Webinar to showcase inspiring religious freedom story

HRLA supporters will have a unique opportunity to attend an important webinar hosted by Christian Voice Australia, on Tuesday 14 November 2023, about a landmark religious freedom case.

The webinar, “How a Marine turned Football Coach Won Religious Liberty” will share the incredible journey of football coach Joe Kennedy, who was fired for praying at football games, took his case all the way to the Supreme Court and won.

Joe will be talking about his journey, in which, defying all the odds, he was able to secure religious liberty for all.

In a landmark ruling handed down in 2022, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Joe was free to pray at football games. In its decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that Coach Kennedy's personal prayer, offered after a football game, is protected by the First Amendment. The Court acknowledged this as a form of religious exercise and private speech, immune from government censorship.

Joe originally lost his job after taking part in post-game prayers on the football field. He initially prayed alone but later led group prayers and religious talks at midfield. The district authorities cautioned against perceived school endorsement of religion, leading to Joe’s suspension and contract non-renewal.

He challenged the decision to fire him, taking his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

His lawyers argued that the Constitution does not require public school employees to conceal their religious identities.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a “friend-of-the-court” brief supporting Coach Kennedy. ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy, John Bursch, made the following comments after the ruling:

“As the Supreme Court has affirmed, Coach Kennedy’s personal prayer of gratitude at the end of a football game is protected under the First Amendment both as religious exercise and as private speech, free from government censorship. American citizens don’t give up the right to prayerfully practice their faith during working hours when they accept a job with a public employer. We are pleased the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit’s ruling that wrongly reasoned that Coach Kennedy’s personal, on-field prayers were not his own, but the government’s, and affirmed his constitutional right to exercise his faith, as is true for every American.”

The free webinar to be held on 14 November at 8.00pm AEDT is a must-see event for all those committed to religious freedom and the importance of defending fundamental human rights.

We encourage all HRLA supporters to attend the Webinar and hear Joe’s inspiring story.

The HRLA and ADF are united in their commitment to defending religious freedom rights of all people targeted for publicly expressing their personal beliefs.