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Comments about ‘The impact of a religious football coach at a public school’

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Published: Saturday, May 3 2014 7:51 p.m. MDT

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10CC
Bountiful, UT

Religious influences at public schools can and have gone too far, repeatedly.

At the Air Force Academy the commandante held evangelical meetings at his home, handing out plum assignments to cadets who were evangelical... which excluded Jews, Mormons, etc. This extended into the football program, where the head football coach had a large sign above his office that said "Team Jesus".

In Texas at a small town high school there was an elected student body leadership position called the "school prayor", who would offer pregame prayers before football games. It became too much when the "prayor" called on God to soften the hearts of the school's Catholic and Mormon students, so that they might see the light and come to know Jesus in the only acceptable way... the evangelical way.

The Catholic and Mormon families called the ACLU.

Pendergast
Salt Lake City, UT

The aforementioned examples by 10CC especially at the AFA are wrong.

It IMO sounds like Swinney is not 'destroying walls' so to speak. As long, he remembers he is a public employee & continues w/ his current approach then no worries.

mcclark
Salt Lake City, UT

Why must some people try to impose their religion on everybody else. Live your religion as you see fit but, mind your own business, leave the rest of us out of it.

Upson Downs
Sandy, UT

To "impose" something on someone implies the use of force. Not one of these players had anything imposed upon them. Simply mentioning some religious topic in a totally voluntary setting is not imposing anyone's religion on anyone else. Religion is a viable subject to discuss. If you feel imposed upon if someone simply mentions a religious topic just walk away you don't have to listen.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

If I am hired to teach Engineering courses and then decide to use some of that time to promote my personal political beliefs I suspect it would not be long before someone complained. I wouldn't matter if they agreed with my ideas or not, the point is that they're paying tuition to learn about Engineering not politics. Why would personal religious beliefs be any different?

let's roll
LEHI, UT

I'd suggest any Mormon who feels offended by a prayer offered by someone of another faith and has an impulse to call the ACLU read, and reread, the 11th Article of Faith until the impulse subsides. BTW, that prayer doesn't offend me in the least.

Also, with all due respect @Henry Drummond, I suspect it's been a while since you've been in a college classroom. Professors taking time to share their political positions happens every day on every campus. May be somewhat less often in an Engineering class, but let's just say I was keenly aware of the political views of my Civil Engineering prof well before I took the final.

And football coaches are all about relationships...they should want to know you and what makes you tick and want you to know them, so they know your concern for them is genuine. It's easier to know how best to motivate someone if you know them well. You can't really know a person of faith until you understand something about that faith.

across the sea
Topeno, Finland

It is sad when minority groups govern...when for the sake of religious freedom majority is denied to be religious.
Where is the right of the faithful to be who they really are?
Why the minorities have become so intollerant?
Why the values countries were built upon have to be destroed just because a few do not like them?
Why being politically correct resembles more lying than truth?
Why can't we live and let live"

TA1
Alexandria, VA

Freedom to practice our faith (religion) also means freedom from religion. We are allowed to practice our faith as we see fit, but we are not allowed to force others to listen to us in a scenario where we have control or undue influence.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Let's roll:

Like you, I'm not offended by somebody praying for me to come worship a certain way.

But if your high school student came home and announced they heard the prayer at the football game, and based on a prompting, wanted to stop going to sacrament meeting and wanted to go to an Evangelical rivalvry with their friends, instead, you might object to the explicit mixing of religion and education in public school, such as the science teacher quoting scripture to explain why the material in the textbook is wrong.

let's roll
LEHI, UT

@10cc

If my high school student came home after hearing a prayer at a football game and said he/she wanted to go to church with their friends, I certainly wouldn't stop them...just as I wouldn't force them to go to Sacrament meeting. I raised 4 teenagers, never forced any of them to go to Sacrament meeting, had a couple of them go to other churches with their friends. At the end of the day they all decided the could best be disciples of their Savior by going to the temple and remaining in the restored Gospel. Interestingly enough, a couple of their friends whose churches they attended decided they'd try early morning seminary...they too chose the Temple and the restored Gospel. Can't understand why anyone would be afraid of allowing someone to compare the Gospel to the other options out there.

The same is true with your example of the teacher. I heard a lot of things in school I ultimately decided were not true. Part of education is learning how to evaluate the things we hear, at school, at church, or on the internet and determine which are true.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@TA1

No it doesn't.

It does NOT mean freedom from religion.

It just means you are also free to publically voice your beliefs and conscience without any limitation or reprisal from government.

morpunkt
Glendora, CA

@10CC
You are absolutely spot on correct. I was going to cite your examples, but already beat me to it. I don't need to say more. It is a reflection of the Evangelical strongholds, in certain geographical areas of our country. I had been "victimized" by this in more than one way, so far in my lifetime. I am still working on forgiveness toward certain individuals who affected me. Some of the readers must live in a bubble and never had to experience bigotry by a majority religion, (and for those who unfortunately had experience the same treatment as a non LDS person in Utah, parts of Idaho, Arizona, or any other majority LDS area). However, as a convert to the LDS faith, I have witnessed much more acceptance of the LDS people towards their non member acquaintances than vice versa, such as the Evangelicals.

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