In Texas, Football Isn’t Just Religion. It’s Christianity.

In Texas, where sports is religion,
It appears that religion is sports
And the Christians are glad of their home field advantage
They hold over non-Christian sorts.

(continues, of course…)

There’s a group that coordinates schedules
For the private parochial schools
And since Christians are far and away the majority
Clearly, they get to set rules

The Jewish or Muslim academies
Might join in the fun, if they dare
But first they must suffer a brief bit of hazing
By taking a brief questionnaire

The items are not that important
They’re not what the quiz is about
The purpose is mostly to rub in their faces
The reasons their schools are kept out

Now, some will deplore this behavior:
“It just isn’t Christian!” they’ll say;
That using the cross as a club or a cudgel
Just isn’t a game we should play

But Christians in Texas are different;
They voted, and heard the clear cry:
The Christians are glad of their home field advantage
And Muslim schools need not apply

The New York Times reports on the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, which coordinates schedules for over 200 Texas schools. Mostly Christian schools, of course; you may recall last week’s story of a Jewish school that would have forfeited a championship game because it was scheduled for their sabbath? Yeah, that was TAPPS scheduling. They bowed to legal pressure, though, and rescheduled; the team that would have forfeited ended up winning; you can see why protecting your home court advantage is so important!

There are, currently, no Muslim schools in the TAPPS group. There have been a few who have applied; in addition to the formal application papers, they get questionnaires cherry-picking verses from the Koran and asking why, given these tenets, they would want to join an association full of infidels. Basically, it’s the functional equivalent of the signs the Pennsylvania Atheist group are putting up in response to the “Year of the Bible” legislation–not intended to inform or to inquire, but to embarrass. Typically, schools decline to answer the questions, and are not admitted.

TAPPS surveyed (or attempted to; only 38% of their schools returned surveys) their members as to whether they would welcome Muslim schools into their fold:

On Dec. 8, 2010, Tapps representatives distributed the results of the survey, reporting that 83 of 220 schools had replied, Yager said in his letter. Some 37 percent of respondents felt that it was in Tapps’s best interest to accept Islamic schools, and 63 percent said it was not, Yager said. Ten schools said they would leave Tapps if a majority said yes to admitting an Islamic school; one school said it would leave Tapps if the majority said no.

Gotta protect that home field advantage.

There’s an analogy here with Bishops and health care, but I’ll let you fish that out for yourselves.


  1. istilldream says

    This sort of thing happens even at schools that are supposedly non-religious. In 8th grade, I was a student at a small, academically-intense charter school in Arizona. I also played on our soccer team, where I had started the year as our 2nd string goalkeeper, only to become the starter 2 games in after the 1st string keeper broke his leg. Midway through the season, we had a game scheduled on Yom Kippur. I informed our athletic director of this, and asked him to ask the league to reschedule the game, since it would not only keep me from playing, but put the team at a serious disadvantage. He replied “If we rescheduled our games for everyone’s piddling little religious holidays, we’d never get to play at all.”

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