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Why the Attack on Clemson Football Coach Exposes the Double Standard of Anti-Religious Movement

April 17, 2014

On the commute to my office this morning, I was listening to ESPN radio, as I often do.  Jorge Sedano (@SedanoESPN) is filling in for Colin Cowherd today and discussing the activity of the Freedom From Religion Foundation that has filed a complaint and called for the firing of Dabo Swinney, the Clemson Football Coach, over allegations that he has forced his religion upon players.  Coach Swinney has apparently distributed Bibles, encouraged prayer and devotion exercises, and even baptized a player.  The FFRF claims that his actions are a violation of Church and State given that Clemson is a public institution.

So go ahead and do it.  Tell him that he cannot involve his students with certain religious activities and conversations.  That’s fine.  As an evangelical pastor and a follower of Jesus I can be fine with that IF YOU SHOW SOME CONSISTENCY BY CALLING OFF ATHEIST PROFESSORS WHO PREY ON CHRISTIAN STUDENTS.  Jorge Sedano’s “take” is that you can’t push religion on these “kids” as a football coach who is the “gateway to your future.”  Well, Sedano, what do you think is happening every day to Christian students who enter the class of an atheist professor?  Atheism is a take on religion, isn’t it?  It makes a claim about God and a philosophical viewpoint of the world.  Are professors not also gatekeepers to a student’s future?  Do they not also have power over their students?  As a pastor, I have seen scores of students launched out of our church to attend a university only to be inundated with atheistic or anti-religious beliefs by professors.  They distribute atheistic material to these students (just like Coach Swinney distributes Bibles) and they make a joke out of people of faith.  What a DOUBLE STANDARD!

Some will say that college is a place to explore worldviews and to be challenged.  It’s a place for a free flow of ideas, therefore the atheist professor is covered by academic freedom.  Then we must say the that the same is true for Coach Swinney.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can either tell Coach Swinney and others like him that they cannot use their position to influence people toward faith, and then do the same with atheism, or both must be free to express their views.  I’m not asking for Christianity to be given the freedom to violate anyone’s conscience.  I am, however, asking for consistency.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2014 10:08 pm

    Very well stated, my friend…and passionately so!!

  2. April 18, 2014 8:01 am

    Sports and religion need not mix. Would there be an issue if Swinney was a Hindu and exhorting his players to adopt that religion? Absolutely.

    And the idea that a creator of the universe would have an interest in the outcome of a sporting event by giving his follower(s) an edge to victory is absurd.

    • April 18, 2014 9:35 am

      Ed, I agree with you on both of your points. This isn’t specific to Christianity. Also, I agree that the outcome of games has little to do with faith. My point is that atheism gets a pass and isn’t held to the same standard.

      Thanks for reading and responding.

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