Fighting For Religious Liberty Takes Its Toll

A high school football coach in Washington state has resigned following his recent return to coaching after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled his on-field prayers were protected by the Constitution.

Joe Kennedy, former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in Seattle, resigned on Wednesday (Sept. 6) after returning to field for the first time in almost eight years. His post-game prayers, sometimes accompanied by students, drew national attention, and led to Kennedy’s being placed on leave by the school district, which later decline to renew his contract.

After a lengthy legal battle in which he lost his case at every ascending level, the Supreme Court ruled in his favor with a 6-3 decision last year. The 54-year-old Kennedy now cites several reasons for stepping away from coaching, including taking care of an aging family member out of state.

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Timothy Cockes | “Resignation of high school football coach points to toll of lengthy religious liberty cases” | September 8, 2023


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  1. I personally think if he wanted to pray with his team a locker room prayer would have been sufficient. After it’s not Church, it’s a high school football game.
    Also what’s up with Christians fighting for religions freedoms? Only in America I guess. I’m sure the Christians on the colosseum floor at Rome would have liked freedom of religion, not to mention the all of the martyrs.

  2. I don’t know what to think about this. I certainly admire his courage. Should this kind of thing be pursued by Christians in their secular vocations? What is the purpose of this vs. private prayer? When I was in public high school in rural Pennsylvania (90s), we all knelt in the locker room before the football game and said the Lord’s Prayer together. I don’t think any of the coaches were Christians, and most of the players weren’t either. I remember feeling very uncomfortable at our using the Lord’s Prayer as a rabbit’s foot.

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