Christian Persecution in Washington State

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Christians had a moment of hope when Kim Davis was released from jail. Their outpouring of support had worked; LGBT activists had overplayed their hand, and now they would be forced to back off. In a year filled with gloomy news for defenders of religious freedom, it was a much-needed win for the good guys.

But that hope was short-lived, because Christian persecution is alive and well in Bremerton, Washington. There, a high school assistant football coach named Joe Kennedy has attracted the ire of American secularists. The saga began in September, when someone complained that Coach Kennedy should not be leading his players in prayer. The school district instructed Kennedy to stop this practice, which he did.

Though Kennedy stopped leading the students in prayer, he did not stop praying himself. Aggravated by what they perceived as deliberate disobedience, the district informed Kennedy that his services would no longer be needed.

In a letter published by Fox News, Superintendent Aaron Leavell informed Kennedy of his punishment. “Effective immediately, pending further District review of your conduct, you are placed on paid administrative leave from your position as an assistant coach with the Bremerton High School football program,” Leavell wrote. “You may not participate, in any capacity, in BHS football program activities.”

Kennedy isn’t taking his punishment lying down. He has retained the services of the Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in cases of religious freedom. They have accused the district of “sending the wrong message to all people of faith that they are not welcome” and have made allusions to a possible lawsuit on the grounds of discrimination.

The district, though, is not backing down. They insist that Kennedy’s prayers pose “a genuine risk that the District will be liable for violating the federal and state constitutional rights of students or others.”

Yes, because we all remember that part of the Constitution that says Americans have the right to never have to watch a man pray.

How many times must we go down this road before the public realizes what’s going on? It’s not enough for this to remain a conservative cause. It’s not enough for believers to be outraged. Americans of all religious stripes – including non-believers – should be deeply disturbed by these developments. The right to religious freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment. If that isn’t sacred, then what is?

The Founding Fathers wanted to keep religion out of the federal government for good reason. They didn’t want America to become a religious theocracy, ruled by the church. But we’re a long way from that threat now. The framers of the Constitution never intended for America to grow so hostile to Christianity that people would lose their jobs or be thrown in jail for remaining true to their beliefs.

This is an ongoing attempt by liberals to systematically erase Christianity from the country. If we do not oppose it, the future is clear. There will inevitably come a day when prayer is not just outlawed in our public schools but everywhere. These liberals only want you to serve one master: the federal government. And that’s as far from the spirit of America’s founding as you can possibly get.