Portion of a letter from the American Humanist Association to Gainseville, Georgia's Chestatee High School.....
We have been informed that the school’s football coaches have been using their
position to promote Christianity on the football team by integrating Bible verses into functional team documents and team promotions in various ways; meanwhile, they have been either leading the team in prayer or participating in team prayers on a regular basis. This type of religious activity, by government employees in the course of their duties as public school football coaches,is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. This letter demands that CHS coaching staff cease leading, participating in, or encouraging team prayer, and that the school remove all Bible verses and other religious messages from team documents and related materials.
And here is U.S. Rep Doug Collins (R-GA) responding....
Collins, a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and a former Baptist pastor, defended the school’s religious practices in a statement Wednesday, accusing the AHA of bullying students.
“The liberal atheist interest groups trying to bully Chestatee High School kids say they have a reason to believe that expressions of religious freedom are ‘not an isolated event’ in Northeast Georgia,” Collins said. “They’re right. In Hall County and throughout Georgia’s 9th district, we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way.”
Damn atheist bullies.
There is no doubt that fundamentalist American Christians have been attempting to nullify the clear wording of the 1st amendment. Government, in all it's various forms and expressions, is forbidden from "establishing religion." Public high schools are government entities. Therefore, public high schools are prohibited by the 1st amendment from establishing religion.
Congressman Collins, in his letter, is not really arguing against a humanist organization, rather, he's arguing against the 1st amendment. And Collins is defiant. Paraphrasing, Collins is saying....'yes, all over Northeast Georgia, we're proud of our open and defiant violation of the 1st amendment. The first amendment violates all Georgian's rights to "express religious freedom" and "worship in our own way"......and because the first amendment violates that freedom, we will continue to respect the Constitution.'
Hell no, it doesn't make any sense....but that's what a U.S. congressperson actually stated in a letter to defend a hyper-religious high school football coach's program.
Citizens have a right to "express religious freedom" without governmental interference in their local churches and places of worship.....and in or around any other place which is not sponsored, or owned by the public. That's what Jefferson's "wall of separation" means.
But today's Christian zealots do not accept the separation of religion and state.....and have been working diligently to eliminate that "separation." In fact, these zealots are proving that they reject the 1st amendment as totally unacceptable in it's current wording.
That explains why whenever a fundamentalist Christian zealot references the first amendment, they usually quote it this way....."Congress shall make no law...... prohibiting the free exercise (of religion)...." The "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" part is usually edited out.
My point here is that a portion of America's Christian population openly rejects the protections and guarantees as clearly set forward in the first amendment. And the hell of it is.....these same people believe they are honoring the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by rejecting out of hand the clear, intended meaning of the words contained within the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Finally, what message do the defiant words "we understand and respect the Constitution and cherish our right to worship in our own way”.....convey?
Again, paraphrasing....'we understand the Constitution the way we want to understand it, and we cherish our right to promote Christian worship at government sponsored events and institutions in any damn way we choose.'
In this way "religious freedom", "religious liberty" means that non-Christians and the non-religious must be subjected to governmental sponsorship of Christian religion practices.
And that is the same "reasoning" that Supreme Court Justice Sammy Alito used in the Hobby Lobby case.
Alito doesn't believe in Jefferson's "wall of separation" either.
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