Russellville, Alabama – I always enjoy it when anti-theist (that’s my new word for the self-professed atheists) groups get their dander up at Christians who are merely exercising their conscience towards God and obeying him, even if it’s on public property.
Such is the case yet again as the football team from high school in Russellville, Alabama hosted a baptism on the school’s football field, inciting the silly children of the Freedom from Religion Foundation once again.
Earlier this month, the football coaches allowed their players to be baptized on the school’s football field following one of their practices. Head Coach Mark Heaton even tweeted out pictures of the baptism, writing “Three baptized after practice Thursday. Building the Kingdom!!”
Obviously this didn’t make FFRF happy, and apparently a “concerned citizen” wasn’t happy either.
As always, the “concerned citizen” is never named, and they allegedly complained to FFRF. By the way, don’t you also have the right to face your accuser? Is FFRF missing that little tidbit? So, as usual that anti-theist group sent a strongly worded letter to Russellville City Schools claiming that what took place was “unconstitutional religious activity,” and demanded an investigation by the school district.
This group had the audacity to complain about Heaton posting the photos on his own personal Facebook page and Twitter account. The organization also chastised the school for allowing pro-life messages that quote the Bible under several teacher’s biographical sections on their school’s websites (as if the teachers aren’t allowed to do such a thing).
The anti-theist group also claim, “it is illegal for a public school to organize, sponsor, or lead religious activity at public high school athletic events. It is also inappropriate for a public school to offer religious leaders unique access to befriend and proselytize students.”
Seriously? It is not illegal. In fact, the entire purpose of the First Amendment restricts the federal government from making any law regarding speech anywhere by anyone. It also restricts the federal government from restricting the free exercise of Christianity as well. However, that would be if one argued from the federal level. This is a state issue and as such, the Alabama State Constitution states clearly:
That no religion shall be established by law; that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship; that no one shall be compelled by law to attend any place of worship; nor to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate for building or repairing any place of worship, or for maintaining any minister or ministry; that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under this state; and that the civil rights, privileges, and capacities of any citizen shall not be in any manner affected by his religious principles. (Emphasis mine)
In other words, no one was compelled to attend the baptism. All went willingly and just because a school employee was there and is a coach does not allow for his “civil rights, privileges, and capacities” to be “affected by his religious principles.” FFRF is just out to lunch on this on every level.
I have some questions for the FFRF, where are you guys at when Muslims demand and get special requests for prayers in public schools, as well as bashing the promotion of off-campus Bible studies? Where are you knuckleheads at when they demand halal foods in schools? Where are you at when the federal government threatens US citizens with imprisonment if they speak out against Islam? It seems to me these anti-theists are only attacking those that follow the one, true God. In fact, they aren’t attacking the religion of secular humanism, which the public schools openly promote.
While the anti-theist group claims that schools shouldn’t “organize, sponsor or lead” such activities as those the football team engaged in, Heaton confirmed to the Franklin County Times that this event wasn’t school sanctioned.
“This was something that the students came to me and told me they wanted to do,” Heaton said.
“Neither of these kids had a home church, and they had accepted Christ and wanted to be baptized in front of their teammates who also shared their faith and wanted to be there to support them.
“This wasn’t school-sanctioned. This was something these students wanted to do, and I believe it was important to let them do this because these kids are going through a very important part of their lives. They are searching for something to believe in, and as adults we are put here to guide these children. When these kids came to me with this request to be baptized with their teammates, I felt like it was important to support them.
“We are going to be here for our kids regardless of the decisions they make, good or bad, but there are so many bad decisions made today by young people that it’s important to support the good decisions they make.”
The Times also reported that the baptisms followed a very traumatic time in the student’s lives as four days before Austin Kitterman, a junior and one of the team’s captains, had sustained life-threatening injuries in an ATV accident.
As for the FFRF, their letter requested not only an investigation, but also said the district should “take immediate action to end the position of ‘team chaplain’ and ensure there will be no further inappropriate religious events like team baptisms at school-sponsored activities.” The letter continued on to demand, “Teachers should be instructed to remove any Christian or other religious messages from their official webpages” and to demand that the Christian Students United club must be student-initiated and student-run.
One wonders if it would be a problem for the FFRF if they decided to invite an adult to speak to them on a particular subject.
We have already seen the FFRF get spanked by the US Navy, Oneida High School cheerleaders, Chestatee High School parents and students, and quite possibly will get another public spanking from the Madison County Red Raiders.
In the end, the people who control the school district should be the parents. If they don’t stand up to this one anonymous person and the anti-theist group, perhaps their kids will. It’s an election year after all, and parents should be watching who is holding the line and who is wavering in their school districts and hold them accountable by removing anyone that will not stand for the rights of these teachers and students.
Once again, I call on all parents everywhere to remove your children from these indoctrination centers and educate them at home. You’ll be glad you did!