In 2015, the Bremerton School District suspended high school football coach Joe Kennedy for his practice of offering up silent prayers in the middle of the field after each game. Kennedy never forced anyone to watch or participate.
Now Fox News is reporting that the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Bremerton was justified in suspending Kennedy.
“When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the fifty-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected,” the court wrote.
And now, well-known evangelist Franklin Graham is suggesting it’s time for Christian coaches across the country to disregard the ruling.
What Franklin Graham is asking for is not unbiblical.
Daniel defied the king of Babylon’s law not to pray to any God.
He was thrown into the lion’s den as a result but God clearly demonstrated that Daniel was right in breaking the king’s unjust decree. The apostles also, when commanded not to preach about Christ’s resurrection famously said, “We must obey God rather than men.”
So there are times when Christians are right to break the law, however, that doesn’t mean God will always keep them from the repercussions of these actions. Such choices to honor God may result in severe penalties and persecution.
Fox New’s Todd Starnes recently interviewed First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys who said, “Now all coaches across the country stand under the prospect of being prevented from engaging in any outward displays of religion. That includes crossing yourself or even taking a knee to pray.”
“The 9th Circuit believes they can ban all coaches from praying individually in public just because they can be seen,” Dys said. “That is simply wrong. It is not American. And it is not the America contemplated by our Constitution.”
It will be interesting to see what comes as a result of this ruling, and whether Christians will have the courage to stand in opposition to laws in the face of serious consequences.
Speaking of which…
The Activist Mommy would like to formally announce #OperationPrayAnyway.
Here’s a special message from The Activist Mommy herself:
Franklin Graham is urging coaches across the nation to defy unlawful judicial tyranny and support a football coach and former Marine, Coach Kennedy, whom the 9th Circuit court ruled could not pray with his team.
A judge who defies the U.S. Constitution and its limitations on federal power, who defies our Christian American heritage and forbid the free exercise of our religion, rules not lawfully but unlawfully.
Unlawful orders are not binding. Let “we the people” defy these unlawful and unconstitutional edicts and let’s support our coaches as they pray with their teams on the field this Friday night. Join forces with us at Operation Pray Anyway! Share with a Coach you know!
Share with everyone who you know will be at a game on Sept. 1. Share with the hashtag