Coach Mark Mariakis: Fire Him or Support Him?

Mark Mariakis is the public high school football coach who uses his position to proselytize to his players and bring them to Jesus.

There’s now a Support Coach Mariakis Facebook event page, encouraging his supporters to attend Ridgeland High School’s first home football game on September 14th.

I guess the people of Rossville, Georgia are going to hold up signs telling atheists and Hindus and Jews and Muslims that they’re not welcome at the school and if they don’t accept the coach’s preaching, they can go to a public school. (Oh wait…)

Meanwhile, there’s also a Fire Coach Mariakis page that has a disappointingly low number of supporters.

This shouldn’t be an issue. If I preached atheism the way he’s preaching Christianity, I’d be out of a job and rightfully so.

So why is Mariakis getting a free pass to proselytize?

(Thanks to Alex for the links)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Matthew Baker

    True Christian™  Privilege is just as strong as the True Christian™ Persecution Complex–both take strong soap and good legal muster to get out of clothing and schools. 

  • Ray

    uses his position toproselytize to his prayers “… or to his players?

  • Chewie

    So in your world, the only two options are “fire him” or “support him”? You do not have any grey in your world?

    It is this kind of polarizing thinking and wording that is damaging on so many levels. The coach should not be doing what he is doing; of that there is no question. But to think there are only two options is quite childlike in a rhetorical process as well as a solution based process.

    Perhaps putting the coach on a probationary status where he is told to drop all religious referencing. If he can do his job of coaching and completes the probationary period and learns that he is not to continue with the religious nonsense then perhaps he could keep his job. This is not “support him” anymore than it it “fire him”.

    Stop being so polarizing and reactionary. Try to think of alternate methods that seek to build bridges instead of dividing and creating anger on all sides.

  • Sideshow Billybob

    This is the same area as the events of Lakeview/Fort Oglethorpe involving the cheerleaders.They thought they could run over everyone then too.

  • Hemant Mehta

    That’s precisely what FFRF is asking. Drop the prayers and keep your job. The problem is that he shows no signs of stopping and the school isn’t pressuring him to stop.

    Also, the “two options” aren’t mine. They’re the ones getting promoted on FB.

  • Hemant Mehta

    Whoops! Fixed.

  • Michael S

    Don’t get worked up about facebook groups.

  • Alex

    How did you manage to get that shit on your clothes?!

  • newavocation

    Polarizing??? We wouldn’t need to be dealing with this if we DEMANDED some constitutional accountability from our government officials. 

  • Gus Snarp

    Ahh, people who think constitutional rights are a popularity contest. Dear Christians in Rossville: the reason that we have a constitution is to protect the rights of the minority from a bullying majority. It doesn’t matter if most of you support the coach, what he’s doing is unconstitutional and discriminatory against non-Christians.

  • Nazani14

    Should be a send Coach to Civics class page.

  • chanceofrainne

    Oh seriously? Screw this guy.

  • Amanda Scott

    The Fire Coach Mariakis page is mine. Thank you very much to Alex for sending them in and Hemant for sharing them here! 

  • moother

    So, you are saying it is ok to break the law and still keep your job?

  • Rdwilliams277

     Just remember when its over your head its under our LORD’S feet. Our LORD HAS RISEN. yours?. We don’t tell you to pray so you don’t tell us we can’t. Thank you for bringing all the CHRISTIANS TOGETHER. One day you will understand

  • Rdwilliams277

     YES THAT WAS THEN now its NOW. I really think atheism believes in our Lord or they wouldn’t be giving us such a hard time trying to get all the Christians together.
    We owe it to them thanks for pulling us together. Remember THIS STORY IS FOR GOD’S GLORY AMEN

  • Rdwilliams277


  • Rdwilliams277

     YES what part do you not understand the separation of church and state means that the state can’t run the church but someones always try to get stupid with things. I think it is breaking the law in new york to shut streets down to do what you do so how about all the christian driving to new york and leave our cars in their way.

  • Rdwilliams277

    The players at Ridgeland leads the prayer and always will

  • Sheila

    how is it breaking the law when he is not requiring his players to pray, only giving themthe choice as to whether they want to or not, also his prayers are not going out on any kind of public airway for any one else to hear. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about, does he not have the right to pray,what about his constitional rights? Sounds like this is a fight against christians.