The American Humanist Association has sent a letter to a couple Georgia high schools telling them that to stop allowing football coaches to proselytize and pray with their players and a state legislator is now accusing them of “bullying” those kids by protecting them against adults unconstitutional forcing them to participate in religious exercises.
A day after the American Humanist Association threatened to sue a Georgia school district for permitting coaches to use the football program to promote religious acts and messages, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) lashed out against “liberal atheist interest groups” Wednesday for “trying to bully” high schoolers…
Collins, a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and a former Baptist pastor, defended the school’s religious practices in a statement Wednesday, accusing the AHA of bullying students.
“The liberal atheist interest groups trying to bully Chestatee High School kids say they have a reason to believe that expressions of religious freedom are ‘not an isolated event’ in Northeast Georgia,” Collins said. “They’re right. In Hall County and throughout Georgia’s 9th district, we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way.”
Collins continued, “It’s utterly disgusting that while innocent lives are being lost in Iraq and other places at the hands of radical religious terrorists, a bunch of Washington lawyers are finding the time to pick on kids in Northeast Georgia.”
Yeah, that’s about the level of absurdity one would expect in response. Every single individual is, of course, free to worship in their own way. That is precisely why the government, in the guise of a football coach at a public high school, cannot direct their worship in any way. They aren’t picking on kids, they’re protecting them from the imposition of religion by government officials. Every single member of those football teams are free to pray, individually or collectively, before every game if they choose. But they can’t be directed to do so by a teacher or a coach. I don’t know why this is difficult to understand.