Praying High School Football Coach Sues School for Firing Him

Praying High School Football Coach Sues School for Firing Him

Praying High School Football Coach Sues School for Firing Him
U.S. Department of Agriculture is licensed under CC BY-2.0
Football coach fired for praying after each game has filed for legal action.

Joe Kennedy, the former assistant football coach at Bremerton High School, has sued the school for removing him from his job for praying after every game. Kennedy has a practice of genuflecting on one knee after every game and offering a prayer. Often, he would be joined by other players and team members too. Until this was brought to the attention of the officials by a third party, he says he has never faced an opposition of any kind.

Bremerton being a district-run school, Kennedy says that he was earlier asked to stop the practice as no show of any religion was allowed on the ground. Though he initially agreed, he soon began to feel guilty about it and resumed his practice anyway. This time, the district officials reacted by taking away his job.

Praying High School Football Coach Sues School for Firing Him[/tweetthis]

A shocked Kennedy immediately filed a case saying that his freedom of religion was being interfered with. Mike Berry, an advocate with a legal defense organization that specializes in religious issues, says that it is unthinkable that in a nation like America, a citizen should be forced to choose between his job and faith. He goes on to argue that as per the Civil Rights Act, the kind of discrimination that Kennedy faced at Bremerton was banned by law.

Kennedy found his cause supported by a number of other citizens, parents and players who all believed that he has a constitutional right to pray the way he wants to as long as he doesn't force anyone to participate. Public figures came forward to support him as well, namely Ted Cruz, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. While Cruz invited the former coach to speak at a rally in South Carolina, Carson and Trump showed their support through Twitter.

Kennedy's actions have also sparked concerns in other corners. Atheist parents insist that any form of religious display should not be allowed in an open ground as the school is meant to be a neutral zone. Besides, members of Seattle's Satanic Temple too have been attracted to the grounds. They believe that if a Christian can pray openly, so can they, or for that matter, anyone from any community.


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