Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Atheists Frantic: Prayer Uncovered at U. of Toledo

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has issued a warning to the University of Toledo after atheists discovered a YouTube video posted by the school in 2012 showing head football coach Matt Campbell saying the Lord's Prayer amid a group of athletes who voluntarily gathered before a game for “this serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment.”
“The University of Toledo is grateful to Coach Matt Campbell for his leadership in elevating UT student-athletes’ performance in the classroom and on the field.”
-- Statement by UT officials
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Atheists Say Too Many Christians at Ohio School

Atheists Strip Catholic University from Ohio Town Identity

Atheists Strip Memorial Crosses From Arkansas Football

Atheists Demand: Georgia Football Monument Must Go

Arizona Schools Ban Christian Football Coaches

Also read Atheists Force Bible Ban at University of Wisconsin and at Colleges Across America but the Wisconsin Governor Ignores Atheists' Demands Regarding the Bible

And read Texas School Supt. Tells Atheists to Go Fly a Kite

-- From "Group asks UT Rockets to end pregame prayers" by Nicholas Piotrowicz, Blade Sports Writer 5/27/15

UT spokesman Jon Strunk issued a statement to The Blade that said: “UT is in receipt of a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation regarding UT’s football program and is reviewing its contents.”

In the video, former Toledo kicker Jeremiah Detmer wore a GoPro, a mobile video camera that was attached to his helmet.

Before the team ran onto the field, Mr. Campbell, who is Catholic and attends St. Rose Parish in Perrysburg, led the team in the Lord’s Prayer in the locker room at the Glass Bowl.

UT played the game Sept. 15, 2012, and UT’s YouTube account published the video Oct. 19, 2012.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Freedom From Religion Foundation wants U. of Toledo football to stop pre-game prayers" by Cabot Phillips, Virginia Campus Correspondent, Campus Reform 6/1/15

The [FFRF] group, which serves as a “voice for freethought,” claimed that Head Coach Matt Campbell committed a “serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment” when he led the team in a prayer before a 2012 game against Bowling Green.

The video shows Coach Campbell telling the team “I’m going to say this: Every one of us has so much to be thankful for. A great night to play football, play with your brothers, OK? What an opportunity. Let’s be grateful for it.”

At that, he takes a knee and the team begins to recite the Lord’s Prayer.

According to the foundation, this sort of activity is unacceptable, and results in players feeling “huge pressure to participate in the prayer” in order to “please their coach or curry favor.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Flag on the play" posted at The Blade (Toledo, OH) 5/29/15

The prayer circle was a private, voluntary gathering, and should have remained such. The university official or officials who signed off on posting the video made a sizable mistake. They opened the university to criticism — and possibly legal action — from a group that targets even the most minute violation of alleged separation of church and state.

Still, the Freedom From Religion Foundation doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that players at UT — or anywhere else — have the freedom to pray or not. The UT video does not show that any player was compelled to take part in the prayer, nor did it appear that any took issue with the spiritual moment. For many players, prayer is a form of camaraderie.

Prayer surely should not be demanded of those who don’t want to participate. But it is undeniably rooted in the football culture. When a coach and team want to pray privately and voluntarily, it shouldn’t be anybody else’s business.

To read the entire editorial above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheists' Sanctuary City Created: Madison, Wisc.