SCOTUS Hears Case Of Praying HS Football Coach
On Monday, after a six-year legal dispute, Kennedy and his legal team were able to bring their case before the Supreme Court for their first round of oral arguments in a case that could have big implications for religious freedom moving forward.
There are Christian coaches across the country, so why did Kennedy garner so much attention?
Back when he was hired, Kennedy made the simple decision that he would pray and thank God after each football game. He had been inspired by the Christian sports drama film “Facing the Giants” to use his platform to develop young men, and thus began the tradition of praying after each game at the 50-yard line.
“I’d take a knee and thank God for what the guys just did and the opportunity to be a coach,” Kennedy said. “I wanted to hang out with my players and develop these young men.”
He originally started doing it alone (with the prayers lasting no longer than 15-30 seconds), but eventually players wanted to join him. When asked if they could, Kennedy simply responded by saying “it’s a free country,” and that they could “do what (they) want.”
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The tradition gained traction, and Kennedy started giving short motivational speeches to anyone that would attend, which included opposing players too.
However, the Bremerton School District took exception to Kennedy’s actions, and asked him to keep his prayers “physically separate from any student activity” in September of 2015. Kennedy complied for roughly a month, but requested religious accommodation in October to keep praying. When the school refused to make an exception, Kennedy continued to pray by himself. Eventually, he was fired in November of 2015 for doing something the district claimed was “unconstitutional.”
Talk about a load of nonsense!
Fortunately for Kennedy, the Supreme Court has a 6-3 conservative majority which could play in favor of a final ruling. But we shouldn’t even have gotten here in the first place.
One thing that was repeatedly brought up during the case was that Kennedy never coerced people into joining him. What started as a personal time of reflection turned into an event that people were drawn to. But because it was Christian-themed, the school took exception.
As we see in other areas of our culture, woke influence is permitted and encouraged, but any trace of Christian influence is ruthlessly snuffed out. If the Supreme Court sides with Kennedy, then we could start to see that change for the better.