June 27, 2022 offered a vivid reminder that Americans believe in prayer. On that Monday, the Supreme Court’s decision in Joseph Kennedy v. Bremerton School District supported the former assistant football coach’s right to pray in public.
For seven years, Kennedy took a knee on the football field after games, and as Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes stated, “From the stands, it might have looked like nothing more than someone tying a shoe.” The Supreme Court documents identified it as “30 seconds of personal prayer at the conclusion of a football game.”
Barnes noted of the court brief: “The school district decided it had a problem in the 2015 season, when an opposing coach told Bremerton’s principal that he ‘thought it was pretty cool how [the District] would allow’ Kennedy’s religious activity.” Fearing repercussions for what an opposing coach called “pretty cool,” the Washington high school suspended Kennedy and then later placed him on administrative leave.
The challenge weaved its way through the Judicial System for seven years, culminating in the Supreme Court’s verdict. The documentation cited Abraham Lincoln for his opinion about faith in public service: “I would be the most foolish person on this footstool earth if I believed for one moment that I could perform the duties assigned to me without the help of One Who is wiser than all.”
I know we all applaud the decision. But do we practice the behavior that causes a stir in our culture? This week we’ll see why that is important to growing us up to be more like Jesus AND how that will affect MCC.