Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Bremerton Coach Kennedy To Supreme Court?

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Remember football Coach Joe Kennedy from Bremerton, Washington?

He's the man who wouldn't stop kneeling for a short prayer after each game.

He was suspended in 2015, then later fired for his prayer habits.

Kennedy petitioned the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who turned down his request.

Now he has petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear his case.

Congressmen, high profile athletes, and Christian leaders are filing amicus briefs strongly asking the Court to hear Kennedy's case.

A look back

In 2015, Coach Kennedy was suspended, then fired by the Bremerton (Washington) School District for his habit of kneeling for a short private prayer on the edge of the field, following each game.

He had been doing this for the past 8 or 9 years. In recent years, some of the players would join him for the moment of prayer.

An atheist parent took issue and objected. Even though one of the players who had joined the "prayer" claimed to be an atheist himself and took no offense to the prayer, the school and the courts would have none of it.

First, Kennedy was told to stop praying. He said he had a right to pray, was not inviting any of the players to join, and was doing so after the game when he was "off duty" as a coach.

A lower court ruled with the school district---"Kennedy was violating the separation of church and state."

Kennedy's lawyers took the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Nope. "We've got to keep church and state separated," they declared.

Kennedy Goes To the Supreme Court

Now the former coach has petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear his case. And he is not standing alone.

Members of Congress, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 12 attorneys general, famed college football coach Bobby Bowden and former Seahawk Steve Largent and former NFL player Chad Hennings have all called on the United States Supreme Court to hear the case of a high school coach's right to pray.

The congressmen's brief says in part, "Kennedy's conduct does not implicate any valid Establishment Clause concerns. It is undisputed that Kennedy did not encourage or even invite players to join him in prayer, as the only students who participated were those who voluntarily joined Kennedy."

Bowden is even stronger because he said: "No coach should have to set down their faith when they pick up a whistle."

The Bowden brief says in part: "To be sure, this is an issue that resonates deeply with coach Bowden; it brings together three subjects that are the cornerstones of his life; faith, football, and freedom."

It continues, "In coach Bowden's view, the Circuit Court's opinion jeopardizes an observant coach's ability to impact these life lessons and otherwise strips them of their spiritual identity while in the presence of their student-athletes by categorically eliminating at the public schoolhouse gate their First Amendment rights to engage in any form of religious expression."

Kelly Shackelford, CEO of First Liberty who represents Kennedy, says: "Banning all coaches from praying just because they can be seen is wrong and contradicts the Constitution. We must protect the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including prayer in public, without fear of getting fired."

Coach Kennedy attended a then-candidate Donald Trump rally in 2016. Trump was aware of the issue and told the crowd he thought the district's actions against Kennedy were "horrible"..."absolutely outrageous."

America's Founding Fathers and creators of our Constitution would agree.

So do millions of us.

But the atheists and most secularists do not.

What's wrong with praying in public on a football field after the game is over?

Americans United for Separation of Church and State issued this as part of their statement:

"Students and families have the right to decide whether and how to practice their faith. Public schools should be welcoming places for all students and families, and no student should feel like an outsider at his or her school."

That is a canned statement Americans United and other far Left secular and atheist groups have been parroting for more than 30 years.

In explaining why the courts caused Kennedy to be fired for praying, Judge Milan Smith, Jr. said: "Kennedy took advantage of his position to press his particular views upon the impressionable and captive minds before him."

Let's talk about taking advantage of the impressionable and captive minds of school children.

While they, the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation, and other activist anti-Christian groups have been threatening schools with lawsuits, and school boards have been caving for fear of their lawsuits---it is the Christians who have been made to feel "unwelcome"... "like an outsider" at their schools.

Public schools have taught children a morality structure completely foreign to the beliefs of their parents while failing to even notify their parents of the content of these controversial so-called sex-ed lessons.

Every day in classrooms across this nation, activists are taking advantage of impressionable and captive minds.

Behind closed doors, they are indoctrinating our young and vulnerable children.

Planned Parenthood, the homosexual crusaders Human Rights Campaign, and other highly funded groups provide materials and often instructors to go with the materials, to "help" these "underfunded" schools.

They are indoctrinating, not educating our children. Is it not "taking advantage" when a 5-year-old kindergarten student is introduced to gender fluidity? And told "you may think you're a boy, but you might be a girl?"

It's not only taking advantage, it's child abuse.

An attitude of anti-Christian, anti-Americanism, and anti-conservatism is advanced every day in public schools across this land. While we the taxpayers cover the expense.

Christian kids who stand for their Christian faith in government-run schools are often ridiculed. You don't believe me? Ask the committed Christian teenagers from any public school. They are ridiculed and often mocked both in the classroom and the hallways because of their biblical Christian faith.

A high achieving Christian kid wants to mention their Christian faith in a commencement speech---they are forced to moderate it or are completely removed from the program.

Has any school district ever considered that just beyond the afterglow of their political correctness, secularist ideology and fear of the atheists, there are students and teachers who also have a right to feel welcome in public school?

They are the students and teachers who are Christians. They embrace Christianity. The belief system that birthed the greatest nation in the history of the world.

The belief that created a nation that protects and celebrates the God-given rights that have made America blessed, prosperous and free.

These secularists and atheists should be---and are--- free to believe as they want.

They should not be free to suppress the religious freedom of everyone else who believes differently than they do---with the strong arm of the government.

In a letter to Benjamin Rush in 1812, John Adams said: "Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion."

James Madison said, "The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate."

I'm pretty sure that means you can say a prayer on a football field regardless of where you work.

I 'm also pretty sure a moment of prayer on a football field does not constitute the establishment of a state religion.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful. Be Faithful.