If something happens once you can dismiss it as an anomaly. If something happens twice you pay attention and examine for trends. However, when it happens repeatedly you’ve got more than a trend, you have a deliberate strategy and plan.
And so it is with the incessant and relentless attack of atheist groups against prayer and religious activity involving football. We’ve reported here about the attack levied against my own Alma Mater, the University of Tennessee — and mentioned the attack against Clemson University Coach Dabo Sweeney — and also the case brought against Georgia’s Madison County High School for their donated monument which has two New Testament biblical verses inscribed. Well, the atheist bullies from FRFF are at it again!
As reported by Fox News, “An atheist group succeeded in sidelining football coaches at a Delaware high school from post-game prayers, but the holy huddle will continue as a players-only affair, according to a report. The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Robert Fulton earlier this month to allege a “serious constitutional violation” occurring at Cape Henlopen High School: Coaches participating in postgame prayers with players. One photograph in a local newspaper showed head coach Bill Collick in a prayer circle with his team on Oct. 3, The News Journal reports. “He’s got his hands on players and he’s bowing his head and he’s participating in a prayer circle with students,” said Elizabeth Cavell, an FFRF staff attorney who drafted the letter to Fulton. “Our objection to that is it violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which has been interpreted to say that public school districts and their employees cannot advance or endorse religion while acting in their official capacity.”
That interpretation is severely flawed if applied to this case, as well as most of the cases FFRF has lobbied.
The school board in Madison County folded like a cheap chair and this Wisconsin group prevails once again. Is there anyone with the doggone courage to tell these folks to mind their own business?
The more success they’re allowed, the more they are emboldened. Furthermore, why not simply ignore these seemingly demented individuals who possess an animus that goes beyond understanding? A coach kneeling with players in a post-game prayer does not establish any state sponsored religion. What FFRF is strategically doing is advancing a secular humanist agenda to eradicate the Judeo-Christian faith heritage in America — and they’ve decided to attack sporting events, specifically football at public institutions to make their point. Their cohort in this insanity, Mikey Weinstein, at the oxymoronic Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has embarked upon the same crusade against our armed forces.
Fox says, “Cape Henlopen School District Supervisor Fulton replied to inform Cavell all district employees, including coaches, would be reminded of laws regarding separation of church and state.”
And therein lies the problem. Mr. Fulton has no idea of the origin and intent of the term “separation of church and state.” How many times do I have to say this? It is not a law. It is not found in the Constitution — nor in the Declaration of Independence or even in the Federalist Papers.
Separation of church and state was a concept — a principle — written in a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Convention articulating that America would not have an established state religion or a Head of State who was also a Head of Church — there would be a separation.
So a coach kneeling with his players during a post-game prayer circle is in keeping with the First Amendment of freedom of religion and the free exercise thereof! Instead, when people fail to know the origins of our Constitutional Republic, they are bullied by these activist groups. As a result, following their home game against Sussex Tech, the postgame prayer circle had a lineup change. As the Vikings gathered to pray after a 49-13 loss, Collick and his assistants stood nearby, but did not join the players.
“We’re satisfied with that,” Cavell said. “We’re expecting that staff, including coaches, are not going to be participating in prayers with the students in the future.”
No ma’am, Ms. Cavell, you and the FFRF are wrong. You violated the First Amendment right of those coaches and Mr. Fulton should have known better and responded as such. At no time did those coaches advocate for an established religion for the State of Delaware or the United States. However, there are some who are not happy.
Fox reports that “Fulton’s response to Cavell upset some Cape Henlopen supporters who felt the superintendent backed down to a the out-of-state, atheist organization. But Cavell said the law is on the side of her group. “We’ve taken lawsuits in the public-school context, but I don’t think we’ve taken a lawsuit on coach-led prayer,” she said. “The law is pretty well established, so it doesn’t lead to much litigation.”
The law is not on Cavell’s side. The only thing on FFRF’s side is their belligerence and the cowardice of others. They’re not allowed to restrain the free exercise of religion of an American citizen. And if Ms. Cavell believes she has the law on her side, then she should bring a lawsuit to end the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Dammit folks, don’t you see that these people are not on the right side but use the ignorance of so-called school leaders to impose their misguided will?
According to Fox, “Coach Collick, meanwhile, said he has prayed with players throughout his four decades in coaching, including during his entire run at Delaware State University from 1985-96. He vowed to continue to impart wisdom on his players whenever he can. “We will continue to move forward and be about respect and do the things we know that good citizens and good people need to do,” he said. But football players at Cape Henlopen High School are far from the only Delaware public-school athletes who pray before or after games. Dozens of teams in the state regularly gather for prayers and at least one coach is involved most of the time, the News Journal reports. “Before the first time we do it, I throw it out there that this is strictly voluntary,” Brandywine coach Tom Wood said Friday. “You do not have to participate if it goes against your religious beliefs. I’m not pushing my religion on anybody.”
It’s time parents and athletes take over this situation and send a message to FFRF. I’d like to see the stands empty out and everyone who desires go down to the field and join in on post-game prayer. We need to start sending letters to the FFRF and tell them how we feel about their attack on our First Amendment rights.
I continue to find it unconscionable that these atheist groups are so offended and concerned about something they pretend does not exist. So what is their real agenda?
I’m just waiting for FFRF to bring a lawsuit or write a letter about the government paying for Muslim footbath stations in airports and on college campuses — nah, FFRF ain’t got the courage to take on Muslims. So they fight against Christians because we keep cowering and allowing them to have their way. Time to fight back.