School District Tells Coach: 'If You Talk to God, You're Fired'

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy (First Liberty Institute)

First Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said Bremerton High School in Washington State picked on the wrong Marine.

First Liberty is representing Joe Kennedy, a Marine and former assistant football coach at the local high school. Kennedy was fired in 2015 after he took a knee to pray after a football game.

"The (district told him) if you talk to God you're fired," Berry said on the Todd Starnes Radio Show.

Since 2008, Kennedy had quietly taken a knee after every football game to honor a covenant he made with God.

"That prayer would be by itself, silent or very quiet, and no more than 15 or 30 seconds," Berry said. "That happened for seven years without a single complaint or issue, but as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished."

Fearing a potential lawsuit from atheists or secularists, the school district ordered Coach Kennedy to stop praying. He was told he could not even bow his head or do anything that would give the impression that he was praying to God.

When he refused to comply, the beloved coach was fired.

"When the government puts you in a position where you have to choose between your faith and your job, that's something that no American should ever have to experience," Berry said.

On Monday First Liberty Institute filed a petition for review of Coach Kennedy's case with the United States Supreme Court. Berry believes it could be a precedent-setting case.

"This could define whether public school employees are going to lose their First Amendment rights just by virtue of being a public school employee," Berry said on the radio show.

Kennedy is only asking for is his job back, so he can start doing what he loves again.

"The U.S. Supreme Court is pretty much the end of the road when it comes to appealing a legal ruling," Berry said. "We've asked the court to overturn the decision of the Ninth Circuit and of the District Court there in Washington."

The irony is that in America it's OK for coaches to take a knee to protest America, but it's illegal for public school coaches to take a knee to pray to the Almighty.

Todd Starnes is host of "Fox News & Commentary," heard on hundreds of radio stations. Sign up for his American Dispatch newsletter, be sure to join his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter. His latest book is The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again.


To contact us or to submit an article, click here.


Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective