To Conservatives and those who value Freedom of Religion, we should all know and pull for Joe Kennedy. Joe Kennedy, or Coach Kennedy, is fighting before the United States Supreme Court not to get his job back but to stop the powers who could ever take it away in the future. Coach Kennedy is a strong man of courage who is fighting for the freedom of religion against the power of the educational system that wants it removed.
Joe Kennedy became Coach Kennedy when he took his team to the field for his first game in 2008 for the Bremerton Knights in Washington State. After the final play, Kennedy walked alone to the fifty-yard line, kneeled, and prayed to God for protecting his players. He did this after every game, and his players began to join him at mid-field for a moment of silent reflection and prayer. They had just been to battle on that same field they now gathered and prayed on. The Coach never invited or compelled his players to join him. That was something that just happened.
Some parents complained that their sons felt obligated to pray or lose their standing on the team. That was never the case, and the Coach elevated two players who were against the act of prayer to Team Captains. This decision was an act of unity and leadership by the Coach.
For seven years, the Coach led his team on the field and then took a moment to pray after the final whistle, and there was no issue with the school board. Then in 2015, a parent and an opposing coach who Kennedy had asked to have his team join his in prayer lodged complaints. These complaints were the start of the battle.
The board informed Kennedy that as an agent of the state, he had violated the players’ right to religious liberty by compelling them to pray. They demanded he cease or be terminated.
“When a coach uses the power of his job to be in a place and have access to students at a time when they’re expected to encircle him and come to him, that’s an abuse of that power and a violation of the Constitution,” Rachel Laser, president, and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, told CBS News’ Jan Crawford. “Religious freedom is not the right to impose your religion on others. We all need to have it, so that’s why the free exercise and establishment clause work together to protect religious freedom for all of us.”
Kennedy failed to comply with the directive to stop his after-game prayer and was dismissed from his coaching job.
“It seems so simple to me: It’s a guy taking a knee by himself on the 50-yard-line, which to me doesn’t seem like it needs a rocket scientist or a Supreme Court justice to figure out,” he told CBS News. “I didn’t want to cause any waves, and the thing I wanted to do was coach football and thank God after the game.”
This simple act of prayer has resulted in a seven-year court battle and the case in front of the Supreme Court this past week. We would not have a story if Kennedy took a knee during the anthem and asked his team to join him. The Coach would still be coaching. But recognizing God is a problem for an education system that needs God removed as a part of the indoctrination of our children.
Coach Kennedy’s success as a coach is irrelevant. It is his belief in God and his ability to bring his faith to the field and allow his players to share that faith or not. Giving them a choice was teaching them the meaning of Freedom of Religion. What the school board has done is quite the opposite. Their view is there is only one choice, and it is theirs.
The case was heard by the Justices for two days, and reports from those who witnessed the hearings claim it went well for the Coach. There seemed to be a consensus amongst the nine justices, by the tone and content of their questions, that Coach Kennedy was acting within his rights and that the school board acted unfairly. Whether Coach Kennedy ever walks on a field of play again does not matter, but I am pulling for him to win the biggest game of all and to win for all of us who believe in Freedom and God. God Bless you Coach Joe Kennedy. We are praying with you.
Content syndicated from ConservatriveViewFromNH.com with permission
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