Atheists Protest Football Coach Who Prayed After Game

One of the most important stories in America happened under the Friday Night Lights in Bremerton, Washington over the weekend.

A Marine veteran and assistant football coach named Joe Kennedy – walked out to the 50-yard line, dropped to a knee bowed his head and offered a silent prayer.

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It lasted all of ten seconds – at the end of the Bremerton High School football game.

Eight years ago – that prayer ended Joe Kennedy’s coaching career.

The coach is a devout Christian – and he was inspired by the faith-based football movie “Facing the Giants” to conclude every game by walking onto the field and praying.

The school district warned Coach Kennedy that if he so much as bowed his head or gave anyone the impression that he was praying – he would be fired.

But the coach was defiant and in 2015 he walked out on the field, offered a 10 second prayer and was subsequently fired.  

That led to years of court battles – that eventually ended up at the Supreme Court. The Court ruled that Coach Kennedy had a constitutional right to pray. The school district had to pay more than 1.7 million dollars in attorneys fees. And the Coach was reinstated to his job with the football program.

And that brings us back to Friday night – when about a thousand people turned out for the game. After a hard-fought contest, Coach Kennedy – once again walked out onto the field, too a knee and petitioned the Almighty.

His job and his constitutional rights restored. Answered prayers.  

First Liberty Institute – one of the nation’s top religious liberty law firms – represented the coach. And they released this statement after the game:

“Tonight, is a victory for Coach Kennedy, the community of Bremerton, and the religious liberty of all Americans.  We are thrilled Coach was once again free to fulfill the promise he made to God to pray after every game.”

However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation was enraged over the prayer and they posted a billboard in town mocking Christians. “Wishing Bremerton High School a safe, secular & successful school year,” the billboard read.

“Coach Kennedy’s antics are a desperate way of keeping his unconstitutional agenda in the spotlight,” said FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert in a statement posted on the organization’s website. “We’ll be countering it whichever way we can.”

Take it up with the Founding Fathers, ma’am.

“We’re determined to reassure the Bremerton community that the U.S. Constitution forbidding a governmental establishment of religion still exists,” added FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Kennedy’s actions are embarrassing and proselytizing, but nothing he says or does can alter the secular foundation of our nation.”

I interviewed Coach Kennedy for a chapter in my book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.” Click here to read my book.

The coach told me there was never any doubt that he would stay the course. Given the choice of serving God or the government – Coach Kennedy chose God.

For many years it was legal for a football coach to take a knee to protest the national anthem, but it was against the law for a coach to take a knee to pray. Those days are long gone – thanks in no small part to President Trump – and his nominees to the Supreme Court.

By the way – the Bremerton Knights won the game Friday night – 27-12.


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