Coach Takes a Stand from the Stands!

Bremerton High School’s football team was victorious in its last game of the season — which is the same outcome players are hoping for their assistant coach. Joe Kennedy, who was suspended by the school district earlier in the week for praying after games at the midfield line, was there to cheer on the Knights — but from the bleachers.

Watching, he told Fox News’s Todd Starnes, was one of the hardest things he’d ever done. But the coach wasn’t alone for long. After the game, his players streamed into the stands to hug and pray with their coach. It was a touching scene, as kids and fans alike knelt for the post-game tradition. “I’m willing to take this as far as it goes to defend the rights of the Constitution,” Coach Kennedy said. “If you believe in something you stand up.”

And so far, he doesn’t stand alone. The Marine veteran’s story, which has captured the attention of Congress, is getting a lift from Senator James Lankford, co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. On the Senate floor, he made a passionate plea for Washington to recommit itself to the freedoms — not just of Joe Kennedy — but every believer.

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“May I remind Americans, we do not have freedom of worship in America. We have the free exercise of religion in America. Government does not have the authority to confine your faith to the location of government’s choosing. A government entity, like a school district, cannot say to an employee you can only live your faith over there where we pick. Mr. President, I don’t know what this school district is going to do in the days ahead but I know what Americans should do, of all faiths and people of no faith. They should rise up and say we are a nation that protects the free exercise of religion.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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