In The News

Major Sports Publication Just Ripped A Coach For Praying On The Field!

A smear story on high school football coach Joe Kennedy was published in Sports Illustrated on Monday.

According to SI, Kennedy is destroying America by praying after football games. Kennedy is a threat to American Democracy, SI says.

Greg Bishop, an American football player also claims that Joe Kennedy praying on the field after a football game would be an “erosion of a bedrock of American democracy.”

Bishop is seriously arguing that a coach praying on a field, not over the PA system, but quietly by himself, would bring an end to the American way of life.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated tweeted, “SCOTUS will soon rule on the case of a public school football coach who wants to pray on-field after games.”

It added, “[Greg Bishop] on Joe Kennedy, the machine backing him and the expected result: a win for Kennedy and an erosion of a bedrock of American democracy.”

Now, the Supreme Court is weighing the case of Joe Kennedy.

Kennedy is a former high school football coach who lost his job after praying on the 50-yard-line. He accused the Bremerton School District of violating his constitutional rights to free exercise and free speech when he was fired.

The case is explained in full by ‘Just the News’:

Kennedy, a retired Marine, coached the football team from 2008 to 2015 and would kneel and quietly pray at midfield after every game.

While he initially prayed alone, after several games students and players joined him, even inviting players from opposing teams.

Eventually, Kennedy started giving short motivational speeches to the players who gathered after games, which sometimes included religious content and a short prayer.

After seven years of Kennedy praying on the field after games, a school administrator from a visiting team complimented Bremerton High School’s principal on the coach’s practice. The school district subsequently investigated the situation, directed Kennedy to cease the ritual, denied him a religious accommodation request, implemented a new policy to stop him from praying publicly on the football field, then suspended and fired him for continuing to do so.

According to the school district, Kennedy could not pray publicly following the end of a game while still being on duty as a coach. The district offered to let him pray in “private locations within the school building or athletic facility, or … press box.”

Kennedy filed a lawsuit with First Liberty Institute against the Bremerton School District in a federal district court in 2016, asking that he be allowed to continue coaching as the case made its way through the courts. The district court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court all denied Kennedy’s request.

However, the Supreme Court sent the case back down to the district court for further litigation. The district court and the Ninth Circuit both decided for the school district. The lawsuit was refiled with the Supreme Court in September 2021, which in January decided to hear the case.

“[T]his case presents an opportunity for the Supreme Court to review — and possibly rectify— legal precedent that has been harmful to religious freedom for decades,” First Liberty said last month.

“Public employers, especially school districts, often misinterpret their civic obligations under the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” argued the religious liberty legal defense group. “But now, we’ll be asking that the Court clarify the interaction of these clauses.”

The nonprofit law firm added that “a ruling in Coach Kennedy’s favor could impact public school employees nationwide, helping safeguard their constitutional rights and ensure they won’t face a difficult choice between their careers and their faith.”

Sources: WND, Foxnews, Justthenews

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