Thursday, August 23, 2012

‘Unconstitutional’?: Atheists Target High School Coach for Allowing Churches to Feed Football Players

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an atheist activist group based in Madison, Wisconsin, is taking a football coach to task, claiming that he violated the First Amendment by allowing local churches to prepare meals for team members. The organization sent a letter to Walker County Schools in LaFayette, Georgia, demanding that officials immediately investigate Mark Mariakis, the Ridgeland High School coach.
While the atheists want an examination into alleged pre-game foods that churches purportedly prepared for the players, the FFRF also addressed claims that Coach Mariakis prayed with the football players, used Bible verses in motivational speeches and on team shirts and took part on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, a faith-based organization.
According to the FFRF, a local individual complained about the food that the teens are given on game days. The group also said that a minister typically delivers remarks to the players that focus upon Christianity as well — another violation that has the activists fired up.
“Taking public school football teams to church, even for a meal, is unconstitutional,” FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel wrote in a letter to the district. “This program is an egregious violation of the Establishment Clause and must cease immediately.”


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