Freedom Wins, Supreme Court Sides with High School Coach Fired for Praying on Field After Games


Posted originally on the conservative tree house on June 27, 2022 | Sundance

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Joseph Kennedy [Full Ruling Here] saying the Bremerton school district in Washington state was wrong to fire him for praying after football games with players of both teams.  By a vote of 6-3, the justices ruled that Coach Joseph Kennedy’s conduct was protected by the First Amendment.

In 2015, Kennedy had been a part-time football coach at Bremerton High School for seven years. Coach Kennedy would pray at midfield after each game, alone, with players and with players of the opposing team joining him. When the school district learned about Kennedy’s prayers, they told him to stop. Kennedy refused, and despite wide support from parents and the community the district fired him.

Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the court’s opinion and was joined in full by Chief Justice John Roberts, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh. Gorsuch explained that the government’s only real justification for its decision to fire Kennedy “rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution,” Gorsuch concluded, “neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”

(Via Christian Post) […] “Kennedy prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters. He offered his prayers quietly while his students were otherwise occupied. Still, the Bremerton School District disciplined him anyway,” wrote Gorsuch. 

“Both the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment protect expressions like Mr. Kennedy’s … The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.”

In response to today’s opinion, Kennedy said, “This is just so awesome. All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I am incredibly grateful to the Supreme Court, my fantastic legal team, and everyone who has supported us. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle.”

Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel for First Liberty, a religious liberty law firm based in Plano, Texas, which represented Kennedy, hailed the court’s decision as a “tremendous victory for Coach Kennedy and religious liberty for all Americans.” (more)

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” 

Matthew 18:20

“Will you pray with me?” or “will you allow me to pray with you?”  These are examples of the strongest proactive affirmations of fellowship, love and faith you can bring to any encounter.  Prayer works.

However, it is not enough to simply to stop and pray, we should immediately affirm the intent of the moment.  We should pause, gather or assemble and pray in His name. That is where the Spirit of Jesus will manifest.   Seek to gather with others in the name of Jesus and experience His presence in the moments of life.

Fellowship is critical.

There are many biblical commands concerning “one another” because God does not want us to be alone.  Isolation and/or aloneness is not living; they can be painful and harmful to our spirit.  Burdens weigh most when carried alone.

Fellowship is the connective tissue that brings life to our journey.  When you feel hardship, pray.  When you see hardship, pray. When you find hardship in another, pray.

There is no level of experience needed for prayer, nor is there an apprenticeship for faith.  While living, just pay attention.  When you see a burden reach out, feel, connect, and begin… “Dear God,”….. the rest will follow.

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