Freedom From Religion Foundation Takes On High School Football

High School football season kicks off with a prayer.The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has inserted itself into Friday night high school football.  News 13 in Orlando, FL, has the story.

News 13 – At one point during Friday night’s Seminole High School football game in Sanford, the starting quarterback got injured.

Questions have now surfaced about what happened afterwards, when football players could be seen praying on the sidelines.

“They take a knee, whether it’s their player or an opposing player. We do that to show respect,” said Mike Blasewitz, Seminole County Public School’s Executive Director of Secondary Education.

And prayers among students are allowed. But the Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted the Seminole County School’s superintendent this week, accusing Seminole High School of having a volunteer chaplain lead the team in prayer. The foundation said it got complaints from parents.

“What we do have a problem with is if the school is allowing a chaplain to come in and say ‘okay, kids, now it’s time for us to pray,’” said Andrew Seidel, and attorney for the foundation.

School officials said they don’t employ chaplains, and prohibit any employees, including coaches, from leading prayer.

They say in this case, students were praying on their own.

We did learn the football team’s head coach, Kerry Wiggins, is the father of the injured player and an ordained minister.

“We communicate very clearly to our employees what our expectations are,” said Blasewitz. “And that particular coach is a teacher first, a coach second, and if they choose in their own personal life to be a minister on the side, then that’s certainly up to them.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation received a letter from Seminole High School’s principal Wednesday denying any chaplain led prayer.

“The school has said that they don’t allow that and that they would not allow that, and that they know that it’s illegal, so we’re happy with that resolution,” said Seidel.

Thank heavens the FFRF is there to protect high school football players from prayer!  This organization and its 21,000 members have been coming on strong lately, doing their best to be sure that no form of Christianity is seen in public.  In previous posts I outlined how the FFRF sued the IRS to compel them to investigate churches for what they claim are violations of tax-exempt status, bullied a diner in North Carolina into ceasing to give a discount for praying over a meal, and threatened a pizza restaurant in Arkansas for giving a discount to those who bring in a church bulletin on Sunday. 

After being assured by the Seminole County Schools that the prayer was initiated by the students the FFRF stated they were satisfied.  In a statement from the FFRF, Andrew Seidel said, “FFRF is very pleased with central Florida’s new-found commitment to upholding the First Amendment and protecting the rights of conscience of all students, not just Christians.” 

It seems to me that the First Amendment rights of Christians are being thrown in the trash by the FFRF.  How many times does someone need to remind the FFRF that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  The free exercise thereof… Doesn’t the free exercise of religion mean that whoever wants to pray at a high school football game has the right to do so? Student or otherwise? 

Todd Starnes of Fox News Commentary summed it up very succinctly – “But it truly takes a special kind of evil to threaten Americans because they prayed over an injured child.  Heaven help us all.”

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2 comments to Freedom From Religion Foundation Takes On High School Football

  • The zealots that comprises the FFRF are worrisome enough, but what really troubles me is how many Americans seem to believe they are on the right track with their assault on religion. As if Christianity is something to be feared and put down.

    Isn’t it strange that you don’t see them attacking Islam in this manner?