Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Judge: Bremerton High Can Discriminate Against Praying Coach

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A US District Court Judge has ruled that the Bremerton School District in Washington State is not required to give Coach Joe Kennedy his job back.

Kennedy was fired for taking a knee and saying a quiet, private prayer following each football game.

The message? You can take a knee in protest of God or Country, but not to say a prayer.

Joe Kennedy, a deeply committed Christian and former high school football coach at Bremerton High School, had a post game tradition of walking to the 50 yard line following each game and offering a quiet, private prayer.

Over time, some of the players, on their own initiative, joined him for the short prayer.

During the past couple of years, boys from the opposing team have also joined in.

Although Coach Joe had been doing this for 8 years, last year it became an issue. The school district suspended him, giving him one more chance---ordering him to avoid kneeling, bowing his head or doing anything that could remotely be seen as religious.

He refused to stop praying---so they fired him.

Joe is loved in the community and there was an outpouring of support, including from a student who said he's an atheist but joined in the prayer because he felt the "community" of the moment.

The atheist who didn't like the prayer prevailed over the atheist who did.

The angry atheist also prevailed over the community that had deep respect for Coach Joe, and Coach Joe's religious rights.

First, Liberty Institute, one of the nation's most prominent religious liberty law firms, took the case and filed a law suit against the school district, demanding Joe Kennedy be rehired.

And that his violated religious freedom must be protected by the court.

US District Judge Ronald Leighton has now declined to issue a preliminary injunction that would have forced Bremerton School District to rehire Kennedy while his case is litigated.

Attorney Michael Berry with Liberty says certainly they are disappointed, but called it a "temporary set back."

Ironically, Monday of this week, I wrote about another Washington State High School football team who, along with their coach, also took a knee---with no consequences.

Last weekend, the entire Garfield High School football team took a knee, as they say, during the National Anthem in protest of our country. Their coach knelt with them.

Hiram Sasser with Liberty Institute said, "I bet if they were praying instead protesting, the school would have moved heaven and Earth to stop it."

However, they were applauded for their "courage."

Former Coach Joe Kennedy says his unwavering stand in regard to saying a prayer is based on a covenant he made with God after watching "Facing The Giants," a faith based football film.

The biblical account of Daniel and his 3 young Hebrew friends comes to my mind.

The question of their times, is the same question of our times:

To whom will you bow down?

The last chapter regarding Joe Kennedy's covenant with God is yet to be written.

We'll keep you posted.

Be Faithful. Be Vigilant. Be Strong. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.


  1. This judge is wrong and should be immediately impeached. There is so much of this unconstitutional judging by those who are supposed to protect our constitution instead of destroy it, or subvert it, or exchange it with their own prejudice personal opinions rather than law and constitution. We should be hearing of a judge being impeached at least once a month, it seems to me. Until that happens we likely will not be seeing restoration. We must have some accountability in the judicial branch. It's written in our constitution somewhere. It has to be, and we have to use it.

  2. I remember reading the Pilgrim's Progress and I noticed that so often proper names were capitalized, and I think it was for good reason. This Coach was Robbed, and by a judge.

  3. To accomodate Muslims requirement for prayer at least one school in the Seattle Public Schools has a room designated for prayer.

    I wonder how the same judge would view this.

  4. What has America come to??? When we turn our backs on God, guess what He will do?

    1. I FEAR what He might do!

  5. Philip, as long as you're a Christian, and certainly if you're a conservative Christian no aligned with the socialist extreme leftist Democrats, they can kick us, beat us, steal our livelihoods, throw us in jail. They try to justify this by saying we're the majority and they need to protect all minorities, but if we're really being honest, we're not the majority. Who knows, there may still be a 'moral majority' of the kind of block that Jerry Falwell et al, rallied into a formidable political movement in the 1980s. But even that's questionable (wow, do we need revival?! 2 Chronicles 7:14).

    And so these leftists, and their judges would protect the Muslim minority's right to freedom of expression and religion, but not what they deem the Christian majority, and certainly not those that don't tow their political line.

    Its SO bad. It's SO corrupt. It's SO unjust. Let us rise up and defend this judge in every valid way!


  6. Maybe if we would stop abortion, some of the rest of the stuff might go away. Strictly speaking, since abortion is voluntary, we don't even need a law against it. We just need people to stop doing it.

  7. Someone called for the impeachment of Judge Ronald Leighton. Here's the link to his Tacoma office. Let's get some 1st Amendment pressure started! Let's be Christianly, but let's be bold!

  8. OK, to be fair, this s preliminary ruling regarding immediately rehiring Coach Joe, during his hearing. A more final ruling is to come. You can bet though, if Coach Joe was a teacher's union liberal accused of abusing a student, he’d get admin leave with full pay, with the full force of the Western District Court of WA State..

    Where can we send money to support Coach Joe?

  9. Would suggest calling the Bremerton School District and asking them if they're going to expel students for taking a knee in prayer, or to protest the flag (for that matter): 360-473-1000

  10. Jesus teaching about prayer in Matthew 6:5&6 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

  11. Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:5&6 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

  12. Dear Anonymous:
    You may believe you understand Matthew 6:5&6, but I suggest that you have quoted it out of context. Jesus speaks here directly to individuals who "trumpet" their charity with the intent to glorify themselves. I believe Christians of that day knelt and prayed as they were torn to pieces by Lions in the Stadiums filled with crowds who hated them for praying but cheered their punishment for the same. Were they then violating Christ in their prayer? Are you cheering the punishment of a man who is willing to face punishment to testify publically to his faith, or are you rushing to condemn him by choosing to judge his motive to find guilt? Christ is the judge, you are not. Christ harshly judged the Pharasies for their public displays for their own glory, and especially for their "legalism" by which the condemned others for not following the "letter" of the law. Is it your intention to try to educate people as to the "letter" of the law and then anonymously judge someone you don't know? Only you know the answer to that. There is no need for me to judge, for that is the purview of Jesus alone.

  13. To he who quotes Matthew 6:5&6 to judge the Coach...

    First, know your bible and read what Christ was saying in context. Next, know your facts about the coach. First, the Coach made a convenant with God to pray in that particular manner. That means he is doing if for God, not for onlookers. Next, the Coach was threatened with punishment if he did not stop, yet he was faithful to his promise to God above the threats of man. Now realize that the Coach's testimony of faith caused other men to come and voluntarily pray with a "minority" that was certainly going to be they were, but willing to face criticism. BIG DIFFERENCE BEWEEEN CRITICISM AND GLORY!
    BEFORE YOU USE GOD'S WORD TO PUBLICALLY JUDGE SOMEONE I SUGGEST YOU FIRST KNOW HIS WORD, THEN KNOW YOUR FACTS, THEN SEEK TRUTH AS OPPOSED TO AN AGENDA. Which is worse, putting our name out to get glory for doing what you think will bring you praise, or hiding behind "anonymous" to protect yourself when you are judging the motive of another from a safe distance? Jesus knows the answer...and that's all that counts.



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