He’s being investigated for allowing his football team to receive meals from local church groups. He’s also being accused of violating the Constitution by praying with his team, quoting the Bible in his inspirational messages and interacting with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Parents haven’t complained. Neither have school officials. The complaint was filed by the Wisconsin-based group The Freedom from Religion Foundation.
“Taking public school football teams to church, even for a meal, is unconstitutional,” wrote FFRF attorney Andrew Seidel. “This program is an egregious violation of the Establishment Clause and must cease immediately.”
The coach in the spotlight is Mark Mariakis of Ridgeland High School. Several of his players attend the churches that have prepared and served meals to the players.
Where is the common sense? Would those who object prefer kids be involved in at-risk behavior rather than come into contact with Christians?
This subject hits close to home for me. My own life got on the right track through my high school football coach. Coach Mo took me and some other players to an FCA event one night, where I met Jesus Christ for the very first time.
Mr. Seidel is entitled to his opinion, however misinformed I believe it to be. But as a Christian, my heart aches for those who do not see or appreciate the reservoir of goodness that is represented in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s seen in a million different compassionate and generous acts all across the world, every single day.
Secularists may try and stamp them out. Atheists can fight them. Agnostics might ignore them.
But the Gospel is a force that cannot be stopped.
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About Jim Daly
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. He is husband to Jean and father to Trent and Troy.
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