It seems surreal that someone in America would experience religious persecution over prayer, but that’s exactly what happened to Coach Joe Kennedy.
Kennedy was an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Washington State. Then the school fired him for offering up a quiet prayer after each game.
Kennedy sued the school and has won the right to pray and be reinstated to his job as an assistant football coach at the school, according to Breitbart.
The order comes after Kennedy had to escalate and win his case with the U.S. Supreme Court because he had previously lost in the district. Kennedy won his case with the U.S. Supreme Court in June.
— tee tee (@TeeTee1119) October 30, 2015
A final order was issued on November 10th by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik regarding Kennedy’s reinstatement and his right to pray after each game.
“Kennedy is to be reinstated to his previous position as assistant coach of the Bremerton High School football team on or before March 15, 2023,” Lasnik’s order declared. “… Bremerton School District shall not interfere with or prohibit Kennedy from kneeling at midfield to engage in a brief, quiet, personal religious ritual during the period after a football game in which the coaching staff are free to attend to personal matters.”
The order confirmed that basically, Kennedy’s freedom of religion was violated by the action that the school took in firing him for praying.
“All Coach Kennedy ever wanted was to be able to get back on the field with his guys and to say a quiet, personal prayer at the 50-yard-line after each game,” President and CEO of First Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford said. “We look forward to Coach exercising his freedom once again next season.”
Kennedy said the prayers were intended to be, “a covenant between me and God that after every game, win or lose, I’m going to do it right there on the field of battle.”
He said he never forced the students to join him and never pressured them. However, there were a few who approached him about it.
“I had some kids that wanted to join, and they asked, and, of course, it’s a free country,” he said.