Christian High School Football Coach Wins Supreme Court Case
The Supreme Court is siding with a Christian high school football coach, saying that he has the right to pray at the 50-yard line.
A Christian former high school basketball coach from Washington state scored a huge victory from the Supreme Court on Monday after he was placed on leave for praying at the 50-yard line after his team’s games when the school claimed that his prayers violated the separation of church and state.
Supreme Court has ruled in support of football coach Joseph Kennedy and his right to pray at games in First Amendment case. pic.twitter.com/lz4yFPvPng
— Sachin Jose (@Sachinettiyil) June 27, 2022
Supreme Court Sides With Christian Coach
Daily Mail reported that in a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court found that former coach Joseph Kennedy, who served in the United States’ Marines for 20 years, had the right to pray on the field after his games.
Kennedy had claimed that the Bremerton School District infringed on his religious freedom when it stopped him from praying following a 2015 incident in which students joined him in prayer.
The district had fired back by alleging that it had received complaints and even threats over the students joining Kennedy in prayer.
The Supreme Court, which first agreed to hear this case in 2019, ruled today that Kennedy’s prayers were protected under the First Amendment right to free speech.
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“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority. “A government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. ”
“And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech,” he added. “The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.”
Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the descent that this ruling “sets us further down a perilous path in forcing states to entangle themselves with religion.”
‘I Thank God For Answering Our Prayers’
Kennedy was quick to celebrate the ruling, telling CNN, “All I’ve ever wanted was to be back on the field with my guys. I thank God for answering our prayers and sustaining my family through this long battle.”
Watch Kennedy react to the ruling in the video below.
Kennedy had previously stated that he didn’t force any players to pray with him in the incident that started this back in September of 2015. Instead, he said that some players asked what he was doing, and those who were Christian decided to join him in prayer.
“It was never any kind of thing where it was a mandatory thing,” Kennedy told The New York Times in April. Watch Kennedy talk more about this five years ago in the video below.
Brett Kavanaugh Sounds Off
The school district claimed that it did not want to see students be pressured to pray, but conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t having any of this.
“It’s not audible to all players,” he said. “They’re not all there. They don’t have to be there. It’s not a team event. … You’re relying on it being visible, and then the question is, how far does that go? The coach does the sign of the cross right before the game. Could a school fire the coach for the sign of the cross?”
This is a huge victory for Christians everywhere, as prayer is never something that should be policed. We’re so glad to see that the Supreme Court made the right decision here!