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Coach Kennedy is a real hero of mine, a lamp on a post for religious freedom in a part of the country that is often very dark. He’s very brave and it has cost him a great deal. Click his name it takes you to firstliberty.org where you can learn more.

Just the other day some Christians got thrown out of a coffee shop here and while their response was very graceful, honoring the fact that people have a right to run their businesses as they choose, the media’s response was atrocious and made it quite clear that there is no respect, very little love for faith in this neck of the woods. There is a real spiritual war going on here.

Coach Kennedy is the Bremerton football coach who was fired for praying after games, his last act ending in this amazing moment where he waited to let his own team go back to their locker room and then he went out alone to pray his thanksgiving for a good game. While he was out there, the other team came onto the field, surrounded him, and joined in his silent prayer. There was no organization, no force, no coercion, it was just one of those magical, spontaneous moments.

He has an amazing story to tell, of a wounded childhood, the transformative love of Jesus Christ, and a good marriage. What makes this case so grievous is that his love for those kids, his leadership, his example, his desire to give back, has been blocked and taken away. The truth is we have a lot of lost kids here, a rampant opiate epidemic, violence, poverty, and a school district that decided the worst thing these kids will ever face in the world is seeing a grown man pray.

I realize what’s going on in the NFL with players taking a knee is a protest of a different sort, but when I see it, I like to think of it as a tribute to a man who took a knee for all the right reasons and is now fighting a battle on behalf of religious freedom for us all.

So pray for Coach Kennedy, will ya? And pray for the kids he had to leave behind, the ones with their eyes still on him, learning what it means to be men and to take a stand for what you believe in.