The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a few issues with a public school's football team's mass baptism service, for good reason.

September 4, 2015

Thanks to Tucker Carlson, Fox 'News' morning viewers have another story to cement their delusions of Christian martyrdom. They are all convinced there's a war on religion in this largely Christian-majority country, especially in light of the Kentucky Government official jailed yesterday for failing to do her job and issue licenses to eligible citizens. This time, a Carroll County, Georgia high school posted a rather unorthodox video of an on-field religious ceremony.

A Georgia school district has launched an investigation into the mass baptism of a football coach and some of his players on the grounds of Villa Rica High School last month after a protest campaign was launched by the Freedom From Religion Foundation when video from the event was made public.

The video of the baptisms, which was shot by a staff member of First Baptist Villa Rica church and posted to YouTube, has since been removed but a copy is available in this Fox News report.

"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!" the caption of the video read on YouTube before it was removed.

Credit: James Schlarmann

Fox and Friends aired this story as part of their Fight For Faith series which is clearly a religious propaganda campaign. How else are you going to shame those atheists from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who are espousing the very same values as our Founding Fathers, if you don't make them look like the villains? Tucker's introduction of this story with,
'don't bring ACTUAL religion on the field, that scares the authorities,'

implies a lack of gumption by school district officials to stand up to (fake) religious persecution. Graphics saying, 'atheists demand no more 'illegal' activities,' certainly do nothing to address the genuine concerns of those wanting to keep Church and State separate.

The FFRF statement from their letter: 'We request that the district investigate and immediately take action to ensure there will be no further illegal religious events, including team baptism and prayer during school-sponsored activities.'

Fair enough, after all, it is a public school. But the father of one of the players and the pastor at Villa Rica Baptist Church fervently plead their case to an encouraging Carlson, not caring that this goes against the Separation clause of our First Amendment. It sure seems they have a tough time, especially in the South, of grasping the significance of our Constitution lately.

Even if this was a voluntary activity, which delighted many of the players, parents and coaches, it is not something that should happen on public school grounds, it's not relevant that it's labeled voluntary. The spokeswoman of the FFRF, Annie Laurie Gaylor explained,

“Starting this video out, they call it a step of obedience, and then the camera pans to the students,” said Gaylor. “It’s forcing them to undergo a religious ritual to be accepted on a team. How are they going to cross their coach? They have no choice. It’s proselytizing, it’s coercive, and it’s not legal in our schools."

The football representative and the pastor repeated that these players/coaches 'gave their lives to Christ,' by allowing themselves to be submerged in a hydrotherapy tub that doubled as a makeshift baptismal vessel. If a player thinks this is utterly absurd, as many may, they are now forced to go along with group-think for fear of scorn and ostracism. What better way to coerce them to give themselves to the Lord?

The religiously-inclined officials say that this is an 'attempt to lower a recent rash of suicides.' By guilt-tripping kids into adopting a religion that believes in eternal damnation, homophobia, final judgement, Hell, misogyny and guilt, I'm certain suicides will plummet in this part of the Bible Belt.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.