“’We must obey God rather than men….’” – Acts 5:29b
Coach Joe Kennedy, an eighteen-year Marine veteran, was an assistant coach for the Bremerton High School (BHS) varsity football team in Washington.
Before he even coached his first game, the Marine-turned-football coach made a commitment to God that he would give thanks at the conclusion of each game for what the players had accomplished and for the opportunity to be part of their lives through football. He has done so for the seven years since his first football game in 2008.
After several games, some players asked if they could join him. He responded, “this is a free country” and “you can do what you want.” Over time, Coach Kennedy began offering short motivational speeches to players who voluntarily gathered after the game.
After seven years, an employee of another high school mentioned the practice to the principal and an administrator expressed disapproval, leading to Coach Kennedy being fired.
First Liberty, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious liberty for all Americans, is representing Coach Kennedy and fighting for the religious freedom we all enjoy.
The court case is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court and oral arguments are expected to be heard in April.
The Family Foundation joined other state policy groups in filing a legal brief supporting Coach Kennedy’s right to exercise his faith.
Emphasizing what is at stake, the brief reads:
“Singling out religious voices results only in systematically shaming religion and the religious… If we truly want the government to be neutral, we must allow individual speech and religious exercise to flourish.”
LET US PRAY . . .
Father, give the justices wisdom to declare a righteous judgment in this case; one that upholds the religious freedom that is first among the rights protected by our Constitution. Sustain Coach Kennedy during this difficult time and ease the burden he is carrying. Give wisdom and strength to his legal team as they fight on behalf of us all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.