Praying Football Coach Reinstated to His Former Position

John Simmons | March 16, 2023
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Joe Kennedy, the Bremerton High School (BHS) football coach who was fired for praying after games, has been reinstated to his former position in Washington.

BHS announced that Kennedy will once again be on the sidelines at the start of the 2023 season, a fitting result after a seven-year legal battle that culminated last July. Kennedy’s legal team argued that the coach had a First Amendment right to pray after games and that Bremerton was wrong to fire him, which the Supreme Court agreed with.

"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 SCOTUS Justice Neil Gorsuch after the court ruled voted 6-3 in favor of Kennedy. "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."

Kennedy’s reinstatement caught the attention of evangelist and Samaritan’s Purse CEO Franklin Graham, who hopes that Kennedy’s bravery serves as an inspiration to others who might be facing adversity in the same way he did.

In a time in which the America we love is crumbling before our eyes, it is good to see that a man who was wrongfully persecuted is experiencing justice to the fullest extent.

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