Despite Supreme Court victory, Bremerton’s praying football coach is long gone
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Joseph Kennedy, the Christian showboating coach who led performative midfield prayers after Bremerton High School football games, spent years claiming his old job and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court… Yet , now that he has the opportunity to work with the team again, he is nowhere to be found, according to a column in the Seattle Times.
All of this was predictable. Before the Supreme Court rendered its terrible judgment in Kennedy vs. Bremertona group of atheists argued that the whole case had to be thrown out before the judges could rule on the merits.
A amicus brief filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, and the Secular Coalition for America argued that the case was moot because Joseph Kennedy wouldn’t even benefit of a victory.
Kennedy had argued that he lost his job because he wanted to have a quiet Christian midfield prayer after games, but he was persecuted because of it. It was all exaggerated or wrong. He was never fired. The prayers were not “silent”. And the concern was far more about the coercive nature of her performative prayers than her ability to pray in private. But the only reason the Bremerton was before the Supreme Court because, theoretically, their decision was the only way for Kennedy to get his job back.
The atheists argued the case was moot because a ruling in Kennedy’s favor would not change his situation…largely because Kennedy had already packed his bags, moved away from Bremerton, Washington, and didn’t was never going to seriously coach football there again.
In 2020, Kennedy traveled 2,800 miles from the Bremerton, Washington area to Pensacola, Florida. He sold his house in Washington. He bought a house in Florida and took up residence there. He and his wife are no longer employed in Washington. There can hardly be a realistic prospect that the position of assistant football coach at Bremerton High School will be the type of job one lands and travels across the country to accept. It’s a year-round engagement that only brings in $5,304. On these essential facts alone, Kennedy cannot sustain a prospective damages action against a school district in Washington.
This may seem like a fundamental point, but it threatened to render the whole affair pointless. If Kennedy wasn’t going to enjoy a victory, then he shouldn’t have legal status. So why on earth was the Supreme Court about to overturn the law on separation of church and state?
The mootness argument made no difference. Even the legal experts didn’t seem to care. The New York Times‘ Adam Liptak said on an episode of ‘The Daily’ that he went ‘to go out and visit [Kennedy] in Bremerton, Washington”, even though the public was never told Kennedy don’t live there anymore.
The judges decided the case anyway, effectively gutting the Establishment Clause and allowing state-sponsored religion.
But the majority decision also included a mandate for Kennedy to get his job back.
That was what it was all about, wasn’t it? Kennedy won. Therefore, he could return to his coaching job and yes, he could now pray in midfield after games without worrying about his job security.
According to Seattle Times‘ Danny Westneat, however, even though the school accepted that decision by extending Kennedy’s job offer… Joseph Kennedy is nowhere to be found. He’s too busy being a conservative celebrity to do the low-paying job he claimed he wanted back.
“He has the papers for his reinstatement since August 8, and we haven’t even received a phone call,” he added. says Karen Bevers, spokesperson for Bremerton Schools.
Instead, as the Bremerton Knights prepared for the season in August, Kennedy was in Alaska, meeting with former Vice President Mike Pence and evangelist Franklin Graham. On the eve of the first game, won by the Knights, Kennedy was in Milwaukee be presented with an engraved .22 caliber rifle at an American Legion convention.
It’s an increasingly surreal situation for schools in Bremerton. They were ordered to “reinstate Coach Kennedy to a football coaching position,” according to court documents. But the now-famous coach is on the Tory celebrity circuit, continuing to tell a story about ‘the prayer that got me fired’ – even though Bremerton never actually fired him.
He’s too busy lying about his alleged persecution in front of a Christian audience that likes to be lied to, and the biggest lie of all is that he never cared about coaching high school football. It was nothing more than a vehicle for him to proselytize.
Atheists were right all the time.
Kennedy had no intention of ever returning to the sidelines at Bremerton High School. But the conservative justices were only too eager to give Kennedy an undeserved victory because he was their tool to blast a gaping hole in the dividing wall between church and state.
The end result for the school is even weirder:
The court order has the effect that Bremerton needs to reinstate someone who didn’t apply for the job then and doesn’t seem keen to do so now. It’s as if the judges wanted to script the ending of a Christian film about redemption. But real life doesn’t cooperate.
It’s a fair assessment. Real life is not cooperating because Joseph Kennedy is a Christian liar who was backed by Christian liars and won a Supreme Court victory thanks to the justices who perpetuated Christian lies.
Sports students? They were irrelevant.
The coaching gig? Kennedy didn’t care.
He knew full well that if he could claim to be a martyr for the cause, there would be honors bestowed on him by the Christian right, no matter how the case turned out. It was so predictable that atheists literally said to the Supreme Court how it was going to be in Bremerton. But because the Court was overwhelmed by right-wing fanatics, the facts simply didn’t matter.
As any high school coach could tell you, hard work is a sacrifice. You don’t get paid much and it takes a lot of time, but you do it because you love students. When Kennedy used her platform to advertise her religion, it was apparent that students were not her main priority. That’s why no one should be shocked that, even though everyone he’s fought against is now legally obligated to bend over backwards to accommodate him, he’s moved on.
He never cared about the kids, the team or the job. He never cared about anything but himself.
A good coach would never do such a thing. But that’s exactly what you expect from a conservative Christian.