Candace Cameron Bure is expressing her support for Joe Kennedy, the Bremerton high school football coach who prays on the field after each game.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Kennedy has been under fire by the Bremerton school district for displaying his religious beliefs on the football field. Kennedy says he was inspired by the movie Facing the Giants, and decided to kneel mid-field following each game to pray with his head bowed. He has been doing so for the past seven years.
Kennedy’s praying hadn’t been an issue until the players started joining him. In September, the school opened an investigation to determine if Kennedy’s prayers violated the constitution. Superintendent Aaron Leavell said Kennedy’s long-standing practice violates the Constitutional mandate for separation of church and state. The school later told Kennedy, who was hired by the district in 2008, he was not allowed to pray in public, mention religion in the locker room to the team, or bow his head or kneel on the field. The school district even sent him a letter, warning him to stop his prayers and adding that there would be consequences if he didn’t.
— Seattle Times Sports (@SeaTimesSports) October 17, 2015
“Strict adherence is required and expected, and violations cannot be tolerated,” the school’s district attorney Jeffrey Ganson wrote in a letter to Liberty Institute attorney Hiram Sasser, who is representing Kennedy.
Despite the warning, Kennedy walked to mid-field on Friday and knelt down to pray. Soon after, he was joined by several fans and members of the opposing team.
“I’ve got my eyes closed and I feel all these people around me. I’m like, God, I hope those aren’t kids,” the Bremerton football coach said. “I’m sitting there and I’m going, ‘God, thank you for this opportunity. And … if this is the last time I step on the field with these guys …'”
— Sherri Shepherd (@SherriEShepherd) October 18, 2015
Kennedy’s defiance against the school district made national news, and was a topic on Tuesday’s episode of The View. When the show’s panel started bashing the Bremerton football coach, co-host Candace Cameron Bure stepped in and defended his actions. Bure argued that the separation of church and state does not ban public prayer.
“It actually guarantees our free exercise of religion so that if it is voluntary, we are allowed to pray wherever we would like to,” she said.
Bure’s fellow co-host Raven Symone, who has been making headlines lately for her opinionated comments, lashed back, saying that it wasn’t fair for the people who do not pray. Bure quickly lashed back at Symone, telling her that the prayer is voluntary and no one is required to participate.
“You don’t have to. It’s voluntary,” Bure said. “If people would actually put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer, you would see a whole difference in this country to see that power of prayer.”
Another co-host said she didn’t disagree with Bure, but said she said that was the reason that they made private schools for Christians, Catholics, or whatever denomination it may be, so that they could perform their religious acts however and whenever they wanted.
Candace said she wished the schools would hire more men like Kennedy to pray for the schools and the students.
Watch their full exchange in the video below.
What do you think about Joe Kennedy defining the school district’s orders? Do you think he should be allowed to pray on the field? Do you agree with Candace Cameron Bure’s defense of Kennedy? Leave your comments below.
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images]