I Prayed have prayed
Lord, we ask You to break all curses against Coach Kennedy and to bring those hostile to Christ into complete faith. Turn the evil words to blessings and release Your will over Coach Kennedy, the author and editors of the Sports Illustrated piece and all those in media who spurn the Lord of Life. Amen and Amen.

I met Jesus at Sports Illustrated.

It was 1993.  I had been working for the magazine’s circulation department for three years.  I was at the end of myself and wanted to die.

My boss noticed.  She suggested she might know the problem I had and led me to the Lord one afternoon as the sun streamed in through the windows of her corner office.

The Son streamed into my heart that day, and I was filled with gratitude for this marketplace ministry at a company founded by Henry Luce, the son of missionaries to China.  Ultimately, Luce’s kingdom would span several major magazines — including Time, Life, Fortune, Sports Illustrated (SI), People and Entertainment Weekly — most of which I worked for at one point or another in my 20+ year career in magazine marketing.

But as is the way with earthly kingdoms, Luce’s was bought and sold multiple times and now those once-mighty magazines that are still publishing are dispersed among various owners.  Authentic Brands Group now owns SI.

When I worked at SI in the 1990s, the magazine reported on and treated the Christian faith of those sports stars who adorn its pages with respect.  But as I read the Breitbart essay excerpted below, I wonder if the Christian legacy of the magazine and its original founder has been hijacked by an anti-Christ agenda. 

Greg Bishop, the author of the SI piece, claims conservatives have coopted Coach Kennedy into the long standing debate about separation of church and state, but Bishop perpetuates a common misunderstanding about the establishment clause — that it requires suppression of all religious activities from the public square. In fact the First Amendment’s intent and language prohibits government suppression of religious expression.

Warner Todd Hudson’s Breitbart piece tackles many of the flaws in Bishop’s piece, but Hudson focuses on an increasingly common tactic used by legacy media writers when they confront powerful opposition:  Character assassination.  Coach Kennedy is portrayed as a bumbling, but crafty, bozo convenient to the cause of many, including satanists, Christians and media. 

And perhaps also convenient to Bishop’s cause as well, judging from this statement from his original article:  “Kennedy’s life is now part of the public domain, an emblem to be viewed, utilized and manipulated for others’ aims.” 

“Lord, we ask You to forgive those who are using Coach Kennedy to smear Christians and to mischaracterize the establishment clause in the First Amendment.  We know the truth, and He sets us free.  Lord, please free those hostile to the gospel and especially this SI writer and all those involved.  Deliver them from evil and into salvation.  Protect Coach Kennedy and those Christian athletes and coaches who stand and kneel only for Jesus.  Take the evil intended by the SI piece and turn it to the good for the glory of Christ and the salvation of souls.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen”

(Joyce Swingle is an IFA Contributing Writer and Pray with Others Live prayer leader.)

Analysis. From Breitbart. Sports Illustrated blasted the coming Supreme Court decision that is likely to affirm that a high school football coach can pray during a game, with the magazine calling that move an “erosion” of a bedrock principle of American democracy.

Get prayer updates from IFA.

 

Writing for the magazine, Greg Bishop falsely claimed that expressing religious ideas in government-supported schools violates the concept of “separation of church and state.” However, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld certain religious expression in schools on multiple occasions, not to mention that attacks on religion in schools are a modern trend that formed little part of court cases until the modern age.

The case was brought to the SCOTUS by Bremerton High School assistant coach Joe Kennedy who was sanctioned back in by his school district in 2015 for praying on the field with his players….

Tellingly, when Bishop goes to describe “The Stakes” of this case, he reports it solely from the left-wing, anti-religion side of the case calling Christians “white nationalists” and “Christian nationalists” who want to destroy American democracy. In his “The Stakes” section, Bishop does not once quote the side supporting Kennedy’s right to pray on school property. Instead, he only quotes those wishing to end Kennedy’s religious freedoms.

Further down in the story, Bishop finally gets around to telling readers about First Liberty, the group representing Kennedy pro bono in the case, but does not give them much by direct quotes, only his summation of their ideas and words. And nowhere in the story does Bishop cite any cases that might tend to support the coach’s religious free speech….

The main focus of Bishop’s article, though, seems to be to belittle coach Kennedy. Throughout the piece, Bishop constantly describes Kennedy as “aimless,” shiftless, and struggling to find meaning in his life, thereby coloring the coach as a nobody whose sudden fame earned as a result of this case makes him a joke of a human being. As if any of Kennedy’s life history makes any difference at all to the case that has brought him to the Supreme Court….

Bishop’s contempt for coach Kennedy oozes from this piece and is best revealed in one of the last paragraphs of this smear job:

Does Kennedy know? Does he care? Or did he evolve to embrace playing the “hero,” and having this large of a purpose? Maybe the political operatives who stood with him found the perfect mark, a man in search of a calling, a grand stage. They gave him the biggest theater imaginable—the Supreme Court—to further their agenda, while groups fighting for their own aims joined in. After all, football never drove Kennedy, nor did faith, until more recently. But this saga of faith-and-football now reads like Kennedy’s own Christian football movie. He’s the hero. He wins, and for everyone on his side….

This Sports Illustrated article is little else but a long smear against Christians, conservatives, and white people in general, and coach Kennedy in particular, and on a vicious personal level, at that.

How are you praying for Coach Kennedy as he fights for his religious freedom? Share your thoughts and prayers below.

(Intro by Joyce Swingle, IFA Contributing Writer, and excerpt from Breitbart. Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Author Joyce Swingle is an intercessor and contributing writer for Intercessors for America. With her husband Drama Evangelist Rich, Joyce shares the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world through theatre and speaking.  Joyce also has performed on screen.  Prior to going into full-time ministry, Joyce worked for about 20 major magazines and now works in pastoral ministry and Christian counseling.  She and Rich live in New York City.

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Vern Karnstedt
June 18, 2022

why do you make email sharing captive to Microsoft???

MN
June 17, 2022

I started reading SI in the early 70’s… when it was a good magazine & before they started into their “soft core porn” antics. At one time they were good but as soon as they started glorifying flesh through their degradation swimsuit magazine month , I quit them. That was a long time ago and obviously, they haven’t improved. I know for a fact they lost millions of customers, yet true to their worldly ways, they couldn’t admit they screwed up. As we can see now, they’ve evolved into something worse. If you don’t have objective, good writers & reporters on board a news or magazine company, then we see the misaligned & wrong articles that come forth. SI has become a sad joke in journalism and rightly so.

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Darla
June 17, 2022

Want a neat Sports magazine?
https://sportsspectrum.com/
Been reading this for years, along with the testimonies!

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Rich Swingle
June 17, 2022

You can hear Joyce tell the story of how her boss at Sports Illustrated led her to the Lord at http://www.WestchesterChapel.org/JoyceSwingle.

Holy Spirit, encourage believers at SI to speak into the darkness! May our nation return to You! Bring the greatest Revival and Awakening in history!

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Claudia
June 17, 2022

I asked my son to give me SI as a birthday present years ago. Didn’t take many months we agreed to cancel.

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Gail Zemke
June 16, 2022

I will never buy SI again. I have in past years for my nephew. NEVERagain.

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Tim
June 16, 2022

The righteous are as bold as a lion.
Jesus said, Fear not for I am with you.

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Laura A Kliegman
June 16, 2022

Oh Father God, Please help your people, Christians, to stand for truth and justice. Too many of Your people have have sat idly by, and failed to stand for your character, truth, justice and love. In the precious name of Jesus we pray that we would grow to be better Christ-Followers. Amen. 🥰

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Maria Thomas
June 16, 2022

I am praying that God direct the Supreme Court judges in this and other cases they are deliberating, I pray a hedge of protection around the judges, their families and Coach Kennedy and his family. I expect God to bring a might victory for His principals in this case and others like Dobbs vs Jackson. In the meantime we Christians must battle in prayer daily for God’s will to be accomplished in this Nation. To God be the glory!!

15
Gladys
June 16, 2022

I have been terminated from my job for praying for the people I work for in group homes
This week I have been called to answer about prayer I made for a client I was taking care of.
This is how America goes these last days. Superiors are told to question any who prays in group homes and nursing homes.
Am moving from job to job. People can curse and use evil language on clients and go unpunished. If you pray, you are punished for praying. So sad. What in the world is happening in America of all.

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    Joyce Swingle
    June 16, 2022

    Dear Gladys,
    I am praying for you and your provision. Thank you for your courage and obedience in prayer and ministry to those so vulnerable. May the Lord reward your faithfulness. In Christ’s Name.

    16
    Tyrone Vester
    June 17, 2022

    Amen Glady🙏🏽 I believing God with you and for you that He will vindicate you, that He will continue to provide for you. As David has said I’ve been young and now old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread. So thank you Lord for your provision and thank you Father God for your vindication for both Gladys & coach Kennedy in Jesus name. Amen 🙏🏽 🙏🏽

    5
    MN
    June 17, 2022

    Gladys – thank you for your faithfulness to what God has called you to do. If I may suggest something. The unfair but not surprising pressure you are enduring and experiencing isn’t surprising but it’s also likely illegal. You may want to check with organizations such as the ACLU, Alliance defending Freedom, etc.
    I’m fairly sure your rights (to pray) as guaranteed by the Constitution are being violated.

    3
Joseph Kennedy
June 16, 2022

Thank you for your kind words. You all are a blessing! Fight the good fight!!

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    Joyce Swingle
    June 16, 2022

    Dear Coach Kennedy,
    May the Lord encompass you with His faithfulness and strength. Thank you for your obedience to Him. In Christ’s Name.

    9
Anna Finley
June 16, 2022

Sports illustrated…another woke business filled with perverts…what else is new.

8
Delmer Harris
June 16, 2022

What I find amusing amidst the awfulness of hatred, combined with ignorance in the anti-Christ movement that has been a constant since the Garden, is the lack of understanding about current Christianity. Those who attack it have become more obvious now in the electronic era whereby any voice can be heard around the city/state/country/world .The anti crowd calls Christianity a White nationalist phenomenon. They are not cognizant of the reality which is that in this hemisphere there are far more Christian followers of color than white. This is true world wide. It is amazing how many NBA, NFL and MLB players are very expressive about their faith–the majority of which are not white. These antagonists should attend a Christian church service that has a significant majority of color to see what Praise and Worship is all about; or go to a service of a Catholic church around the world to sense the solemnity that is expressed in those services. (BTW Catholics are also Christians and are “evangelical” in its true sense in that all Believers must share the Truth they believe, not keep it only for oneself). How convenient for those who say that “religion” is a personal thing that should be kept to oneself. In fact, the definition of the word “religion” has thus become regarded as a negative by true Believers in the Living God. That is, if religion were to begin and end in the individual, it would become just a few generations from extinction–which would make the anti-God types happy. But not for eternity!

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Jacquelyn Miller
June 16, 2022

I find it so sad that America has stooped so low! How can we declare that we are one nation under God? Which god are we speaking of? Surely it cannot be Jehovah. We condone every action that is totally against all that Jesus stood and died for. Little by little our Christian beliefs are being stripped away. No wonder we are not making a difference in this dark and evil world. A baker or florist loses his(or her) business because they refuse to take part in a same sex marriage. People are fighting for their right to have abortions when the simple answer is abstinence. Children are being killed in schools because they are forbidden to pray. The government is telling our children that they don’t have to obey their parents, but when they transgress the law, they are beaten by policemen. I am so ashamed because I name Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
Father, please forgive me.

6
Holly
June 16, 2022

Stay strong brother!

9
Nancy Bryda
June 16, 2022

I declare Coach Kennedy is a modern day Jesus hero and is a mon who stands up for his spiritual convictions. They certainly persecuted Jesus and they will persecute us BUT this is an inspiration to stand up for Jesus even more. Persecution does stimulate spiritual increase. I decree this is a true boooooooomerang effect and encourages us to press in and fight harder as we listen to our commander in heaven. He is the Lord of the host and that is use of weather, use of angels and us. No weapon formed against Coach Kennedy or the ekklesia is or will prosper. We are victorious as we stand for Jesus.

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Zoe Ella
June 16, 2022

There is a bigger issue here than one praying coach. The issue is a concerted attempt to first, get all religion or mention of God out of the public attention and view, and, second, to diminish things such as church or mosque or synagogue or temple attendance and decrease their influence over people’s thinking, and eventually separate people from the reality of God, turning their minds into total secularity and following of the State, whatever state happens to be there then.

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    Joyce Swingle
    June 16, 2022

    Dear Zoe,
    You are so correct; we must not lose sight of the overall plan of the enemy. Praise the Lord that His Kingdom will endure. In Christ Alone.

    3
CJBrennan
June 16, 2022

We are absolutely in the Biblical “Last Days”……..

9
Linda Vaughan
June 16, 2022

Father God, please bless coach Kennedy for his stand for You! Bless his family & the attorneys representing him.

I pray favor at the Supreme Court.

I pray for the author of this magazine article. Lord, open his spiritually blind eyes & up-stop his spiritually deaf ears. Open his heart to accept You!

I thank You, Lord Jesus, that You will be victorious!

Father forgive those who are intent on belittling Christians & help them see the Truth.

Thanks for hearing my prayer. In Jesus Powerful Name, Amen!

13
Barbara
June 16, 2022

Praying for him. What team does he coach?

4
Kimberly
June 16, 2022

“He’s the hero, he wins, and for everyone on his side…”
I accept this as prophetic. No matter what else was said in the SI article, this last statement is TRUTH ~ Praise God!

12
Darlene Starks
June 16, 2022

I’m amazed at how many want to ridicule, lie on and defame Christians, claimimg separation of church and state when they want to exercise rights to express carnality and pass anti-Christ legislature. That’s until some crisis hits like the murder of innocent people including children or damages from catastrophic weather or bombings. Then, so many of these same people gather for vigils with prayer, petitioning the very God they so vehemently refused. Thank God He’s merciful, always longing for His creation to love Him in return, to cry out to Him in times of trouble as well as bless him in times of plenty. I want to herald this truth to the world: God is good!

16
Julie
June 16, 2022

Thank you for your fascinating testimony, Ms. Swingle. And thank you for this informative article, and for prayers for courageous Coach Kennedy. He is a wonderful role model for young people and for athletes.

When the Left knows they’re wrong, they engage in smear campaigns. It’s their last-ditch effort to destroy anything or anyone who is wholesome and good. They’re pathetic.

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    Joyce Swingle
    June 16, 2022

    Dear Julie,
    I am blessed that the Lord sent someone to me and me to SI to hear His truth and love. May the Lord reach out in compassion to all who have need of Him extending grace and salvation. In Christ Alone.

Angela Hill-Crumpton
June 16, 2022

Father, break the hell-sanctioned agenda to silence the mouths of those standing in truth while propagators of lies are allowed to trumpet loud. In this hour, the people of God cry aloud and spare not. We proclaim the word of the Lord. No weapon formed against us shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against us in judgment is found to be in the wrong. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and our righteousness is of You. Righteousness positions the people of God for rightness to be executed and exacted for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!

21
Stan Schwartz
June 16, 2022

Thank you to all those who stand for giving all the glory to the Lord. They are a far better example than anything else we are seeing in the news. Praises to all who know our Creator, who is the provider of all things. In Christ. Stan

14
kim
June 16, 2022

very sad how SI has changed their whole stance since the 1990s. i admire Coach Kennedy for his faith and boldness and until SI leaves him alone and quits attacking people exercising their CHRISTIAN faith/beliefs i sincerely hope others will let them know of their disapproval and stop buying their magazine.

15
Fran
June 16, 2022

Coach Kennedy and those others out there, thank you for standing firm for our Father!
Our children need to see strong leaders like you, those who will not back down to those trying to wipe out our Lord. Prayers for wisdom and continued strength!

18
Brian lynch
June 16, 2022

Lord, you know all of the issues involved in this situation. You alone know the hearts of the people involved. By Your great grace and mercy, please let this mess be resolved in a way that would be reflective of Your will.

25
Jackie Morgan
June 16, 2022

As a public school teacher, I am thrilled to see a coach willing to pray with his team. We need men and women who are willing to stand strong and now give in to the fear tactics from the liberals.

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Sunny
June 16, 2022

18 Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, know that it hated me first.
19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

John 15:18-21

Praying that the Coach will stay strong in the Lord.

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Venisa Villar
June 16, 2022

Good, Good Father, the Great I AM , Jehovah Jireh God our Provider…provide everything, in Jesus, needed for those against Coach Kennedy, to receive Your salvation…forgive them for they know not what they are doing…grant them Your love by helping them know You sent Your Son to a cross for their sins, as You did for us all…have mercy upon their souls and draw them to faith in Christ Jesus the Lord…where forgiveness is found for our sins past, present and future…when we repent, turn to You instead of away from You, Lord. Save them all by grace through faith …help them confess with their mouths that Jesus is LORD and that You God raised Him from the dead so that they will be saved, because anyone can be saved at the asking and believing. Help them surrender & submit to Your Lordship Jesus and You and Your Holy Spirit will come in and do the transforming from the inside out…in Jesus’ Name and Blood, Lord God, bring it to pass around this nation and around the world for Your the only One Who can…BUT You sure can…because You have in my life, and if You have in my life, You can in others lives …I believe it…cause I’ve seen it and live in Your saving grace!!
Gracious Lord, Faithful God, help Your servant Coach Kennedy take the territory You are giving him …help him stay oh, so close to You through this trying time where his faith is under fire…where his freedom and ours are under fires…You are where His help comes from ( Ps. 121). You Lord shall go forth like a warrior; You will stir up Your zeal like a man of war. You will shout out “YES!” You will raise a war cry. You will prevail mightily against Your enemies…who are Coach Kennedy’s enemies ( from Isa. 42:13)…and help us all remember our enemies are not the people standing in front of us…but the dark force behind them driving them ( satan & his demons) …for if they are not supposing You, Lord God, then that is who they are supporting whether they realize it or not. “But LORD, be merciful to us and Coach Kennedy, for we have waited for You. Be our strong arm each day and our salvation in times of trouble. The enemy runs at the sound of Your voice…( from Isa. 33:2-3a)…Jesus…and our prayers offered up to You, Lord God, in Jesus’ Name, Blood, Word, Authority, Power and Spirit…have great power!! For You can change a course of action through the intercessions of Your Saints. We only have to look at Moses prayer life to see that ( Exd. 32) and be an example for us…Greater is He Who is in us than he that is in the world ( from I John 4:4).. and in Your great Name Jesus we pray believing that You will bring Coach Kennedy victory in You, Jesus, over the enemy. ..for You wear the Victors Crown!! Amen. ♥️🙏♥️

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Phyllis
June 16, 2022

Dear God of grace and mercy, loose the chains that bind Mr. Bishop and set him free from the dungeon of death that he faces. In the name of Jesus, open his eyes and turn him from darkness to light, from the power of satan to the power of YOU, Father God, so that he may receive forgiveness of sin and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in You. Amen

15
Leilani Sherfy
June 16, 2022

I am praying for Coach Kennedy to stay strong in his belief in Christ and to continue to be a strong witness to his players. Believers have long been persecuted for their faith and their rewards may be long in coming but the Bible promises us great rewards if we stay true to Him.

24
Kim Newell
June 16, 2022

Heavenly Father, thank you for your righteous judgment. I pray for your hand in Coach Kennedy’s Supreme Court case to protect his right to freely express his love and devotion to You. I pray that he be restored to his profession, where he has been a positive influence on many young people. Remove the dark spirits from people such as this sports writer who is without a way, truth, and life. Produce in his life a spiritual awakening that turns him to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

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Lloyd King
June 16, 2022

Coach Kennedy, I am praying for you. I pray that our great God will use you to show His glory and power. Stand strong my friend!

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Betty Rickmond
June 16, 2022

It is SO sad read or hear about people,
regardless of their positions or politics,
who try to condemn a child of God
for praying to Him for thankfulness,
guidance or help wherever or whenever
“he” or “she” chooses. I pray for those
people who are lost and need God
in their lives🙏

25
Lloyd King
June 16, 2022

i never read SI and I never will. Godless people make godless decisions. Those who so adamately oppose prayer will one day plead for Almighty God to hear thiers. May God bring them to their senses before it is everlasting too late.

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Jennifer Derr
June 16, 2022

Coach Kennedy, we intercede for you before the Father, knowing that you beloved by Him! We ask, LORD, for Your arms of love to wrap around and uphold Coach during this trial. Know that as you endure, you are joining Jesus in the fellowship of His sufferings, and He is with you and for you! Holy Spirit, we ask Your gracious Presence upon Coach today and onwards. Give him You supernatural strength and wisdom to endure and shine Your light through the darkness of our land. In the Name of Jesus, I pray!

46
Althea Penn
June 16, 2022

Lord I thank you for being a strong tower and advocate for Coach Kennedy and others facing persecution.

33
Bob Fello
June 16, 2022

We are praying for you every day. Stand firm! Don’t Flinch!
Ephesians 6:10-13

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