I help coach my school’s Speech Team.
I think I’m going to plan a pre-season party to get everyone pumped up about the tournaments ahead — We’re going to listen to a motivations speaker and get dinner together. I won’t ask the administrators for money, but I am borrowing a school bus. Another coach will pay for the gas, though. No one *has* to go, but seriously… they should all go if they know what’s best for them.
Oh. And on the way to dinner, I’m going to take everyone to a local atheist Meetup, where they can perform the Blasphemy Challenge on video, get “debaptized” with a blow dryer, and play Pin the Tail on the Jesus.
That should be ok, right?
You can imagine the reaction if any atheist did that. No doubt every Christian Right group would be after your head. Your bosses would (rightfully) get rid of you. FOXNews would have a field day.
So why has there been little to no repercussion for Scott Mooney, the head football coach at Breckinridge County High School in
Louisville Harned, Kentucky, who took his players to get baptized?
The coach took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them… were baptized.
… the school district’s superintendent was there and did not object.
But Superintendent Janet Meeks, who is a member of the church and witnessed the baptisms, said she thinks the trip was proper because attendance was not required, and another coach paid for the gas.
Meeks said parents weren’t given permission slips to sign but knew the event would include a church service, if not specifically a baptism. She said eight or nine players came forward and were baptized.
“None of the players were rewarded for going and none were punished for not going,” Meeks said.
Surely, even the Religious Right isn’t defending this…
Oh, wait. Enter Mat Staver:
… Staver, founder and general counsel for Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based group that provides free legal assistance in religious liberty cases, said there was nothing wrong with trip as long as it was voluntary and no public funds were used. He compared it to a coach inviting players to attend a play or to go see a baseball game.
Unless the bus was owned by the coach, public funds were used. And again, I ask what Staver would be saying if this wasn’t a Christian coach but an atheist one.
The students are saying they knew the church visit would be part of the trip. This coach knew exactly what he was doing.
One mother is hopefully taking action:
[Michelle] Ammons, who lives in Big Spring, said that she is a Baptist but her husband, Danny, is Catholic, and that both feel like their son should wait until he is 18 to make important decisions on religion.
“We felt he was brainwashed,” she said.
She said she was prepared to drop the matter until she found out that Meeks attended the service. She said she consulted a lawyer in Elizabethtown but hasn’t decided what action she will take.
“They have no right to take my son on a school bus across county lines to be a church to be baptized,” she said.
No they don’t, and this coach and the superintendent should be out of jobs right now. They took advantage of teenagers who weren’t about to say no to their head coach and superintendent and abused their responsibility as educators.
There needs to be a bigger uproar over this. I hope Ammons pursues her lawsuit and wins.
(Thanks to Derek for the link!)