“Our Freedom To Pray in Danger Before the Supremes Today”
By Donna Garner

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Today on 4.25.22, First Liberty Legal, under the direction of Kelly Shackelford, is arguing Coach Joe Kennedy’s case before the U. S. Supreme Court. 

Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Washington, suspended Coach Kennedy (and later fired him) because he prayed a brief, quiet prayer after football games.

His habit was to go to the 50-yard-line after a game, kneel quietly, and thank the Lord out of gratitude for keeping the players safe, for fair play, and for spirited competition.  Sometimes a few of the players, even from both teams, would join Coach Kennedy in this quiet prayer time.

Coach Kennedy stated, "It seems so simple to me: It's a guy taking a knee by himself on the 50-yard-line, which to me doesn't seem like it needs a rocket scientist or a Supreme Court justice to figure out. I didn't want to cause any waves, and the thing I wanted to do was coach football and thank God after the game."

First Liberty Institute filed a lawsuit against the Bremerton School District, arguing that banning coaches from quietly praying, just because they can be seen by the public, is wrong and violates the Constitution. The U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and then the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, unfortunately, agreed with the school district.

First Liberty appealed the case to the U. S. Supreme Court, and the case is being argued before the Supremes TODAY ON APRIL 25, 2022.

Please pray for Coach Kennedy, Kelly Shackelford and his legal team, and, of course, for the U. S. Supremes as this case is presented and a final decision reached.

The Constitutionally protected right to pray is at stake here. Those players were not coerced in any way; they were free to go about their lives after the game as they so chose. If they wanted to pray with or without the coach or not pray at all was completely their decision.

The First Amendment freedom of speech that the players had to pray or not to pray should also be allowed as a First Amendment right for the coaches to be allowed to pray quietly so long as there is not any coercion of the players.

More importantly, it was a character-building moment – a teachable moment -- for the players to see their coach humble himself before the Lord.

May all of us learn to do the same – humble ourselves before the Lord.  

Contact information for First Liberty Legal -- https://firstliberty.org/category-cases/supreme-court/?relationStatus=1654