We Hear You: Praying for ‘Praying Coach’ in Supreme Court Case

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Editor’s note: The Daily Signal’s audience is solidly behind Joe Kennedy, the high school football coach who lost his job for silently praying on the field after games, judging by the mailbag at letters@dailysignal.com. Take a look.—Ken McIntyre

Dear Daily Signal: I can’t tell you how frustrated I feel right now, having read Virginia Allen’s article on high school football coach Joe Kennedy (“Football Coach Fired for Praying Hopes Supreme Court Allows Him to Thank God“).

Why oh why is there such a stigma for taking a knee to say a prayer?

If Joe Kennedy had taken a knee to protest and support Black Lives Matter, a known communist, socialist, anti-American organization, as hundreds and hundreds of athletes did these past few years, he would have been championed and extolled as a social justice warrior.

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But go out on the field alone and say a brief, silent prayer? Get the figurative chopping block and lop his knees off for daring to bend them to the God of the universe!

I hope someone on the high court will sit up and realize that the ridiculousness needs to stop now.—Michele Beckler

Dear Daily Signal: Are they kidding? Really? We allow football players to disrespect the honor of our country and all those who put the ultimate sacrifice on the line for everyone’s well-being.

As far as I am concerned, this country needs more prayer instead of separating people by race.

Everyone who legally entered this country, no matter what nationality, came in the hard way for the most part, paid their dues, worked hard for their families without complaining, and honored America. They didn’t get any handouts for free because life was hard on them. They worked for it and made their contributions.

We all should thank God. If there was more of this positive behavior as shown by Joe Kennedy after Bremerton High School football games, maybe we all would be thankful for each other instead of attacking and blaming each other.

Is the man’s praying hurting anyone? Is he breaking into businesses and stealing from hardworking people? Is he demanding that everyone prays, just like him? Is he screaming that he is being segregated and suppressed? Has he physically harmed anyone?

People, give him a break. This is a shameful society, acting like bunch of spoiled children. “I am the only one that counts! No one else!”

Look, this life is not easy for any of us. Instead of killing, crying out prejudice, disrespecting each other, is it that hard to come together and help each other through? We have bigger fish to fry right now.

I believe if we all prayed in our own way, this country could start to heal. God bless America and each and every one of its people.—Terry Polverari

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Dear Daily Signal: I find at these times that there are those who detest anyone who believes in God or a higher power.

That being said, the Bremerton School Board in Washington state was wrong to push this issue to the point of firing Joe Kennedy for his prayers, even if others did see the coach pray on the football field. The school board, however, will allow partial nudity, which others see and wish they didn’t.

It’s always the minority that thinks it controls the majority. When we allow that, nitpicking starts and that just ends up dividing us all. But then that’s the purpose of evil intent, to divide and conquer.

Thanks for this update. Let’s pray for a good outcome for the coach. We have that right, even in public!—Karla Parsons 

***

The U.S. Constitution never has had any suggestion of separation of church and state; that was found in the former Soviet Union’s constitution.

What is in our Constitution forbids the government from forming a designated religion for any purpose. In other words, no state church such as England has.

Our Constitution forbids the government from interfering in religious matters. That includes the rights of individuals (no matter who they work for) to pray when or where they choose. 

Hats off to anyone who puts constitutional rights first. Our country was founded on faith principles; our nation needs to return to those principles if we want to stay a free nation.—Emma Gifford

***

Coach Kennedy has every right to pray wherever and whenever he wants to. People need to wake up and realize that if it weren’t for our Lord, people wouldn’t have the lives they have.

You need to thank the Lord every time you receive or get something. Thank him for every day you wake up.

Fighting has to stop. May God bless everyone. Amen.—Cynthia Beaudoin 

Dear Daily Signal: I have known and worked with many lawyers who are smart, honest, and principled and have earned my respect. But there are far more out there who have done a lot to overly focus America and its institutions on something other than being good Americans and good institutions.

Whenever I see some odd rule or regulation, I know that some lawyer out there convinced an executive team that there was some risk that just had to be handled by imposing an unfair and unfriendly rule or burden on clients, consumers, or customers.

This works because executives no longer are recruited and retained for their intelligence, principles, or commitment to corporate objectives. They are retained for their ability not to become a target of public scrutiny.

Also, companies hire lawyers by the score because they do not want to be the target of public scrutiny—these days renamed the cancel culture or, more accurately, the rule of the majority by the minority.

So here we are, with people such as coach Joe Kennedy being caught in the crosshairs of organizations and their lawyers. It is sad, it is not healthy, and at some point people and companies will realize this is not beneficial to them either. And then things will change.

In the meantime, spineless and inept executives will be allowed to ruin individuals and institutions with their poor performance and lack of courage and integrity, and overriding belief that they must listen to the lawyers or become an undesirable target.—Dennis Kavanaugh

***

It is a sad day when we as Americans cannot pray to our God when we want to without reprisals. I’m a veteran and have served to protect these rights.

It’s called freedom. I stand firmly with my brother veteran and hope and pray that the justices rule in his favor.—Jimmie E. Larson 

***

Any individual person, or group of persons, praying on “public property” is not by any stretch of the imagination supporting one religion over another.

The coach, who is a person, is therefore part-owner of all properties qualified as public property, and as such his actions are not part of state or federal responsibilities or concerns. 

Liberals, of course, seem to believe that anything public belongs to them. They cannot abide by anything in the public realm that they cannot make rules and regulation over. Their obsession over “religion” in the government area is truly mind-boggling.—James M.

***

This issue goes to the heart of what faces America and the rest of the world, and that is a declining respect for a belief in God.

The current malaise started with the Supreme Court decisions in the mid-20th century. After several “clarifications,” the court finally said that what the justices intended to do was to say it was unconstitutional to allow only the Christian religion in the public square (including public schools) and that without allowing all the other religions equal time, it was unconstitutional.

The real issue was that the illiberal progressives intentionally targeted the presence of religiosity as their primary stumbling block to achieving their goal as sole arbiter of America. But as we all know, the bureaucrats decided that there was not space for each religion to insert their own theology into the education agenda, thus religion was removed from the public school agenda.

It is my contention, as well as the contention of many others who are familiar with aberrant behaviors in the current classroom, that the root cause was removal of religiosity from the public school agenda. There needs to be a discussion of how to reverse this.—G.R. Saunders  

***

I’m praying for Coach Kennedy. If we can’t pray to our Almighty God, then our government will and is failing America’s freedom.

No wonder kids are killing kids in school. I believe we need to start talking more about the Bible and allow prayer every morning in the schools for God to protect our students and teachers and policemen.

I kneel with Joe Kennedy in prayer that he will win his case.—Sammye Rosenlund, Abilene, Texas 

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.

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