thanking God for the opportunities that have been given me. It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

He continued, “I spent 20 years in the military defending the Constitution and the freedoms that everybody has. All of a sudden, I realized that people who work for the public schools don’t have the same constitutional rights that everyone else has.”

Fox News reported: 

Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty cases, now represents Coach Kennedy and they fired off a letter on Wednesday to the school district urging them to rescind the prayer ban.

“There is no lawful prohibition against Coach Kennedy’s practice of saying a private, post-game prayer,” attorney Hiram Sasser wrote. “The prayers are Coach Kennedy’s private religious speech, and no reasonable observer could conclude that BHS sponsors, endorses, or encourages student participation.”

Sasser blasted the school district for “banning Coach Kennedy from bowing his head or even being physically present where students may be praying.”

He said such action is blatantly unconstitutional.

“This is tantamount to a declaration that Coach Kennedy must flee the scene if students voluntarily come to the same area and pray as well,” Sasser said.

Liberty Institute wants the Bremerton School District to accommodate Coach Kennedy’s religious beliefs. But regardless, Coach Kennedy plans on praying at midfield on Friday night.

He does so knowing that it could cost him his job.

“I’m not a guy who hides in a corner and does a secret prayer to God,” the coach told me. “I’m very open about my faith everywhere I go.”

And that includes the 50-yard line at Bremerton High School.

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