Yesterday, Joe Kennedy, an assistant high-school–football coach in Bremerton, Wash., was suspended. His offense? Kneeling for a short on-field prayer after football games. According to multiple news reports, for the last several years Kennedy has waited until each game ends and the players leave the field before walking to the 50-yard line and offering a quiet prayer for his students. He never asks anyone to join him, nor does he stop anyone who wants to do so. Moved by his example, a number of players pray beside him — and at least one agnostic student takes the opportunity to enjoy an “uplifting” moment of meditation.
By the school district’s own admission, despite seven years of mid-field prayer, no student complained. Indeed, district administrators weren’t even aware of Kennedy’s routine until “an employee of another district” mentioned it to them. At that point, the district — claiming liability risk — demanded that Kennedy stop praying at mid-field, offering to provide him a “private location” instead. Kennedy declined, continued praying at mid-field, and was summarily suspended. I agree with Kennedy’s lawyers — my friends at the Liberty Institute — that the district likely violated his right to religious liberty. But it’s doubtful the district would have taken action against Kennedy absent two extraordinarily malicious, anti-Christian legal doctrines developed by our lawless federal courts.
Story is here.