Donald Trump was handed a bit of a surprise on the campaign trail this week, while speaking before the “Retired American Warriors PAC” in Herndon, Virginia.
He was asked by a questioner about the state of the First Amendment’s freedom of religion rights in America, and started talking about the case of Joe Kennedy, the retired Marine-turned-high-school-football-coach, when someone at the event made a comment that grabbed his surprised attention.
Independent Journal Review explains, starting with a bit of the backstory: “After a questioner went through a litany of recent incidents in which chaplains and other members of the military were forbidden to talk about God, Trump brought up the case of retired Marine and former Bremerton (Washington) High School football coach, Joe Kennedy, who had recently been in the crossfire for praying on the field after his games. The candidate was surprised when someone said off-mic that the coach was there.”
Trump was in the middle of pointing out the dire circumstances surrounding religious freedom in the country, when the questioner said the coach to whom he’d just referred was in the audience.
“Is he here? Oh stand up,” Trump said, IJR reported. “Wow. They really went after him … for saying a prayer before the – that is just – I didn’t know you’d be here.”
Kennedy faced fire months ago for saying prayers with his team on the field before every game. Even members of the opposing team would join him, but the school, facing threats of lawsuits, ordered him to stop. Kennedy then prayed off field by himself, and players joined him of their own accord. The school eventually fired him and now, First Liberty is fighting in court to get his job back.