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It was two weeks ago when Joe Kennedy, the football coach who wouldn’t stop praying on the field while working for a public school, lost his appeal.
It wasn’t a difficult case. He had broken the law by leading prayers after football games, been warned by his district against doing that, did it anyway, didn’t have his contract renewed, sued the district, lost in court, appealed, and lost again. The man can’t take no for an answer, which speaks to his stubbornness and inability to understand how the Establishment Clause works.
Yet somehow, conservative Christians still say this was an attack on his religious rights.
The Christian Broadcasting Network recently spoke about the case with Focus on the Family’s President Jim Daly. And while it’s not surprising that he defended Kennedy (in a way he would never do if this were a Muslim or Satanic coach), just wait till you hear his reasons.


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… it’s egregious that the government would rule against a coach who’s trying to do all he can do to help those boys. And I was one of those boys back when I was 15, who had no father, like 17.4 million other young girls and boys in the country today.
So it was pivotal for me to have a coach that taught me character, and I think what Coach Joe is doing is wonderful. And the fact that he’s just going to the middle of the field to thank God that his players are kept safe? I think for the 9th Circuit Court to shut him down and for the school to fire him is egregious.

Daly explained how, as an orphan, he owed his conversion to Christianity to a coach (“Coach Mo”) who took an interest in him and sent him to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp. He went on to say that all coaches should be just like that.

… I’m kind of put out at this point that people like the ACLU and others that are so offended by someone like Coach Mo or Coach Joe — that they would be interested in the character development of their players.
To me, it seems they would rather see me with a heroin needle in my arm, or having a premarital affair with some girl in high school, or a out-of-wedlock baby. I’m tired of it.

There you go. Church/state separation groups want to make sure all orphan children do drugs, have sex, and impregnate their classmates.
(Could they possible be fighting for their understanding of the Constitution? That’s not even an option in Daly’s mind.)
What’s absurd about his position is that he thinks the only way to instill positive values in children is by Christian adults forcing their faith upon public school children. It’s not even possible in his mind that a non-Christian coach could do anything good for the kids. It’s impossible for atheists to help kids develop character.
As a public school coach myself, that’s incredibly ignorant and offensive. not to mention just flat-out wrong. I would never suggest that Christian coaches are inherently incapable of teaching positive values to students, but Daly has no problem throwing every Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, and non-religious coach under the bus.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which supported the Bremerton School District, said they did exactly what was in the best interest of the students. By pushing back against Kennedy’s proselytizing, they made sure kids weren’t excluded or ostracized by not joining him in prayer.
Daly — somehow — equates that with drug addiction and irresponsible underage sex. It shows you how warped his mind is on these issues.
(via This article has been updated to say AU only supported the district; they did not represent them. Also, Kennedy was not fired; he just didn’t have his contract renewed.)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.