Owasso High School in Oklahoma has a baseball dynasty on their hands:
What is it about football coaches that makes them more susceptible to violate the First Amendment?
I really don’t understand how anyone could look at the situation taking place on the Clemson University football team — where the coach’s Christianity is allowed to run rampant and players are pressured to attend religious events even if it’s outside of practice — and think it’s okay.
My theory is that they don’t think it’s a big deal because it’s the faith of the majority. “Everyone” in South Carolina is Christian, so what’s the big deal if it seeps onto the football field?
But that’s precisely the problem. Everyone on the team, Coach Dabo Swinney included, can practice their faith as they wish, but when you’re in uniform representing a public university, there’s no room for proselytizing. No non-Christian player should have to choose between pretending to be religious to curry favor with the coach and being true to their own beliefs. There’s plenty of opportunity to hold religious events off the field — so why not just leave it there?. (I’d say the same thing if we were talking about an atheist coach pressuring players to stop believing in God. As if that would ever happen.)
Ellen Meny wrote an article for The Tiger News, the school’s newspaper, that’s downright hilarious. Meny wants to say that there’s no proselytizing problem and groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation are making a big deal out of nothing:
We learned a couple of weeks ago that Hobby Lobby President Steve Green had developed a Bible curriculum for public schools and that Oklahoma’s Mustang Public Schools board had voted to approve it and become the first district to implement it. The course would focus on the “narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.”
Green had said in a video that he believed the course should be mandatory, though for now, it would be an elective. (To no one’s surprise, Glenn Beck is a full-on supporter of the course.)
There are already such courses in public schools around the country and they’re legal because they don’t treat the Bible as a Holy Book. (Though even that line is crossed far more than it should.) I think most defenders of church/state separation would agree that there’s a lot of value in teaching about the Bible because of the role it plays in literature, culture, and our own history… as long as you follow a simple rule: You can teach the Bible, but you can’t preach the Bible.
That brings us to the big question about what the Oklahoma district is doing: Will Steve Green’s Bible curriculum really be objective?
The Freedom From Religion Foundation requested a copy of the curriculum last November — but they still haven’t gotten ahold of it. However, they did get their hands on the textbook for the course (from an unnamed source). And the biggest surprise may be that the cover isn’t a series of red flags.
Dammit… I *really* hope no atheist is responsible for this…
Last week, in downtown Chicago’s Daley Plaza, the (Catholic) Thomas More Society put up a display of a giant 14-foot cross and image of Jesus.
They requested and received permission to do it — and the Metropolitan Chicago chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation were soon to follow with a display of its own promoting separation of church and state.