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Praying Football Coach Gets Support from Students and Parents in Defiance of School District Demands

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The areas that we are being told we can demonstrate our faith has begun to dwindle.  In America, freedom of religion will soon be restricted to the space between the believer’s ears.  People no longer wish to be exposed to prayer, praises or the gospel.  So, one should have guessed a coach’s personal act of thanksgiving for his student/athletes would not escape the attack levied on so many others.

Christian News reports:

Joe Kennedy, the assistant head coach for the varsity team at Bremerton High School and the head coach for the junior varsity team, had been prohibited by the district from allowing students to join him in his seven-year prayer practice, and planned to pray solo after last week’s game.

Kennedy has been long doing this after game prayer.  He simply felt the need to thank God for the blessing he has received by these young people being in his life.  And though he has done this for years, he had never sought attention nor did he ask the students to join him.

Christian News continued:

Kennedy said that when he began the practice in 2008, then praying on his own, several team members approached him and asked what he was doing.

“I was thanking God for you guys,” Kennedy recalls responding. “Then a couple said they were Christians and asked if they could join. I responded, ‘It’s a free country, you can do whatever you want to do.'”

Over time, a few of his players were joined by those from opposing teams who would of their own volition join them after the game.  But as you know, this made the district scared.  And though no one complained, they felt it necessary to step in and stop the practice.

Christian News reports:

However, last month, the Bremerton School District launched an investigation into the coach’s practices, and soon sent a letter outlining that some aspects of his religious expression must discontinue. It noted that Kennedy not only prays at the conclusion of each game, but also prays in the locker room with students and staff.

While Superintendent Aaron Leavell acknowledged that “[e]ach activity has been voluntary” and that Kennedy has not “actively encouraged or required participation,” he asserted that the practices were still unconstitutional. He laid out rules so that the district would decrease its chances of a lawsuit, stating that while Kennedy may engage in religious activity, “students may not be allowed to join such activity.”

But this is what only could be hoped for in the face of religious tyranny as we face in our country.

Christian News continued:

When Kennedy knelt down to pray at the 50-yard line at the conclusion of the homecoming game, he realized that he wasn’t alone.

“All of a sudden I feel all these bodies around me and I’m hoping they’re not kids,” he told reporters following the incident as he began to cry.

But it was—along with many others who had come off the bleachers to join him as he gave thanks to God.

“Lord, I thank you for these kids and the blessing you’ve given me with them,” Kennedy prayed. “We believe in the game, we believe in competition and we can come into it as rivals and leave as brothers.”

The only way that we can preserve our freedom is to exercise it in the face of punishment.  We must stand and proclaim that we are not going to be bullied.  We do not care if it cost us our jobs, our homes, or our lives.  We are going to live according to the Constitution, and we are going to serve our God.  And not even death will stop us.

Thank God for Coach Kennedy and thank God for those students and parents who know what it means to stand up to bullies.

*Article by Michael Ware

The Washington Standard

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