https://noqreport.com/2022/06/05/football-coach-fired-for-praying-asks-supreme-court-to-allow-him-to-be-a-coach-and-thank-god/

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Joe Kennedy was, in his own words, “a pretty bad kid.” So, when he was given the opportunity to coach football at the high school where he graduated, it felt like an opportunity for “penance … to pay back all the debt,” Kennedy says.

He hoped to help prevent his players from falling into “the same traps that I did,” the coach adds.

But when Kennedy, 53, was forced to choose between his coaching position and his faith, the former Marine says that “was a no-brainer, and I stood up and fought.”

Kennedy’s fight for faith began in 2015, after he had been an assistant coach at Bremerton High School, a public school about 30 miles west of Seattle, for seven years.

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From the time he began coaching in 2008, Kennedy recalls, he made a covenant with God that he would take a knee in prayer and thanksgiving at the end of every game.

“I don’t remember anything about the first time I took a knee, because it was not a big deal,” Kennedy told The Daily Signal in an interview for a documentary on his case. “It was just me going out there and taking a knee by myself, and giving thanks for what the players just did, and … being part of it.”

It did not take long before the football coach’s players wanted to know what he was doing at the 50-yard line at the end of each game.

Players asked Kennedy whether they could join him, and soon the post-game prayer became a new tradition for the team. During those moments, Kennedy also would deliver a brief motivational speech to his players.

No parent or student filed a complaint about the post-game prayers.

But in 2015, the Bremerton School District learned about the prayers and told Kennedy he no longer could pray with students.

“It was really simple for me to agree with them and say, ‘That’s not a problem.’ I never prayed with the kids ever again,” Kennedy recalls.

Kennedy continued to pray by himself after games, he says, but soon “school lawyers got involved, and they kind of kept moving the goal post.”

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Supervisors told Kennedy that he could “no longer pray even by myself if people could see me,” he says. “And that’s where I just had to draw a line.”

The school district placed Kennedy on administrative leave because he refused to stop taking a knee in prayer after football games. When it came time for his contract to be renewed, he says, his year-end evaluation read “in great, big, bold letters … , ‘Do not rehire.’”

“Coach Kennedy was fired because he wanted to take a knee in private prayer by himself at the 50-yard line in view of  students,” said Jeremy Dys, an attorney with First Liberty Institute, a nationwide legal organization protecting religious liberty that represents Kennedy.

The coach says he decided to file a lawsuit against the Bremerton School District when he “realized that I was not going to be able to win this by myself.”

“There was no way I could talk to the school district anymore” Kennedy recalls. “Their lawyers said I was not to be in any contact with the school or anyone at the school, unless it was through the lawyers.”

After the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Bremerton School District, Kennedy and his attorneys with First Liberty appealed to the Supreme Court.

The high court heard arguments in Kennedy’s case April 25.

Government employees “still have a right to live their life,” Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel, president, and CEO of First Liberty, told The Daily Signal outside the Supreme Court Building following the arguments. “They can go to church, they can speak, they can pray, and we should never allow the government to punish them for doing that.”

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Richard Katskee, an attorney who is vice president and legal director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, represented Bremerton School District before the high court. Katskee told The Daily Signal that the public school district “did what schools everywhere should do: It respected the rights and religious freedom of all its students.”

The justices had to consider several important questions, Sarah Parshall Perry, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, wrote for The Daily Signal, the think tank’s wrote in an April  Daily Signal piece. multimedia news organization:

The questions facing the justices are these: When a public school employee says a brief, quiet prayer by himself while at school and visible to students, is he engaged in government speech that lacks any First Amendment protection? And if not, assuming that kind of religious expression is private and protected by the First Amendment, does the Constitution’s establishment clause require the public school to prohibit it anyway?

The Supreme Court is expected to answer those questions in a ruling anticipated sometime in June.

All he wants from the Supreme Court is a ruling that allows him “to be a coach,” Kennedy says, “and … thank God afterwards.”

Article cross-posted from Daily Signal.

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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?

Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.

There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.

Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.

Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.

We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.

To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.

Thank you, and God Bless!

JD Rucker


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