“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:5-6 (NIV)
I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. -1 Timothy 2:8 (NKJV)
You may have heard the story of Joe Kennedy, a Washington state high school football coach who took a knee on the 50-yard line and prayed after football games.
According to several articles including this one from Fox News, a federal court has ruled that violated the U.S. Constitution and Kennedy lost his job as an assistant football coach at Bremerton High School in 2015 after the school district suspended him for his post-game prayers.
Kennedy sued and accused the school of violating his free speech. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district’s suspension was justified.
If you have followed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals very much then you probably know their rulings are overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court often.
We’ll see if Kennedy appeals to the highest court or not.
I’m somewhat torn on this issue. I think Kennedy has a right to pray as long as he is not forcing his players to participate. But then, he is the coach and may unknowingly exert influence on his players to participate.
When I played high school football, we recited “The Lord’s Prayer” before each game. I doubt that is allowed these days.
In fact, in looking back there are a lot of things we don’t allow any more. That does not mean we are better off…