FanDuel - WFBC

September 28, 2009

High School Coach Takes Players to Baptist Revival: Scott Mooney, the head football coach at a public high school in Breckinridge County, Ky., took 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them were baptized. "Nobody should push their faith on anybody else," said Michelle Ammons, whose 16-year-old son Robert Coffey was baptized without her permission.

posted by rcade to football at 12:29 PM - 77 comments

Funny how you never read stories about people taking busloads of Catholic kids to ACLU meetings, ain't it?

Fire him.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:33 PM on September 28

The school superintendent was present at the event, so this rot goes all the way to the top.

posted by rcade at 12:36 PM on September 28

The kids should have known something was up as soon as the coach started giving communion during the pre-game prayer.

posted by BoKnows at 12:38 PM on September 28

I don't know if I should admire or fear people who believe so strongly in the rightness of their religious beliefs that they can't even contemplate someone reacting negatively to something like this.

posted by bperk at 12:40 PM on September 28

From the article:

David Friedman, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said in an interview that the trip would appear to violate Supreme Court edicts on the separation of church and state even if it was voluntary and the school district didn't pay for the fuel.

"If players want to attend the coach's church and get baptized, that's great," Friedman said. But a coach cannot solicit player attendance at school, he said, noting, "Coaches have great power and persuasion by virtue of their position, and they have to stay neutral."

A timely reminder for me to send the ACLU a check.

I wonder how the school superintendent would feel if the coach took the kids to a mosque. What a pair of assholes they are.

posted by cjets at 12:47 PM on September 28

By the way, Rcade, I was going to call them a pair of fucking assholes but I remembered your edict on cursing.

Oops.

posted by cjets at 12:48 PM on September 28

Funny how you never read stories about people taking busloads of Catholic kids to ACLU meetings

We're already there. Isn't it one of the tenets of Baptists to convert as many people as they can? It's a very effective viral marketing technique. Now we just need a tougher vaccination program.

posted by yerfatma at 01:45 PM on September 28

Moronic high school coach trying to spread the bloody plague. Although most of the time I am not on the side of the ACLU, in this case I emphatically am. Keep religion out of sports, in fact keep it out of the public square! It belongs in your home and your church/mosque/temple.

posted by trueblueroo at 02:31 PM on September 28

I was watching a post-NFL game coach's speech in the locker room, and at the end, the coach told everyone to get on their knee and pray. I wonder what would happen if a player openly objected. Or another coach openly wore a sign of Islam (in regards to Singletary's giant cross on display while coaching). I dunno what, but there's something about sports that brings religion into the picture.

posted by jmd82 at 03:32 PM on September 28

I've been having arguments with some narrow-minded people who want to drag religion back into the classroom. It didn't get to the classroom, but it's just as bad.

Could I see some lawsuits on the way from PO'd parents?

posted by jjzucal at 03:54 PM on September 28

What's Breckinridge County's record? If they have an especially successful season, perhaps we'll see a lot more of this sort of thing. Of course, if they have an especially unsuccessful season...

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:08 PM on September 28

Moron. Baptizing a 16 year old without parental consent? how can anyone even begin to think that's okay?

posted by dviking at 04:36 PM on September 28

What a crazy, thoughtless decision by the coach. Unless the baptism anything like this.
[Youtube - NSFW : Language]

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:36 PM on September 28

Unless they're being baptised to the football gods -- Lombardi, Landry -- this is totally unacceptable. We had a case a few years ago in East Brunswick, N.J., where a coach wanted his lead his players in prayer on the field. The courts smacked him down.

posted by jjzucal at 08:25 PM on September 28

And yet you do get the come-to-jesus meeting on the field after so many football games, and no one squawks. Is this so very different?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:57 PM on September 28

That prayer is voluntary and player initiated, as far as I've seen. It's different for a teacher to organize a trip using school vehicles to his own church for student baptisms. I can't see how that's not a giant (and successful) lawsuit.

posted by rcade at 09:21 PM on September 28

Q: Why don't Baptists believe in pre-marital sex?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

posted by owlhouse at 10:37 PM on September 28

Just to clarify this was a trip to a "Baptist" church not a "Catholic" church which some comments seem to insinuate that these baptistisms where to become Catholic. Sorry, but I'm a little sensitive to this issue, especially since the all the child molestation cases were grouped into a "Catholic" issue, when most were NOT Catholic (but we were blamed for all of them--some were, regrettably ours, but most were not). Just remember, right wing religious fanatical does not mean Catholic (actually, rarely does, but I digress).

posted by jagsnumberone at 11:14 PM on September 28

That prayer is voluntary and player initiated, as far as I've seen. It's different for a teacher to organize a trip using school vehicles to his own church for student baptisms. I can't see how that's not a giant (and successful) lawsuit.

And this was voluntary. And, yes, this "rot", spends his personal time with kids. The f-n horror. And they borrowed the school bus. They paid for the gas? Big deal, the school/government paid for the wear and tear. Lawsuit!!! They went to church!!! Fire the a-hole! Several 16 year olds now are suffering from the irreparable damage of baptism. They'll never be the same.

David Friedman, general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said in an interview that the trip would appear to violate Supreme Court edicts on the separation of church and state even if it was voluntary and the school district didn't pay for the fuel.

Why, of course, David. That's how you make a living.

posted by tselson at 12:08 AM on September 29

And this was voluntary.

So what else should we let 16 year olds volunteer for? Better yet, lets put a whole group of high school football players on a bus, "after hours" of course, and see what kind of voluntary decisions they will make.

Anyway, that coach should know that infancy is the best time to baptize, making it completely involuntary. Less trouble that way.

posted by BoKnows at 12:33 AM on September 29

*walks into thread*

*reads article and comments*

*sloooowly backs out, whistling*

posted by MeatSaber at 12:54 AM on September 29

Nothing is truly voluntary if a teacher or coach is leading it.

Too much pressure on the kids to attend, just in case the coach thinks slightly more of you if you attend. This is clearly an abuse of power, and while I don't think any of the kids suffered tramatic harm, the coach needs to go.

Tselson, I get your point that the boys probably didn't suffer any long term damage from this, but look at this way. You belong to a Lutheran/Catholic/Methodist/fill in the blank, church. You son mentions a football trip with the coach, says they may be stopping by a revival. You say okay, thinking "what's the worst that can happen, the kids hears some gospel music". Next thing you know, your son has been baptized to a religion that vastly differs from yours. How do you feel about that? I'd be plently upset. While I probably don't call out the lawyers, I could understand why others might.

posted by dviking at 01:06 AM on September 29

Well, I'll walk into it.

Just thinking that this could only happen in America. And I don't mean that in a Don King-type good way. If a high school sports teacher had tried this down here, he'd be sacked immediately - and we don't even have constitutional separation of church and state. More importantly, he wouldn't have even tried it in the first place. The students would have objected and told him to get stuffed, or something worse. The rest of the teaching staff would have pulled him aside and told him to keep his own beliefs out of school. The same situation applies for most of western Europe. The rest of the developed world outside the US is increasingly secular and has an inherent distrust of anything to do with religion, particularly the public display of it.

Why? Because I think American culture is different. Church going in your country still rates at levels not seen in Australia since the 19th century, and most of the flyover states have only a small immigrant or non-Christian population. Belief in things like the devil and miracles are somewhere near the figures for rural Romania. From what I've seen, it's possible to live in small town America and be completely culturally isolated from the rest of the world. Ninety two per cent of you have never owned a passport. If there's anything that should be called American exceptionalism - this is it.

/stands back

posted by owlhouse at 03:00 AM on September 29

So many willing to jump on this guy. Just remember where you stand when it's your kid lying motionless on the field and both teams take the knee! Remember to yell from the sideline what you're saying now!

posted by MrSteve31030 at 08:18 AM on September 29

Fantastic point. That definitely justifies the coach's actions. He was worried the players might die on the field unbaptized.

posted by yerfatma at 08:29 AM on September 29

Jesus will protect them from injury. He's omnipotent and all powerful. That's why nothing bad ever happens to people like Tim Tebow.

posted by owlhouse at 08:56 AM on September 29

Several 16 year olds now are suffering from the irreparable damage of baptism. They'll never be the same.

I can't believe the glib response to a government employee indoctrinating children into his religion without the permission of their parents. It's a pity the coach isn't a Muslim. It would be entertaining to see the same people who are defending this stunt completely lose their minds.

Why, of course, David. That's how you make a living.

Yeah, the ACLU protects civil liberties because there's such good money in pursuing pro bono First Amendment litigation for clients like Nazis who've been denied the right to parade. You've got them pegged.

posted by rcade at 09:11 AM on September 29

posted by owlhouse at 03:00 AM on September 29

Exactly!

posted by trueblueroo at 09:35 AM on September 29

Why? Because I think American culture is different.

Yes, we seem to embrace faith over intellect.

posted by bperk at 09:57 AM on September 29

rcade:

That prayer is voluntary and player initiated, as far as I've seen. It's different for a teacher to organize a trip using school vehicles to his own church for student baptisms.

Different, yes, but on the same spectrum IMO. Students who "voluntarily" "lead" religious activities have long been the stalking horse for the introduction of religion into public education in the United States. And let's call a spade a spade, it's not "religion" we're talking about, it's a particular stripe of evangelical Christianity. It's disingenuous to believe that other religions would ever be allowed that degree of license. I say get rid of all of it. You want to have your little moment with God, no one's stopping you from doing that, in your head as you walk down the hall or onto the field. But what these folks are doing isn't prayer, it's a public spectacle.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:09 AM on September 29

Something like 89% of all Americans self-identify as believing Jesus is the Son of God. Now I kno we're not all American on SpoFi but given that only tselson of the regulars has spoken up we must be about the exact opposite demo.

And even if you are part of the 89% I don't see why you would want your son's football coach telling him what religion to follow. Maybe especially if you're part of the 89%.

@tselson: Do some research before dropping dirt on the ACLU. If you think anyone there's getting rich you haven't seen the same solicitation letters they send me.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:11 AM on September 29

posted by owlhouse at 03:00 AM on September 29

Step forward Owlhouse, because that was an awesome post.

posted by cjets at 11:21 AM on September 29

Sorry that this is being taken so badly. This coach was not trying to influence anyone on the team I am sure. He just wanted the players to have the chance to hear the Gospel presented, then make up their own minds what to do with it. My concern would be with a parent who is upset with a young man who put his FAITH in Jesus and then wanted to be baptized. He is willing to stand for his beliefs. This is a life changing event in anyone's life and needs to have the respect of everyone envlolved to support the students in the new life they will live. Even if you choose not to believe in the God of the Bible, does not take away a person who does, responsibility to share his/her faith with you. It is up to you to decide what to do with that testimony and yours alone. I will be praying for this COACH and his young men. Also, to those who can not type with out using language your children would be diciplined for using, you are on my prayer list also.

posted by coach at 01:21 PM on September 29

This is a life changing event in anyone's life and needs to have the respect of everyone envlolved ...

Respect is a two-way street. How much respect did this coach show the parents of his players by sneaking them off to be baptized?

Students who "voluntarily" "lead" religious activities have long been the stalking horse for the introduction of religion into public education in the United States.

True -- churches put them up to some of it, no doubt -- but what students choose to do on their own is an exercise of freedom I wouldn't like to see infringed.

posted by rcade at 01:44 PM on September 29

The rest of the developed world outside the US is increasingly secular and has an inherent distrust of anything to do with religion, particularly the public display of it.

Well, your country damn sure wasn't, and most others were not, founded by people seeking religous freedoms, either.

From what I've seen, it's possible to live in small town America and be completely culturally isolated from the rest of the world.

As compared to those oh so wordly folks in the small towns and the outback of your country, I suppose. Most small town people in America embrace the faith and fellowship that living in a small town affords them, and I for one am glad they do.

Q: Why don't Baptists believe in pre-marital sex?

A: Because it might lead to dancing.

Wrong place, wrong time for that, don't ya think?

Jesus will protect them from injury. He's omnipotent and all powerful. That's why nothing bad ever happens to people like Tim Tebow.

The words moron and moronic have been used many times in this thread, but are best used to describe this statement.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:45 PM on September 29

Even if you choose not to believe in the God of the Bible, does not take away a person who does, responsibility to share his/her faith with you.

Then he needs to choose a new job. His current job makes it a violation of the U.S. Constitution to perform his Christian responsibility by taking the opportunity of a captive audience to spread the word. He absolutely disrespected the religious beliefs of the athletes and their parents by arranging this trip. And, we have no idea whether the kids felt any social pressure or intimidation in this situation to get baptized. It is a completely illegitimate way to gain converts.

posted by bperk at 02:58 PM on September 29

Well, your country damn sure wasn't, and most others were not, founded by people seeking religous freedoms, either.

So, in a country founded on people seeking religious freedoms, a coach, using his power and influence as coach, pushes his religion on teenagers.

Kind of ironic, don't you think?

posted by cjets at 03:06 PM on September 29

Jagsnumberone- Apparently you've never heard of Opus Dei. I am amazed by the hysterical vitriol put forth by some comments. The coach may have used better judgement, but his intentions were hardly satanic. This knee-jerk pride in damning anything traditional or religious is hardly the mark of a free-thinker. Going to church in Kentucky is like breathing and it appears the parents were aware of the destination of this trip. I'm sure any possible damage to this boy's secular soul can be undone and he can return to all things unspiritual unharmed. If you're truly disturbed by undue influence by agendized teachers you might look into university and public school curriculums and those who teach it. Now, there's a real baptism.

posted by sandskater at 03:11 PM on September 29

Kind of ironic, don't you think?

I don't agree with what the coach did, if he did indeed 'push' his religion on the student athletes, but I don't believe we have heard all the details of this story, either. It was pretty sparse reporting in my book.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:14 PM on September 29

This case isn't really about what the coach thought he was doing, his actions are not defensible given the current laws in the US.

There have just been too many court cases and rulings on this subject for anyone to plead ignorance...not that ignorance is a defense.

I'm not a religious man, haven't been to a church in 20 years for anything other than a wedding or a funeral, however I did have my kids baptized. And, I'd be mad as hell if a coach/teacher took my kid and did this without my knowledge.

As to American culture, yes, some small town folk never get outside of their village, and many have no idea what the rest of the world is about. As to passports...until just recently an American could travel all of the US/Canada/Mexico/Caribbean/Bahamas/Puerto Rico/Bermuda areas without a passport. So, many people could travel extensively without one.

posted by dviking at 03:35 PM on September 29

rcade:

True -- churches put them up to some of it, no doubt -- but what students choose to do on their own is an exercise of freedom I wouldn't like to see infringed.

Such exercises of freedom are not and never have been unrestricted, as you know perfectly well. There is no right of students, or anyone else, to hold a religious meeting in a public school.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:43 PM on September 29

In a local news story, the superintendent "said she would have sought the consent of parents for the baptism of students if they had been 7 or 8 or 9 years old. But she didn't think it was necessary for the players who are 16 or 17."

So even after this blew up into a story, the top educational official of that county thinks it's OK to baptize minors in her custody without parental consent. Says a lot about her respect for the rights of parents to have a say in their child's religious instruction.

posted by rcade at 03:44 PM on September 29

There is no right of students, or anyone else, to hold a religious meeting in a public school.

That depends on what you mean by "religious meetings." Students can form religious clubs.

posted by rcade at 03:49 PM on September 29

coach:

This coach was not trying to influence anyone on the team I am sure. He just wanted the players to have the chance to hear the Gospel presented, then make up their own minds what to do with it.

I see those two statements as contradictory, and the first as hopelessly naive (assuming you really believe it). If he wasn't trying to influence them, why would he bother to take them to this revival meeting?

Even if you choose not to believe in the God of the Bible, does not take away a person who does, responsibility to share his/her faith with you. It is up to you to decide what to do with that testimony and yours alone.

So, you would have no problems if your kid's coach took him/her to a meeting where Muslims explained about Islam and how great it is, and invited anyone who wanted to join up? Do you feel that these people should have the right to buttonhole your kid -- I'm sorry, "share his/her faith with" your kid? In school?

I will be praying for this COACH and his young men. Also, to those who can not type with out using language your children would be diciplined for using, you are on my prayer list also.

Perhaps you should pray for better understanding of what life would be like in a culture where some other religion, not yours, was the dominant one, and acted in the oppressive and bullying manner so common to Christian evangelists when dealing with those of other beliefs.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:50 PM on September 29

This coach was not trying to influence anyone on the team I am sure.

Really? Just took 'em along in case they wanted to know where to find him on Sundays?

He just wanted the players to have the chance to hear the Gospel presented, then make up their own minds what to do with it.

This wasn't another player "presenting" the gospel to a teammate. This was the coach, who doles out playing time and decides who the team's leaders are. It's completely obtuse to think that children (and yes 16 and 17 year olds are children) don't do things to ingratiate themselves with the authority figures in their lives. I know the argument has been made multiple times already, but what if the coach was of any minority faith? Can you honestly tell me it's o.k. to have the merits of satanism, snake handling, islam, judaism, or shinto presented to an impressionable minor? My son is 12, if he comes home after swim practice to tell me his coach took him to a religious meeting of any kind, that coach will get a summons slapped in his face so fast his head'll spin.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:13 PM on September 29

If you're truly disturbed by undue influence by agendized teachers you might look into university and public school curriculums and those who teach it. Now, there's a real baptism.

If your only response is a baseless, "Imaginary bogeymen on the other side of the culture divide are just as bad", maybe it's time to reassess.

posted by yerfatma at 04:22 PM on September 29

I knew I could count on you, yerfatma. I don't know where your quote comes from (probably yourself), but I was in the educational profession for almost 40 years and I know of what I speak. How about you?

posted by sandskater at 04:38 PM on September 29

The church's pastor, the Rev. Ron Davis, said that he requires minors to obtain their parents' consent to be baptized, but he added: "Sometimes 16 year olds look like 18 years. We did the best we could."

Think he'd have the same standard if he had a 16-year-old daughter?

"Hey, sorry I banged your daughter, Rev -- she looked 18 to me!"

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:40 PM on September 29

Student gets baptized=Reverend's daughter gets "banged". There's some real moral relativism.

posted by sandskater at 04:50 PM on September 29

I was in the educational profession for almost 40 years and I know of what I speak

Then you'll know what Argument from authority and a Straw Man are. The discussion was about the propriety of taking teenage boys and presenting them with a fait accompli. Boys at that age on a team are going to be pre-disposed to do as told to stay part of the group. It's an unfair situation to put kids in. That you think similar things go on in America's schools is irrelevant.

For the record, my mother and other immediate family members have something like a combined 150 years of teaching experience in public schools. My impression was that they were more interested in kids learning anything at all, as opposed to trying to indoctrinate them.

posted by yerfatma at 04:53 PM on September 29

My impression was that they were more interested in kids learning anything at all, as opposed to trying to indoctrinate them.

Maybe this is what he's talking about.

posted by cjets at 05:02 PM on September 29

Student gets baptized=Reverend's daughter gets "banged". There's some real moral relativism.

Hey, I call 'em like I see 'em.

By the way, since this is no big deal to you, do you have a child of your own I can take to my local mosque for a nice round of punch, cookies and indoctrination fun?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:05 PM on September 29

As compared to those oh so wordly folks in the small towns and the outback of your country, I suppose. Most small town people in America embrace the faith and fellowship that living in a small town affords them, and I for one am glad they do.

The difference being that here there is less reliance on a particular Bronze age creation myth and medieval superstition in order to get by, and an tendency not to force that belief upon others. I, for one, actually think that makes for a better community.

posted by owlhouse at 05:35 PM on September 29

*walks into thread*

*reads article and comments*

*sloooowly backs out, whistling* Enters fray willingly

First, let me issue the disclaimers. I am an Episcopalian, a regular church goer, and I am about to start teaching a Bible study course. I successfully graduated from the Education for Ministry course offered by the University of the South Divinity School. The word "Ministry" here is used in its broader sense, as in offering some positive value to the community in general rather than the narrower meaning of becoming a preacher of any type.

Several things come to mind here. The first thing is why had the kids not been baptized previously. The likely answer is that their parents did not care enough about religion to regularly attend church, or if they did, they assumed their children would make up their own minds at an appropriate time. I don't know if either case is true, but if either is true, then my beliefs make their baptism to be a good thing. If neither of the above is true, I haven't yet heard the howls of outrage from the parents, other than from the one mother who sounded only mildly upset. In my own experience, I had my son baptized in the traditional Episcopalian rite, and kept him in Sunday school until his early teens. At that time I allowed him to make up his own mind about his religion. He opted not to continue toward confirmation and has effectively withdrawn from any religious life. This pains me, but I believe he will sooner or later have the life-changing experience that will turn him back to a church, be it Episcopalian or another.

Coming forward at one of these revival meetings is an entirely voluntary act. The preachers are great "salesmen" who will make it sound that this act will be the most important and rewarding thing you will do in your lifetime. (It actually can be, but only if you make it so.) Many years ago I attended church services in a bunker near the DMZ in Viet Nam. The chaplain was a Southern Baptist who turned the service into a revival meeting. He had everyone close his eyes and asked anyone who wished to do so to come forward. Since I had been baptized, I cheated and kept my eyes open. The chaplain made it sound as if several had come forward, but in reality, there was only one young Marine who did so. Whether he was influenced by the prospect of there being others or not, I do not know. In any case, I doubt that any harm came to him because of his decision.

I know nothing of Breckenridge County, Kentucky; what its population, mean family income, industries, majority religion, political demographic, or any of the relevant statistics might be. I suspect that it is probably typical of the "Bible Belt", and that religion is a large part of the life of many people there. Thus, what would likely have resulted in mass protests and demands for the firing of any and all involved had it occurred in the Northeast or any major urban area of the US, invokes only a "that doesn't sound right, but so be it" from the locals. The ACLU has done some landmark work in the US, even though it is not always popular, particularly with yours truly. In this case, I suspect that the ACLU is interested only in order to keep its name in the papers. I would suggest letting the people of Breckenridge County decide this in accordance with their existing social mores. I know, I know, if this were always the case, we'd still have Jim Crow laws throughout the South, suppression of feminist rights, and all of the other horrors that the ACLU has been instrumental in overturning. Other than the possible misuse of a school bus, this case just doesn't stand out as a violation of anyone's civil rights. Perhaps the teens were duped into going, but once there, nobody put a gun to their heads and made them accept baptism. It was a free will act, and unlike the situation in some religions, they can simply shrug their shoulders and walk away from it, thinking that perhaps they made a mistake. Until someone tries to deny someone who refuses baptism or practices the "wrong" religion (or no religion at all) an economic or educational benefit, or indeed any benefit of a tangible value, a situation such as this with the coach and the team is just not worthy of an uproar.

The Episcopal Church in the United States promotes tolerance as one of its main tenets. The belief is based on the many teachings of Christ that all are to be included in His kingdom. In my opinion, no one can profess to be a Christian and say that some are not worthy to be included in God's love. I hope that those in Breckenridge County can read those same teachings and take away the same lesson.

Folds up notes, steps away from the pulpit, and prepares for the accolades and condemnation to come.

posted by Howard_T at 05:42 PM on September 29

Yerfatma, What part of voluntary don't you understand? Apparently all the boys weren't "Staw Manned" up to the agua. Agendized schools may be "irrelevant" to you, but not to everyone on this site. Your family members sound like exemplary educators. Kudos to them. Perhaps they can teach you not to let your overblown sense of self and political leanings cloud what must be an incredible intellect. Wfraz-You certainly do. To answer your question; No, you can't. See how easy that is? I don't have kids, but you can't take my Golden Retriever, either. The parents had the same opportunity you gave me. Incidently, why bring the mosque into play?

posted by sandskater at 05:51 PM on September 29

posted by owlhouse at 03:00 AM on September 29

Why did Australia get our convicts and America our religious?

Australia had first choice.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:53 PM on September 29

One of my favourite bush quotes about the ingrained distrust of anything amounting to public displays of faith is:

"When your neighbour quotes the Bible, count your sheep."

posted by owlhouse at 06:05 PM on September 29

From what I've seen, it's possible to live in small town America and be completely culturally isolated from the rest of the world. posted by owlhouse

I know several New Yorkers (NYC) who've never gotten much past New Jersey. So sure, small town america, for many reasons, is easy to pick on, and often rightly so. But it's certainly not limited to rural areas.

Ninety two per cent of you have never owned a passport. If there's anything that should be called American exceptionalism - this is it. posted by owlhouse

I always find this line of reasoning pretty comical (and unfair).

I got my passport at 16 and toured europe. Fortunately my family had the money to send me. If I had been born in Europe I'm sure I would have visited several countries by the time I was 5, in a weekend.

If you're struggling in 'small town america' (and they are struggling) as you put it, maybe traveling thousands of miles to visit other cultures isn't at the top of your agenda.

posted by justgary at 06:31 PM on September 29

In this case, I suspect that the ACLU is interested only in order to keep its name in the papers.

Speaking as an ACLU member, I think your statement is ridiculous. The ACLU isn't PETA. It takes cases when there's a legitimate civil liberties concern that should be championed. In this situation, an ACLU representative was asked by a reporter for an opinion. No case has been filed.

Incidently, why bring the mosque into play?

You're joking, right?

The difference being that here there is less reliance on a particular Bronze age creation myth and medieval superstition in order to get by, and an tendency not to force that belief upon others. I, for one, actually think that makes for a better community.

Amen.

posted by rcade at 06:47 PM on September 29

Wfraz-You certainly do. To answer your question; No, you can't. See how easy that is? I don't have kids, but you can't take my Golden Retriever, either. The parents had the same opportunity you gave me. Incidently, why bring the mosque into play?

No, they didn't. Even if we are to believe that all the kids were all told, "Hey, we're taking this bus out to a Baptist revival where you will involve in some heavy religious stuff," don't you think perhaps communicating that directly to the parents in the form of a meeting or a phone call might be in order? Geez, I have to sign off for my kids to go to the museum. You'd think a blood sample and notarized permission would be in order for something like that.

Why the mosque? To see if you'd rise to the bait. You didn't, and good on you.

Go check out the 600+ messages in relation to the story rcade linked and see how those people feel about mosques. The incredibly ridiculous double standard of most Christians about how it's okay to push their faith on any poor sap who happens to stumble by -- but God forbid someone else hands them a Koran -- is out in full force.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:52 PM on September 29

No rcade, I'm not joking. Please explain to me why you suggest I am and then read wfraz's comment.

posted by sandskater at 08:13 PM on September 29

Several 16 year olds now are suffering from the irreparable damage of baptism. They'll never be the same.

I can't believe the glib response to a government employee indoctrinating children into his religion without the permission of their parents. It's a pity the coach isn't a Muslim. It would be entertaining to see the same people who are defending this stunt completely lose their minds.

Why, of course, David. That's how you make a living.

Yeah, the ACLU protects civil liberties because there's such good money in pursuing pro bono First Amendment litigation for clients like Nazis who've been denied the right to parade. You've got them pegged.

Just giving you what you wanted. Someone to speak out so that you can push your agenda. Seriously, why else would you have posted this?

The ACLU is not a non partisan organization. Not even close.

Yeah, the ACLU protects civil liberties because there's such good money in pursuing pro bono First Amendment litigation for clients like Nazis who've been denied the right to parade. You've got them pegged.

So that's why you support them?

If you think anyone there's getting rich you haven't seen the same solicitation letters they send me.

From howstuffworks:

Remaining funding consists of grants from other organizations, ACLU investments, and attorney fees, which are awarded when the ACLU wins a case. This last funding source has caused some controversy.

I've had a f-n passport. I live in "fly over" country. I've been to Praha, Wiesbaden, Heidleburg, Paris, Strasbourg, Lisboa, Seville, fuck I've even been to Detroit. Oh yeah and Montreal! We asked for seats on the aisle, at an Expos game, which we had to explain as "the end."

We sat alone behind the foul pole in right field. I mean very alone. It was hilarious.

This post sucked from the start. I did not read all responses before posting. I am a conservative Christian male. Married. Three kids. I really like sports. I spent all of my day looking at piles of baseball cards, I'm moving from my old house. Found the ball my son caught from Juan Castro at a Reds game. Made me tear up a little, he's not a kid anymore.

Oh yeah, I'm a conservative, white Christian male. If you want to weed me out, just fucking pull the plug on my ass.

(I didn't say I was Baptist, they don't cuss and they like to baptize kids, I think they even dunk 'em, fuckers!!!!)

posted by tselson at 11:19 PM on September 29

Look, I've been trying to make this point for awhile. I don't like to come to SPORTSFILTER, to defend my religious or political views. It's not fun.

We share a common thread here and it's sports. It's fun.

I understand sometimes issues overlap, however, when a moderator posts something so he can push his political point of view, I 'm left to wonder why is it that:

Something like 89% of all Americans self-identify as believing Jesus is the Son of God. Now I kno we're not all American on SpoFi but given that only tselson of the regulars has spoken up we must be about the exact opposite demo.

Obligatory link to the drudge retort here.

Glad you're not a football coach, rcade. You'd be calling for your own ass.

Like I said, do me a favor and retire my jersey.

By the way, I need some cash. I found a 1987 Topps, Dale Sveum ROOKIE CARD. Let me know what it's worth. Card #327.

posted by tselson at 12:15 AM on September 30

I've replied in the Locker Room. If you want to reply to Tselson I encourage that aspect of this discussion to take place there.

posted by rcade at 09:21 AM on September 30

The ACLU is not a non partisan organization. Not even close.

I don't see civil liberties as a partisan issue. The ACLU has argued for the privacy of Rush Limbaugh's medical records and the right of neo-Nazis to parade, and seems likely to file suit against the Obama administration for policies on issues like the indefinite detention of terror suspects and warrantless wiretapping.

Here, the ACLU's position is consistent with what it has maintained for years -- school sponsorship of the promotion of a particular religion is a violation of the separation of church and state.

posted by rcade at 09:45 AM on September 30

The first thing is why had the kids not been baptized previously. The likely answer is that their parents did not care enough about religion to regularly attend church, or if they did, they assumed their children would make up their own minds at an appropriate time.

I assumed that the kids had been previously baptized, but in a church of their parents choosing. If you, as an Episcopal, were to join a church like that of a different denomination, they would baptize you again. I thought baptism generally meant you were also going to become a member of their church, but I suppose churches differ on that.

posted by bperk at 10:40 AM on September 30

sandskater:

I don't have kids, but you can't take my Golden Retriever, either.

That's a TMI violation if ever I saw one.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:02 PM on September 30

I find it highly amusing that the folks who feel this was okay for the coach to do either haven't responded to the suggestion that they'd be far less positive if the trip had been to a mosque or claimed that such a suggestion was simply baiting them. The comment about the underage daughter is the same thing--either someone is responsible for determining a participant's age or not, the specific activity is not relevant.

To me this is a simple logical test: change the object to an edge case and see if the response is the same. My answer is yes, I'd object if the trip was to church, temple or mosque with or without parental approval since an American public school has no business (or legal ability) taking students to a religious celebration.

posted by billsaysthis at 12:06 PM on September 30

tselson:

I've had a f-n passport. I live in "fly over" country. I've been to Praha, Wiesbaden, Heidleburg, Paris, Strasbourg, Lisboa, Seville, fuck I've even been to Detroit. Oh yeah and Montreal! We asked for seats on the aisle, at an Expos game, which we had to explain as "the end."

We sat alone behind the foul pole in right field. I mean very alone. It was hilarious.

So were they persecuting you because you're a Christian, or because you're a USA from flyover country?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:15 PM on September 30

I was responding to this:

Why? Because I think American culture is different. Church going in your country still rates at levels not seen in Australia since the 19th century, and most of the flyover states have only a small immigrant or non-Christian population. Belief in things like the devil and miracles are somewhere near the figures for rural Romania. From what I've seen, it's possible to live in small town America and be completely culturally isolated from the rest of the world. Ninety two per cent of you have never owned a passport. If there's anything that should be called American exceptionalism - this is it.

I never said I was being persecuted. Thanks for caring though.

posted by tselson at 01:13 PM on September 30

Joke, tselson, joke. Although I'm still not sure what's the connection between that comment and "We sat alone behind the foul pole in right field. I mean very alone. It was hilarious. "

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:13 PM on September 30

Sorry. I've been a little defensive, lately. If you've never been to Olympic Stadium, it's rather massive and sparsely populated. We had around 24 sections to ourselves. No vendors on that level, not even on the concourse.

I mean it was like a ghost town up there. This picture appears to have a couple thousand more in attendance than the game we went to.

posted by tselson at 04:34 PM on September 30

Actually, after further review, that picture seems to have around 18 more people in attendance. They make a big difference though.

posted by tselson at 04:46 PM on September 30

note to sandskater: my comments were not in any way against or for this "class" trip, but rather pointing out that it was a Baptist church not Catholic church--that's all nothing more nothing less.

posted by jagsnumberone at 08:01 PM on September 30

Well, I don't agree with this trip in principle because it seems a bit deceptive. I don't know if that means that the coach was on a mission from God to save their souls, or if he thought it would be a great team-building exercise, or he actually though this is a great Friday night out, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

I also don't live in Kentucky and can't speak to their culture, or it's oppressiveness or lack thereof, but I know that this wouldn't fly in my town. My advice to the young Kentuckians who can't reconcile the hardcore Evangelicalism is to think about possibly going somewhere else for a while and see it that works better for ya.

We're probably making more of a big deal about this then anyone involved is.

Oh, and, Evengelicals are nuts. They are. Bible prophecy, mega-churches and blow-dried preachers pointing out the damned. It's a huge joke. It just seems so tasteless to me. I read those "Left Behind" books (mostly because I was stunned that these books had sold in the millions and I had never heard of them - and I am a voracious reader) and it was sad. It was a book for people who don't read books. Just terrible.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:19 PM on September 30

Of course with my screen name you got to know I hate this crap. Religion and religion in sports is absurd. Surely there has to be some irony in the boxer who prior to the fight is crossing himself. As if god would in some way approve or aid in one fighter beating the crap out of another.

First the coach can lead the team in a pre game prayer and as soon as he is finished say "Lets go out there and rip their f'ing heads off!"

posted by Atheist at 06:24 PM on October 01

Surely there has to be some irony in the boxer who prior to the fight is crossing himself. As if god would in some way approve or aid in one fighter beating the crap out of another.

Boxer, football player, actor winning an award, I always wonder why the performer thanks god since it implies that god supported him/her over the other participants. And what about all the times that person didn't win, isn't god (by that person's definition) always there, always supportive?

Then again, by that person's definition the coach in the FPP did nothing wrong since evangelizing is part of the code, a responsibility of each and every member of the congregation. I had a similar experience as a 14 year old when I spent the summer with a group where all the counselors were deeply religious Christians who saw no reason not to try and save the soul of this young Jew.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:02 PM on October 01

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