Tuesday, February 11, 2014

N. Carolinians Pray at School, Defying WI Atheists

Citizens in the Charlotte, North Carolina area are responding to threats from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, as well as to the Mooresville Graded School District that ordered high school football coach Hal Capps to cease displays of his Christian faith.
"Unless somebody complains, I'm not going to stop."
-- Richard Bailey, Scotland High School football coach

"Our faith is such a large part of why we're drawn to football. We try to make a difference in the lives of these young men."
-- Bryan Till, Terry Sanford High School football coach
For background, read Praying Crowds vs. ACLU in Rowan County, North Carolina and also read Townspeople Pray at School Game Despite ACLU Threat

UPDATE 12/7/14: Ohio School Supt. & Citizens vs. Complaining Atheists

Also read Legislation Bringing Prayer Back to North Carolina Schools

In addition, read about atheists who are fed up with Christians in schools in many states.

-- From "NC High School Football Coach Ordered To Cease Baptisms, Leading Prayers" by Benjamin Fearnow, CBS Charlotte 2/2/14

The Wisconsin-based nonprofit Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote a request last fall that coach Capps cease leading prayers and joining baptisms for his players as a base rule of separating public school activities and religious ceremonies. School Superintendent Mark Edwards met with Capps, who said, “he understood” the violation and would no longer participate in such religious observances, the Charlotte Observer reports.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "School Football Coach Ordered To Stop Praying With Students" by Hunter Stuart, Huffington Post 2/5/14

A spokesperson for the Mooresville schools told HuffPost on the phone Tuesday that praying occurred after football games. "It's actually a community thing," Tanae McLean said. "People leave the stands and go down on the field." But McLean said the baptism happened off school property, after school hours. "The student [who was baptized] had just invited some people that he felt like were a part of his life," McLean said.

Yet some local residents aren't thrilled that an out-of-state organization has told their football coach not to pray. Local news reports and the Blue Devils' Facebook page contain many interviews and comments from people outraged by the news. "I don't think he's forcing anybody [to pray]," local mother Maribeth Stewart told local news outlet WSOC-TV. "The more people that hear about Jesus the better." You can even buy an "I Support Hal Capps" T-shirt.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Mooresville High football coach ordered to stop baptizing players" by Joe Marusak, Charlotte Observer 1/30/14

[Superintendent Mark] Edwards said the baptism in the Twitter photo happened at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in downtown Mooresville and wasn’t a team baptism. A church that some of the players belong to held the baptism, Edwards said, and those players invited Capps to be there with them. “He’s a very proud Christian,” Edwards said.

Capps wasn’t disciplined, the superintendent said, and has written players and their families that he won’t lead the team in any more prayers. Capps didn’t return a request for comment left on his cell phone by the Observer on Thursday.

The foundation wrote the district after it said it received a complaint from a parent of a Mooresville High School student “who objects to religious endorsements” by Capps.

“Students have reported that Coach Capps frequently prays with football players at team events and encourages them to go to church and to become baptized,” the letter says.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Fayetteville coaches and players say team prayer is part of the game" by Catherine Pritchard, Fayetteville Observer Staff writer 2/11/14

[Football coaches] Bailey, Till and others said they are careful not to push their religious views on players and don't believe any of their players have ever felt pressured into participating in prayers or other religious activities during team time.

[Rev. Dennis] Sheppard said he gives a devotional for the Tiger members on Thursday afternoons after practice during football season. He said he will give a nondenominational pep talk and pray for the players. He attends games on Friday nights and joins players, parents, coaches and others on the field for an after-game prayer.

"For a lot of [the school athletes], this is their only connection to something positive, affirming, something that speaks to their self-esteem," Sheppard said. "It's the only time they get some understanding of values."

At Scotland High School, new players are given Bibles at the start of the season by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. At the end of each season, Bailey typically finds a few of those Bibles still in their wrappers, left untouched by a player in his old locker.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click for Fox News interview with student athlete Dallas Jackson
From "Students and Community Rally Around Coach Banned From Praying at Football Games" by Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter 2/4/14

Although the coach has reportedly agreed to stop leading the prayers, his local community and team have rallied around him, arguing that it is his constitutional right to express his faith if he so wishes. The community has become so united in supporting Capps that they have started the Twitter trend "#ISupportCapps" to show their solidarity with the coach.

One team player, Dallas Jackson, recently tweeted, "#ISupportCapps and he's the best coach I've ever had and I'm twice the guy and player I was when I came to Mooresville as a freshman." . . . Jackson added that Coach Capps usually leads the Lord's Prayer before the games and asks God to watch over every player and their safety out on the field.

"He's more than just a coach," Jackson said." He does a lot for the students and the community, and he reaches out to families that don't have a lot. And he helps us all grow as men more than just players."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read of the myriad atheist lawsuits against Christians and prayer nationwide and read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee and in Mississippi but admit they're Short on Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

In addition, read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools.