Ex-football coach loses federal appeal over prayer case

Lester Mason
August 26, 2017

A federal appeals court says the Bremerton School District does not have to immediately re-hire a football coach who lost his job for praying on the field after games.

Joe Kennedy and the Bremerton High School football team in a screen capture of a video in which they pray after a homecoming game.

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that coaches can't pray or make religious gestures on the field after a game", he wrote.

"At next Friday night's game, on September 1, I think it would be great if football coaches across the country went out on the field wherever they are and prayed".

The lower court denied the injunction request because it believed Kennedy as a public employee fell under the school district's policy rights to ensure the First Amendment's Establishment Clause was respected and that the district wasn't advocating a religion.

Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, spoke out against the ruling on the Todd Starnes Show.

While in fact the judges are strictly constrained in their decisions by the letter of the law and can not vary it according to a notional "will of the people", Graham's comments reflect the views of conservatives who feel increasingly marginalised in USA society and believe Donald Trump represents their best chance of retaining influence.

He said: 'We have judges out there who hate God and hate his standards and disrespect the people who follow God'.

Graham also indicated on the program that he was not surprised by the ruling.

A three-judge panel of the court said Kennedy's prayers did not amount to constitutionally protected free speech because he was acting as a public employee when he offered them.

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has once against perverted the original intent of the First Amendment".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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