Thursday, September 03, 2015

Atheists Threaten GA School for 'Football Baptisms'

Kevin Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church of Villa Rica, Georgia, was asked by a coach to baptize him on the football field at Villa Rica High School after dismissal, and he agreed.  So, without involving the school administration, the coach was baptized and so were several student football players — all by their own requests.  After the church posted a video of the event, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) was alerted and have now threatened a lawsuit against the Carroll County School District.
"We had the privilege of baptizing a bunch of football players and a coach on the field of Villa Rica High School! We did this right before practice! Take a look and see how God is STILL in our schools!"
-- Caption of church YouTube video
For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Georgia Football Monument Must Go, Atheists Demand

Atheists Frantic: Prayer Uncovered at Univ. of Toledo Football

Arizona Schools Ban Christian Football Coaches

Also read Teacher Prayers for Students Illegal, Atheists Say

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

-- From "Video Shows Mass Baptism on High School Football Field" by The Associated Press 9/2/15

The Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to Carroll County officials Tuesday asking the district to investigate the incident and ensure there are no more religious events that violate students' constitutional rights on school grounds. The group also requested that the district state the steps it is taking to protect the constitutional rights of students.

Carroll County assistant superintendent Terry S. Jones said in a statement emailed Wednesday to The Associated Press that the school district is taking the "appropriate steps" to investigate the matter.

"The Carroll County School System was made aware of a situation that took place at Villa Rica High School prior to football practice on August 17th," Jones said. "The District is currently looking into the specifics of this situation and will take appropriate steps to ensure all state and federal laws are followed."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Carroll schools investigating ‘mass baptism’ at football practice" posted at Atlanta Journal Constitution 9/2/15

. . . details raised the eyebrows of the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which asked Carroll County schools to instruct coaches and school staff “that they cannot participate in religious activities with students while acting in their official capacity.”

Federal guidelines released in 2003 say that “teachers and other public school officials may not lead their classes in prayer, devotional readings from the Bible, or other religious activities.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Georgia public school investigates a mass baptism on its football field" by Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Washington Post 9/2/15

Heather Weaver, an attorney for the ACLU, said that if the video and reports are correct, use of public school property and the school coach’s involvement would be unconstitutional. She said the ACLU often receives reports of public schools promoting religion, “but this is one of the most egregious examples I have seen.”

Charles Haynes, vice president of the Newseum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center, said the activity was problematic because football practice is a school-sponsored activity, not a community event, even though it takes place after school.

If the church had rented the space or was allowed to use the space on the same basis as other community groups in non-school hours, then the church could have had a worship service or baptism on the field and students could participate, Haynes said.

In the past, Americans have tended to favor looser limits on religion in public schools. According to an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center, more than two-thirds of Americans agreed with the statement that “liberals have gone too far in trying to keep religion out of the schools and the government.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "School District Investigates After Mass Baptism Takes Place Before Football Practice at Villa Rica High School" by Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter 9/3/15

Kevin Williams, the pastor of First Baptist Church and members of his congregation were involved in the baptisms which attracted a diverse group of about 75 people — they were reportedly all voluntary decisions.

"We never meant to cause any problems for the school and we never thought we would get this much media attention for baptizing kids," said Williams whose church has provided both spiritual and financial support to the school community.

He explained that the church recently held a football themed worship service called "Gridiron Day" and one of the coaches asked if he could be baptized on the football field. A number of players, who had recently converted to Christianity, he said, also asked to be baptized as well.

"It was their choice to do that," said Williams. "We live in a free nation. People choose what they want. These people that got baptized — freely chose at a church service to accept Christ and this was a follow up to that."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Church in hot water over football field baptism" by Todd Starnes, 9/2/15

At the end of the school day somebody hauled out an old feeding trough, plopped it in the end zone near the field house and filled it with water.

A crowd of about 75 folks, black and white, young and old, gathered in the sweltering August heat to watch the coach take the Baptist plunge.

Perhaps inspired by their coach’s public display of his faith, some of the players also asked to be baptized. One by one the teenage boys stepped into the trough – as onlookers prayed and rejoiced and applauded.

The question is whether the atheist carpetbaggers will bully the school district into silencing people of faith.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Atheists Say Illegal Christianity is 'Rampant' in Georgia Schools

And read Atheists Want to Ban Christians from Schools in Michigan, West Virginia, Oklahoma, California, Florida, Ohio, etc.

However, there's no complaint from atheists about overt indoctrination of Islam in public schools.