“For you were called to freedom, brethren…” – Galatians 5:13a
Coach Joe Kennedy, who is a former Marine, served multiple years as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington state. Kennedy began coaching in 2008, and then in 2015, the Bremerton School District placed him on paid administrative leave which resulted in Coach Kennedy’s absence from coaching football since that time.
Why did the Bremerton School District place him on paid administrative leave? Coach Kennedy was punished by the School District for simply kneeling on the 50-yard line to pray after the games to thank God for the players he had the opportunity to coach. In no way did Coach Kennedy ever force or coerce players to join him, although, after several games, players by their own will decided to join him in prayer.
The school district informed Coach Kennedy that there was a policy that forbids school officials from indirectly inspiring students to participate in religious activity or discouraging them from doing so because it would be viewed as endorsing or opposing religious activity. After the notice, for a time Kennedy refrained from the on-field prayers, but his convictions before God soon led to him resuming his on-field prayers.
The school district eventually placed Coach Kennedy on leave, and ultimately chose to not re-hire him for the upcoming season. Kennedy decided to fight back by hiring First Liberty Institute in order to protect his religious freedom. Soon, thereafter the institute filed a lawsuit on his behalf against the Bremerton School District.
Unfortunately, the lower Courts have sided with the school district instead of protecting Coach Kennedy’s religious freedom. However, thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court has now announced it will take up the case and hear oral arguments in the Spring of 2022. The U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity, in this case, to reaffirm, protect, and fortify our foundation right as Americans of religious freedom.
LET US PRAY . . .
Father, we thank You, for the religious freedom we are allowed to experience here in America. Father, may the U.S. Supreme Court protect this precious freedom by ruling righteously in this case. Lord, please bless, strengthen, and encourage Coach Kennedy throughout this case. We thank You, Lord, for Coach Kennedy and the courageous example he has been in standing strong for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Praying For Our Kentucky Leaders
Join us in praying for our elected leaders throughout
the 2022 Legislative Session:
Kentucky Legislators in District 27 and 28
Sen. Johnnie Turner (District 29)
Rep. Kevin Bratcher (District 29)
Sen. Brandon Smith (District 30)
Rep. Tom Burch (District 30)