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Freedom from religion group says Clemson football is too religious

Dabo Swinney

Some say college football is like a religion in the south. One activist group thinks Clemson is going a little too far with that idea.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has not fostered a culture adhering to the separation of church and state, the Freedom From Religion Foundation says. The group recently filed a formal complaint to Clemson suggesting Swinney leads the football program against the constitutional stipulations of the separation of church and state, The Greenville News reports.

“No one is required to participate in any religious activities related to the football program,” Clemson chief public affairs officer Cathy Sams told The Greenville News when asked about the complaint. “It’s purely voluntary. Religion and faith is a big part of Coach Swinney’s personal beliefs, but it is in no way required. There is no mandatory participation.”

The purpose of the foundation’s complaint is not necessarily to prevent Swinney from believing what he does, but instead to ensure Swinney is not preaching to his players, so to speak. Among the recommendations made by the organization to Clemson included removing the university’s chaplaincy position, a position the group says was used by Swinney to arrange Bible studies and share religious materials.

“What we have observed in the records is that the football coaching staff is doing a number of things to promote Christianity to their student-athletes,” foundation staff attorney Patrick Elliott said. “While student-athletes can pray, conduct Bible studies and engage in religious activities, the coaching staff, as public employees, should not be doing that with their student athletes.”

Whether Swinney is truly guilty of anything here may be up for interpretation. I am not a religious person, but even I would prefer the head coach of my team dabbling in promoting a faithful culture as opposed to one looking the other way when it comes to mischief and violations. If promoting a spirit of Christianity is crossing the line, it may not be the worst line to cross.

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107 Responses to “Freedom from religion group says Clemson football is too religious”
  1. steeler1nation says: Apr 15, 2014 1:59 PM

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  2. ruggyup says: Apr 15, 2014 2:00 PM

    The last paragraph is spot on! I agree and would not waste my time on people with a distorted agenda they want to force on others and disrupt core purposes.

  3. classyjacklambert says: Apr 15, 2014 2:06 PM

    Oh please! People need to get a freaking life sometimes.

  4. torero71 says: Apr 15, 2014 2:08 PM

    Freedom From Religion has every right to not practice religion, but they have no right to tell us we can’t practice ours.

  5. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 2:08 PM

    Who will be the next target for Atheists? Notre Dame? BYU?

    This is really getting ridiculous.

  6. drummerhoff says: Apr 15, 2014 2:21 PM

    We have a constitution. It’s not liberal or atheist.

  7. thraiderskin says: Apr 15, 2014 2:28 PM

    Last time I checked, its freedom of religion… not freedom from religion. Its an obvious difference, with a pretty clear directive, but hey, don’t let that stop open-minds from imposing their will.

  8. chc4 says: Apr 15, 2014 2:54 PM

    People like Patrick Elliot should be forced to get real jobs.

  9. jonkybon says: Apr 15, 2014 2:56 PM

    Clemson has had Catholic, Protestant and Jewish players. The pre game invocation is given by a different denomination each week including a Rabbi. Players and fans aren’t told what faith they need to follow.

    Athiests know when the invocation is given. If it offends them, go to the bathroom or the concessions or pray to Emperor Obama for all I care.

    IMO thraiderskin hit the nail on the head…It’s not freedom from religion.

    If more coaches taught values as Dabo does, then their programs would have far fewer players arrested.

  10. microbrewuga says: Apr 15, 2014 3:02 PM

    I’m shocked Mark Richt has not been called for similar actions. Dabo and Mark appear to be warriors for Christ and I don’t see them backing down on this.

  11. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 3:16 PM

    Preferring not to participate in any religion is also protected by the constitution. I wonder what would happen if someone connected with the university wanted to make materials available to athletes and hold meetings that leaned to atheism if that would be okay? Would they permit an invocation to be presented by someone who is a practicing atheist?

  12. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 3:32 PM

    why would atheists need to hold services? to not believe in something?

    Auburn’s had a team chaplain for years(Chette Williams) and he’s not going anywhere.

  13. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 3:33 PM

    look at all of the thumbs down on every comment. bunch of cowardly atheists. imagine that.

  14. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 3:42 PM

    Wasn’t my question. Freedom of religion means just that. If believers and non believers have the same rights then okay. You can’t have freedom of religion as long as that freedom agrees with your views and have intolerance to those who either don’t believe as you do or don’t believe at all.

  15. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 3:44 PM

    At auburntigers34 you assume that people who give a thumbs down are atheist. That is one of the many dangers of intolerance.

  16. steeler1nation says: Apr 15, 2014 3:46 PM

    It’s the freedom from religion group, they are emailing this link to others and telling them to down vote all opposing views from their atheist views.
    Commies

  17. gatiger says: Apr 15, 2014 3:59 PM

    I’m liking Clemson more and more!

  18. jonkybon says: Apr 15, 2014 4:04 PM

    @AuburnTiger

    Far, far fewer then you’d believe. It takes one maybe two people with a bunch of screen names and several devices (phone, tablet, comp, etc).

    I wonder how many of the true athiests, not the board contrarian(s) pay taxes, have obamaphones, section 8 housing and EBS cards? I further wonder how many of them have been convicted of crimes, arrested or commit crimes that they haven’t been caught yet?

    Many studies performed by people that believe as well as self admitted athiests have proven that people believing in a supreme being have stronger morals and values. There is a reason so few combat vets don’t believe.

    That is why coaches like Dabo share their beliefs with their teams to strengthen core morals and values. It might also explain why since Coach Swinney was named HC, Clemson has only had two football players arrested (watkins for a mostly finished joint and 2 pills as well as another WR that was kicked off the team before playing a down for two assault charges). The NCAA needs more Dabo’s.

  19. charleyman48 says: Apr 15, 2014 4:17 PM

    The Freedom From Religion Foundation and their mouth piece Patrick Elliott need to move on and get A LIFE…. Separation of Church and State and “FOOTBALL”. What’s so entertaining about this is the found-less implications they are implying and the total waste of time spent on their behalf. No wonder our country has lost its rudder in common sense the the erosion of of values. So please take your politically correct crap and your liberal agenda and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  20. normtide says: Apr 15, 2014 4:22 PM

    Why do atheists fear religion? If you really think there isn’t a God, wouldn’t you just sit back and laugh at the rest of us?

    See, here is the thing. If I go to a restaurant and don’t like the food or service, I simply eat elsewhere. I don’t write an essay about it. I don’t start a federal case over it. I don’t insist the restaurant changes to suit me. I just go somewhere that pleases me. Everyone’s opinion is valid and important. But, it shouldn’t influence what everyone else does. Just go where your more comfortable. This country has a place for all types. Why do people think every place must conform to them?

  21. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 4:30 PM

    I wonder how many proven liars that post on this board are Christians when and only when it is convenient? I know of one particular poster who in the past has used foul language and references to male private parts in many of his posts. And been caught in lie after lie on this web site. And now he wants to talk about character and religion. Those are the “Christians” who give religion a bad name. Sunday Christians are really what they are.

  22. ruggyup says: Apr 15, 2014 4:33 PM

    I think you might have described them as “Maybe Someday Christians”.

  23. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 4:33 PM

    @ normtide. If you are talking about a private business where no tax dollars are used then you are right. State supported institutions are are not privately owned.

  24. birds4ever says: Apr 15, 2014 4:39 PM

    Lost in the “rights of the majority” is the student athlete who is either non-religious or non-christian who is afraid to not participate in fear of retribution from the coaching staff. Something that would be incredibly difficult for anyone to monitor.

    While I wouldn’t suggest that this coaching staff would do that, it would be incredibly naive to think that couldn’t/wouldn’t happen. At a state university, all students should free of any religious agenda that a coach would institute in the program.

    It always amazes me how the majority are so quick to brush off the complaints of the minority, until they find themselves in that same position.

    I wonder what the reaction would be if this coach was doing the same thing, but with Muslim or Jewish teachings.

  25. rolltide510 says: Apr 15, 2014 5:05 PM

    I don’t see this as an attack on religion, but I think birds4ever lays it out well.

    I recall hearing that Joe Gibbs always said the most important thing with his players was their relationship with God. Were non-religious people simply not welcome on his Redskins teams?

    I don’t doubt Dabo when he says the religious activities are non-mandatory, but like NFL off season workouts, just because something isn’t mandatory doesn’t mean its a good idea not to take part.

  26. derekgorgonstar says: Apr 15, 2014 5:13 PM

    I’m an atheist and this doesn’t bother me.
    If you don’t like a religious coach, go to another school, Swinney is probably not hiding his faith to recruits. This is just typical left-wing whining about something that goes on everywhere. Bad enough they’re ruining the country, now they’re ruining football. Who do you think is behind the whole Northwestern union idea? You think the players came up with that?

    And yes there are conservative atheists out there, we’re not as rare as you think.

  27. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 5:24 PM

    As far as “ruining the country” both democrats and republicans are doing a very good job at that. Not a dimes worth of difference between either party.

  28. thraiderskin says: Apr 15, 2014 5:26 PM

    I’m an Atheist and I’m still pretty sure its freedom of religion, no matter how many down votes I get; what is, is. Until someone is suspended or victimized because of what Dabo is doing, the secular should just keep their complaints to themselves, there is no story here.

  29. dhardy8207 says: Apr 15, 2014 5:57 PM

    It is each individual’s choice/right to either believe/practice a religion or not. I have no problem with people who say they have no religious affiliation. However, I do have a problem with those that don’t believe thinking they need to stop those of us that do. Last time I checked this is still a free country, if I want to bow my head and pray over a meal thats my right. It boils down to tolerance! But tolerance works both ways. Those that don’t believe want to blame everything, all the world’s problems on religion and I admit that there are a lot of people that claim religious affiliation that use it to infringe on the rights of others. However, there are just as many people who don’t practice a form of faith that try and infringe on the rights of those of us that do.

  30. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 5:58 PM

    birds4ever says:
    Apr 15, 2014 4:39 PM
    “I wonder what the reaction would be if this coach was doing the same thing, but with Muslim or Jewish teachings.”

    Auburn has a Jewish head basketball coach. Players on his team are known to attend services with him on the Sabbath and i have zero problems with that.

    Now, how do YOU feel about it?

  31. dmcgrann says: Apr 15, 2014 6:07 PM

    Yeah, what rolltide510 said is important. Sure, it’s not mandatory, but if you’re trying to get into the starting lineup, you’re going to go with the flow of your teammates. Guys like Clowney and Manziel could probably practice Satanism and no one would object.

    Freedom “from” religion is an interesting concept. It’s Evangelism for Atheists. I suppose they shun U.S. coins and currency because of the “In God We Trust” message. I’d be happy to lighten their load.

    Great timing for the article, since it is Passover and Holy Week.

  32. js20011041 says: Apr 15, 2014 6:24 PM

    @theraiderskin

    We do indeed have freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. Clemson, as a public university, should not be in the position of allowing employees to proselytize to it’s students. The students are allowed to pray. To hold bible studies. To go to church together. No one is denying them that right. These activities simply can’t be led by the coaches. They need to remain neutral on the topic of religion, while “on the clock” or otherwise engaged in activities sanctioned by the university.

    I’ll give you an example of how this works. I’m a public employee (fireman). I’m also an atheist. When I’m in uniform, I can’t stand outside of my fire station holding a sign promoting atheism or bashing religion. That would be unconstitutional. It’s something that is perfectly ok while off duty and not in uniform, but this seems to be a point that people don’t understand. When you draw a paycheck from the government, you lose a little bit of your freedom to do certain things while operating in your position.

  33. fsu01 says: Apr 15, 2014 6:25 PM

    ” The group recently filed a formal complaint to Clemson suggesting Swinney leads the football program against the constitutional stipulations of the separation of church and state, The Greenville News reports.”

    I must be reading a different U.S. Constitution because the one I read and study do not include the words “separation of church and state.”

  34. mgmac says: Apr 15, 2014 6:56 PM

    I’d like to ask this elliott guy if he has a problem with General Eisenhower’s Order if the Day for 6 June 1944. Eisenhower’s last sentence is ‘Let Us All Beseech the Blessing of Almighty God in this Great and Noble Undertaking’.
    Ike mentioned God after all!

  35. moevee says: Apr 15, 2014 7:00 PM

    Whole lot of opinions by the Christians but how about people who believe in another God or none at all. Last thing I want is Jesus crammed down my throat by some goober football coach. How about teaching tolerance.

  36. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:10 PM

    moevee says:
    Apr 15, 2014 7:00 PM
    “Whole lot of opinions by the Christians but how about people who believe in another God or none at all. Last thing I want is Jesus crammed down my throat by some goober football coach. How about teaching tolerance.”

    Then don’t commit to play football for Clemson or Dabo Swinney. There are only 120 or so other options out there in Div 1.

  37. onbucky96 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:12 PM

    From Coming To America: “I have a secret…I worship the Devil.”

  38. Slim Charles says: Apr 15, 2014 7:15 PM

    Remember, Dabo is the coach who spoke out against players getting paid by saying he “doesn’t coach for the money.” He’s making 3.5 million next year so I look forward to him keeping say, 50K to live on and donating that other $3,450,000 to a religious charity, since faith is so important to him.

  39. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:16 PM

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  40. moevee says: Apr 15, 2014 7:17 PM

    Auburn goober. You miss the point since you are a person of limited experiences and narrow perspective.

  41. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:18 PM

    The Establishment Clause has generally been interpreted to prohibit 1) the establishment of a national religion by Congress, or 2) the preference by the U.S. government of one religion over another. The first approach is called the “separation” or “no aid” interpretation, while the second approach is called the “non-preferential” or “accommodation” interpretation. The accommodation interpretation prohibits Congress from preferring one religion over another, but does not prohibit the government’s entry into religious domain to make accommodations in order to achieve the purposes of the Free Exercise Clause.

  42. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:21 PM

    A notable precursor of the Establishment Clause was the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The statute was drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777 and was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly in 1779. It did not pass the General Assembly until 1786.

  43. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:22 PM

    In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), the Court drew on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson’s correspondence to call for “a wall of separation between church and State”, though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute.

  44. Wesley Clark says: Apr 15, 2014 7:24 PM

    Religion should not be the focus of any head coach at a public university. If coach Dabo wants to espouse religion, let him go to a religious school. I suppose all the people on this board would feel the same way if he was a devout Muslim.

  45. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Apr 15, 2014 7:31 PM

    @ everyone who thinks the government should step in and regulate any offered religious action.Not ordered, demanded, expected, or required but offered.

    Let me say to you. I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA! As a veteran of 7 years with an honorable discharge, I would like to remind you all of the religious freedoms America boasts. This is not promoting Christianity, or any other religion. I liken it to the services offered on deployments for: Christians, Jews, Muslims or Wicca. It does not push for any one but allows for all. That is religious freedom. They likely hood of this doing anything other then making publicity for the the Freedom from Religion Foundation is as likely as finding a atheist in the hot zone.

  46. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 7:34 PM

    I wonder if President Eisenhower discussed God and Country with his mistress? Maybe his religion and morals didn’t have a problem with adultery.

  47. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:01 PM

    moevee says:
    Apr 15, 2014 7:17 PM
    Auburn goober. You miss the point since you are a person of limited experiences and narrow perspective.

    I haven’t missed the point on anything. Just another example of atheists trying to shove their lack of faith down everyone else’s throat. These kids know what kind of person Dabo Swinney is when they commit to Clemson. If they didn’t want to be there, they wouldn’t be.

    But congratulations on knowing everything about me, based on a few posts on a message board.

    Tolerant, liberal, atheists such as yourself never seem to stereotype or generalize, do you?

  48. rolltide510 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:14 PM

    Something this thread confirmed: Few things are more hilarious then then non-problem atheists face of “having religion forced on them” through such heinous deeds as having In God We Trust stamped on money and their children being asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I’m sure they snap at people who say bless you when they sneeze, too.

    And I’m saying this as a non-religious person (I refuse to use a word that lumps me in with the whiners mentioned above).

  49. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:15 PM

    @auburntigers34. By stereotype or generalize do you mean like you did in a previous post?

    You said “look at all of the thumbs down on every comment. bunch of cowardly atheists. imagine that.”

  50. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:19 PM

    you don’t think that a bunch of the thumbs down came from atheists?

    i didn’t say that all of the thumbs downs were from atheists, did i?

    who else would have a problem with it?

  51. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:25 PM

    You can back track all you want. Your comment speaks for itself.

  52. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:34 PM

    I’m not backtracking. I still say that the majority of them were atheists…or even all of them….if it makes you feel better.

    now, feel free to go find something else to be offended over.

  53. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:44 PM

    but for the record “look at all of the thumbs down in the comments section” and “bunch of atheists”were two separate comments. you’re trying to twist my words into something that wasn’t said.

    but like i said, if it makes you feel better to think that i was backtracking by trying to point out that your reading comprehension blows, go ahead and think whatever you want to think.

  54. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 8:44 PM

    @auburntigers34. I’m not the one that is offended. That seems to be you. I don’t feel any better or worse by your comments. I get it. Your belief in freedom of religion ends when someone believes different than you. That is not something to be proud of but I respect your right to feel that way.

  55. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 9:00 PM

    Keep trying to put words in my mouth. You have serious reading comprehension issues if you think that i’ve said anything at all about anyone’s freedom of(not from) religion in this thread.

    who’s religion have a supposedly shown disregard for?

  56. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 9:00 PM

    I not “a”.

  57. jets12 says: Apr 15, 2014 9:14 PM

    Your current posts make no sense at all. One contradicts the other. Your phrase “cowardly atheist” is a blanket statement meant to label all who down voted you. Again your intolerance of those who don’t agree with your view is apparent. I feel like I am having this discussion with a child. You said what you meant. Be a man and own up to it. And please can you come up with something better than I have reading comprehension issues? You have said it twice now.

  58. moevee says: Apr 15, 2014 9:29 PM

    Auburn t , you show contempt for everyone on Clemson’s team that does not care about The preaching and prostilitizing bythe Coach. They have to go along with it or put up with people like you. You re a bigot and it shows to most.

  59. normtide says: Apr 15, 2014 10:29 PM

    I love the liberal view that we should let everyone be who they are, except when they disagree with who you are. So, any state employee must be an atheist? Also, these players choose the school they commit to. Nothing is being forced on them. If they had a problem with Clemson, they wouldn’t attend.

    I hate to tell many here, but the public schools my kids attend still hand out bibles. The bibles are donated by Gideons. They pray before sporting events. My kids come home with biblical trading cards handed out at schools. There hasn’t been any issues come from it. None of it is forced on any child, and any child can avoid getting anything. I know of no complaints ever filed.

  60. auburntigers34 says: Apr 15, 2014 10:59 PM

    moevee says:
    Apr 15, 2014 9:29 PM
    Auburn t , you show contempt for everyone on Clemson’s team that does not care about The preaching and prostilitizing bythe Coach. They have to go along with it or put up with people like you. You re a bigot and it shows to most.

    Nobody forces anyone on the team to visit the team chaplain or attend any type of religious services, but it’s there for those that want to……or at least it is until the intolerant atheists take it away.

    jets12, you’re every bit as intolerant of those with different beliefs than yourself as i am. the only difference is that you’re in denial about it.

    these kids know what Dabo Swinney and his program is about when they sign their LOI. How many of his current or former players have complained?

  61. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 4:56 AM

    @auburntigers34. No where in this discussion have I been intolerant of anyone’s view. Just the opposite. I am for freedom of religion of any kind and respect the rights of individuals to believe as they wish without calling them out for it or labeling them under bigoted terms. Nice try but no cigar.

  62. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 6:18 AM

    Atheists are like unicorns, you hear about them, but you never see one in person. They write books and post on blogs, but for some reason, never really make it down to Clemson on game day to be greeted by 85k of the friendliest fans in football. Come on down, enjoy a game, and talk football!

  63. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 6:36 AM

    Just the opposite. I have met and know several atheist. I find them to be some of the most genuine and honest people I know. Not sure what not making it to a clemson game has to do with anything.

  64. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 8:21 AM

    The fact is that ZERO people from this group have been to Clemson or have exposure to what happens at Clemson football. Zero!

    Religion is not pushed at Clemson, but it is available to those who seek it. If those who seek it decide to gather, then that is their freedom to do so. Know your audience as Clemson is in the Bible Belt where families still dress in suit and tie to go to church and many of the athletes at Clemson attend church services.

    All schools provide this in some sort of way. All teams huddle and pray before a game. Nobody has an issue with how Clemson Football conducts it’s business except this group.

    By the way, thank you for the AWESOME recruiting tool where parents want their children in a special place, because Clemson is special.

    Now, go fight the US Mint over “In God We Trust”

  65. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 8:26 AM

    By the way, I have never seen an atheist at work turn down their paid holiday for Christmas!

    One week off, no thank you, I am atheist. I prefer to work these days. Wrong, you turtle up, cash your check, and enjoy the season! At least 1 day out of the year you are thankful for Christ!

  66. archersofmtdoom says: Apr 16, 2014 8:28 AM

    If atheists are simply stupid liberals with agendas, all Christians must be Pat Robertson….

  67. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 8:31 AM

    I can think of worse things to be called!

  68. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 9:39 AM

    @planck16. You assume an awful lot. I have been to a lot of games at Clemson. I was raised in the south, right in the Bible Belt. Clemson is no more special than any other university. Every fan thinks their school is special.

    In a previous post you said that atheists are like unicorns, you hear about them, but you never see one in person. Then a few posts later you say that you have never seen an atheist turn down their paid holiday for Christmas. So are you saying that you actually do know some atheists and they work with you or are you just assuming that some are employed where you work? And any way paid holidays are just that. You can’t turn down the money and one has nothing to do with the other.

  69. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 9:51 AM

    @jets12

    I assume nothing. I have been around the program, it’s players, and coaches. I state facts.

    I never see an atheist beat their chest about being an atheist in person. Only online or in books. That is the Unicorn Division.

    I do work with atheists, very nice respectful people who do not push their agenda on me and don’t attack me for being an open follower of Christ. I don’t push my religion on them. They don’t judge me and I don’t judge them. The way this country should work.

    Fundamental Atheists such as this group should follow the same. They want rights be taking the rights of others.

  70. thraiderskin says: Apr 16, 2014 10:14 AM

    I still don’t get what the issue is… what the hell are people really upset about? Is the sight of a cross that painful? Is it jealousy that those of faith have a certain peace about things that terrorize atheists? What is the big deal about people being open about their religions? Really! Tell me what does it matter? There will always be individuals who are offended be something, we as a nation cannot operate while walking on egg shells. Being atheist is about not believing in a god, not about hating him. As long as you aren’t being persecuted for your lack of faith, shut up, sit down and worry about stuff that matters. Quite honestly, with the way many atheists act, perhaps we deserve persecution, hell I want to smash some of you all in the face.

  71. tigersfandan says: Apr 16, 2014 10:31 AM

    Christians are commanded in the Bible to share their beliefs with others. See Matthew 28:18-20, which says “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

  72. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 11:06 AM

    Not sure why Atheists have a say. It’s an illogical position. Agnostic sure but not Atheism.

    Also, stop with the whole separation of church and state nonsense. We all know that’s a horrible interpretation of the first amendment.

  73. onbucky96 says: Apr 16, 2014 11:10 AM

    I believe in bible study with coaches and players. Look how well it worked w/Urban Meyer preaching the word to Aaron Hernandez…

  74. friarjack61 says: Apr 16, 2014 11:12 AM

    Viewing all the thumb downs, I have to conclude that the respondents are anti-religion, a direction that the youth of our Country is heading.
    I am not a very religious person, but as religion has been pushed into the pasture by anti-religious groups, crime has increased by multiple percents over previous decades.
    Don’t know of, or care about the Commandments, equates to more crime, because a lack of values. Religion instills values in all. Anti-religion Liberalism, has a singular value of ‘hatred’ for those who pray to the ‘Guy’ upstairs, to guide us in our lives.
    ” GO TO HELL”, might be an appropriate way to respond to these liberals !
    My thoughts: If the players do not like what the coach says or does, quit, find an anti-religious school.

  75. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 11:21 AM

    I believe in bible study with coaches and players. Look how well it worked w/Urban Meyer preaching the word to Aaron Hernandez…
    ———————————————————-

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-texas-sharpshooter

  76. archersofmtdoom says: Apr 16, 2014 11:32 AM

    Yeah, stupid Atheists & non-believers. Your ideals are illogical. Shut up & bow down to your Christian God in this Christian nation or be damned to hell!
    Amen!
    Murica!

  77. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 12:21 PM

    @planck16 unfortunately you did assume. But that’s okay because people who have no reason other than hatred and intolerance for what others believe lean on assumptions. I don’t care what religion people cling to or don’t cling to. It has been my experience, unfortunately, that a lot of, not all, people use the name of religion to judge others when they themselves don’t hold to the standards they set for others. But we can agree to disagree.

  78. onlyoneleft says: Apr 16, 2014 12:52 PM

    One thing for sure, Dabo could not have paid for this kind of publicity. Watch most coaches fall in behind Richt and him. I would not be surprised if
    Satin, Slurrier and P—– (Louisville) don’t adopt the same approach.

  79. auburntigers34 says: Apr 16, 2014 12:57 PM

    jets12 ,

    where/when did i use a bigoted term? is atheist a bigoted term now? you must be referring to my “cowardly atheists” comment.

    what else would you call it when the thumbs downs on comments supporting Clemson were outnumbering the thumbs ups by around 10 to 1…..yet none of these people giving thumbs down were commenting to support their position?

  80. planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 1:04 PM

    Jets12,

    Hard to assume when stating facts. No hate on my end, only concern that a group can target another group and demand change. I don’t understand when/why being a Christian became a bad thing to be in others crosshairs.

    I believe in all freedoms but despise the fact the others can attack mine.

  81. onlyoneleft says: Apr 16, 2014 1:05 PM

    Nae, old moevee is a Coot fan.

  82. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Apr 16, 2014 1:19 PM

    Its funny everyone is getting personal and irritated with each other in this topic. Its clear that as of right now Clemson is breaking no laws. Their is no legal precedent which does not allow for religious opportunities to be offered at Clemson. So regardless of religion or lack there off what is the problem? I have herd of zero ex or current players coming forward to object to this. This should not be a peeing match between the religious and non. Its silly and really I think most of the comments now are not even geared at the story.

  83. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 1:32 PM

    @planck16. When did I attack you. Please show me.

  84. birds4ever says: Apr 16, 2014 1:35 PM

    Its amazing how people twist an argument to fit what they want.

    The argument isn’t people shouldn’t be able to pray. Or that “being Christian is a bad thing”. I don’t think anyone is actually arguing for that.

    These players are free to pray. They can even pray as a group in the locker room if they so choose. But in a state school, the EMPLOYEES (ie coaches) can’t/shouldn’t be able to LEAD players in religious based activities, regardless of which religion they practice. They certainly can’t hire, with tax payer money, a chaplain/rabbi/priest to represent a potentially diverse group of players because the coach find himself in the unique position of being passionate about his religion.

    Its not that religion is bad. Its that each of those players has right to feel safe in his own beliefs without potential retribution. You would have to be completely ignorant to think that wouldn’t be a possibility.

    However, at a private university, I whole heartedly agree that the coach can do whatever the university allows (from a religious perspective). You give up that freedom when you choose a private school or other organization. There is significant difference between public and private.

    I’m not even sure how anyone can argue against this. These kids don’t always choose the coach, and often times new coaches are thrusted upon them without them having the ability to change schools. So the argument, “pick a different school” is just invalid.

    Why would anyone not want a separation of church and state (by the way, I love the argument that there is no such thing even though its been upheld in every court)? Live your life the way you believe, why do you want your government involved in that. This isn’t about atheism. This is about a multicultural society. Government should represent everyone. Tough to unbiasedly do that when religion is mixed in.

  85. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 1:39 PM

    @auburntigers34 you have contradicted yourself so many times in this thread that I am having a hard time keeping your positions/comments straight. Maybe when you get your story in order we can resume.

  86. dhardy8207 says: Apr 16, 2014 1:59 PM

    What I find interesting in all of this is that the complaint didn’t come from the players, other coaching staff, parents, or any other affiliation at Clemson. This all started from a busy body lawyer that I think is trying to capture some fame by saving these young men from possibly believing in GOD or following a particular faith.

    I m also wonder why atheists are so troubled anytime GOD is brought into a public forum. I was born, grew up and continue to reside in Alabama, and we’ve had people protest high school students that gathered for prayer around the flag pole their last day of their senior year. No student was forced to participate, it was a strictly personal choice if they wanted to be apart of the activity. But here comes the ACLU from outside the state and their lawyer stating because it took place on school grounds it was an act promoting christianity. Secondly, ever notice when there is a school shooting or some other type of tragedy, there is always those that hold a prayer vigil to pay honor and respect to those that were victims. Funny no complaints during those times.

  87. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 2:02 PM

    But in a state school, the EMPLOYEES (ie coaches) can’t/shouldn’t be able to LEAD players in religious based activities, regardless of which religion they practice.

    ———————————————————-

    This is where the argument gets fuzzy. Let’s just say that in some strange way that having a state employee lead a prayer group translates to the state itself favoring one religion over another and (to use a liberal term) disenfranchising other religions.

    If you prohibit said state employee leading a prayer (i.e. spreading the word of his/her religion which is part of his/her belief) aren’t you in fact prohibiting that employee from practicing his/her religion which would in effect disenfranchise that employee and favoring no religion over that employee’s religion?

  88. birds4ever says: Apr 16, 2014 2:22 PM

    wvufan82- That’s the right you give up when you work for the state. Interesting that the concern here is over “disenfranchising” the coach, and not the player who is either made to feel an outsider or possible could be subject to worse. Isn’t it possible that the player(s) get disenfrachised? When they choose a public university, don’t those players have a right not to be put in that position? Its not what the Clemson coach is preaching is bad. It really isn’t. Its just his beliefs might not be shared by everyone. And at a public school, the players shouldn’t have be put in a potential “uncomfortable” position (PS – because no players are complaining doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Plenty of problems exist quietly for fear of many consequences).

    Again, no one is telling the coach not to pray, or go to church, or not to practice their own religion outside of the workplace. They just can’t lead their players in religious activities. That’s not “favoring no religion”. They aren’t saying “there’s no g-d here”. They are saying there are “many” g-ds here, so lets give every player their respect. If he wants to lead religious activities, go to a private university, or become priest/rabbi/pasture.

  89. onlyoneleft says: Apr 16, 2014 2:38 PM

    onbucky96 says:
    Apr 16, 2014 11:10 AM
    “I believe in bible study with coaches and players. Look how well it worked w/Urban Meyer preaching the word to Aaron Hernandez”

    I will be bet you that Urban did more good. Everyone gets a rotten applel every once in a while.
    Some make a habit of it.

  90. onlyoneleft says: Apr 16, 2014 2:44 PM

    Birds4ever is another Dabo and Richt hater. He needs to get Slurrier interested in the Real Thing.

  91. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 2:53 PM

    That’s the right you give up when you work for the state.

    ———————————————————-

    The state especially cannot violate someone’s first amendment right. That is contrary to your argument that an employee (i.e a coach which is a state representative) is violating someone’s (i.e. a student-athlete) first amendment right.

    Also, assuming what you say is true that if the coach “gives up” those rights when choosing to work at a public university wouldn’t the students also “give up” those same rights when choosing to attend the same public university?

    “Its not what the Clemson coach is preaching is bad.”
    —————————————————–
    Enough with the strawmen already….

    “Again, no one is telling the coach not to pray, or go to church, or not to practice their own religion outside of the workplace.”
    ———————————————————
    That is my point. Telling someone you can only practice your religion in certain places (i.e. somewhere other than the university) IS prohibiting that person from practicing his/her religion. This is equivalent to “free speech zones” that have been recently popularized

  92. auburntigers34 says: Apr 16, 2014 3:02 PM

    jets12 says:
    Apr 16, 2014 1:39 PM

    I haven’t contradicted myself in this thread. If your reading comprehension was above kindergarten level, you’d be able to see that i haven’t.

  93. birds4ever says: Apr 16, 2014 3:11 PM

    wvufan82 – While I don’t proclaim to be a lawyer, I think your understanding of the law is incorrect. Your rights as an employee, of either the state or a private entity, are different than your rights as a citizen. For example, if you are secretary for the mayor, you can’t tell people in the mayors office to F off. You’ll most likely get fired. Its certainly your legal right to do so, but not your employed right.

    Since the government accepts a separation of church and state, as a state employee you would be restricted in such rights. All employees, without question, lose their right to “free speech” with respect to their continued employment.

    Players are not employees of the university (at least not yet), so they are not subject to “church and state doctrine”, they can, however, be further restricted by univerity rules (which is why players get kicked off for breaking “team rules” frequently).

    For the record, I don’t think badly of Dabo (or Richt apparently). I disagree with him on this subject, but I don’t think that makes him a bad person. I don’t have a problem with people loving their faith. I have more of a problem when that faith is thrusted upon others, especially when those people might be put in a bad situation without a good way out. I feel confident (at least I hope) that is not Dabo’s intent, but unfortunately its most likely a result.

  94. normtide says: Apr 16, 2014 3:21 PM

    Auburn34- you don’t understand. Anytime you don’t fall in lock step behind a liberal’s views, you’re a bigot. Be yourself, unless yourself isn’t what they say it should be. I know that sounds crazy, but look at what Nazi Germany was able to do with it…

    Again, I ask the question. If being an atheist is so enlightening, why does religion scare you so bad? Why not just laugh at the “fools” who you ate so smarter than? To me, it proves that you know you’re missing spirituality in your life. In some way.

  95. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 3:46 PM

    “Your rights as an employee, of either the state or a private entity, are different than your rights as a citizen. For example, if you are secretary for the mayor, you can’t tell people in the mayors office to F off. You’ll most likely get fired. Its certainly your legal right to do so, but not your employed right. ”

    ———————————————————-

    Another strawman….You are conflating the right to be employed with unalienable rights outlined in the constitution.

    Let’s strawman your strawman for a minute and pretend that it’s “employed rights” we are talking about. Now, does your employee have the right to prohibit you from practicing your religion at work? No. Does your employer have the right to fire you for practicing said religion if it makes customers (i.e. students) “uncomfortable?” Also no. There is no right to comfort. Comfort is also not the same as “hostile” and that only applies to other employees (which you claimed the students are not) according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  96. auburntigers34 says: Apr 16, 2014 3:48 PM

    normtide,

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s so much easier to just call someone a bigot than it is to actually put thought into opinions and debate them.

  97. germanflats13a38 says: Apr 16, 2014 4:04 PM

    The Constitution does not contain the following phrases: “freedom of religion,” “freedom from religion,” or “separation of church and state.”

    It would appear that very few people understand the “establishment” clause and the “free exercise” clause of the Constitution.

    A more detailed analysis of these clauses would explain why public schools can’t require prayer at school, can permit moments of silence, can prevent use of singular religious symbols, and can allow use of facilities for religious ceremonies. Everything is a matter of circumstance and degree.

    It is generally understood that the Constitution and its Amendments are designed to protect the minority from the majority, not the other way around.

    The majority of people do not objects to anti-cannibalism laws. Just because the majority doesn’t object, doesn’t make the laws constitutional. The laws are constitutional, even if your religion allows for cannibalism, because the laws serve a public purpose and/or are neutral.

  98. birds4ever says: Apr 16, 2014 4:09 PM

    Oh, here comes the name calling.

    Anyway, years ago a company in which I was employed hired a muslim worker who, by her own religious beliefs, was required to pray, in specific direction, during the work day. This person was afforded that ability thanks to the same Act you speak of. That, sir, is a wonderful thing. She had a right to follow her religion. That same right is not however, granted to her to preach her beliefs to other employees. My guess is if she did that she would have been fired.

    Likewise, I don’t think the school, or government, care if the coach prays to himself in his office, or on the sideline. But it is an entirely different matter when, as a state employee, he leads the players in prayers, hires (in some capacity) a team chaplain, or generally “promotes” his faith while on the job. That is not a protected right on the job.

    BTW – Not sure where you’re getting your information, but in any business, if I am promoting my religion to the customers (again, don’t confuse this with privately praying), that is absolutely grounds for being fired.

  99. onbucky96 says: Apr 16, 2014 4:14 PM

    Oh Sweet Jesus I love a good Holy War! Who’s gonna invite the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

  100. wvufan82 says: Apr 16, 2014 4:19 PM

    “Not sure where you’re getting your information, but in any business, if I am promoting my religion to the customers (again, don’t confuse this with privately praying), that is absolutely grounds for being fired.”

    Your strawmen are endless…

    Would that person be fired if he/she were to pray with a customer? That is the argument not your strawman

  101. birds4ever says: Apr 16, 2014 4:32 PM

    Not a matter of whether they would, only whether they could.

    BTW – I think using the analogy “customers” for football players is a little misleading. The players are under the control of the coach, and are submissive. Not sure I can think of another customer in a similar position. Additionally, I think its that position that particularly makes this problematic.

    If my child was in public grade school, and the teacher was holding muslim prayers during the school day (even if its study hall), passing out prayer books, bringing in religious leaders to hold prayer, I think I’d have a lot more support on this (I only use muslim because it appears that generates the strongest reactions). Please let me know if that wouldn’t bother you. Please let me know if you would be in strong favor of not “disinfranchising” that teacher from only “practicing” her religious beliefs.

    If you truly wouldn’t care, then we are just on opposite sides of the coin. But if you would care, then please hold everyone to the same standard.

  102. jets12 says: Apr 16, 2014 5:33 PM

    @auburntigers34. I get it you think I lack reading skills. You repeat yourself over and over. Nice rebuttal. Please come back when you have something to offer.

  103. faaast1 says: Apr 18, 2014 3:18 AM

    If any Clemson football recruit is not aware of Swinney’s committment to Christianity, he doesn’t belong in college. Perhaps his intellectual development would be better advanced in 8th grade.
    That having been said, just who put a gun to any Clemson player’s head, and forced him to sign on with Swinney?

  104. floridacock says: Apr 18, 2014 10:47 AM

    Not sure why some people here are associating not being a Christian with being an atheist. Lots of other religions out there and probably represented on the Clemson team. All should have a voice.

  105. auburntigers34 says: Apr 18, 2014 1:25 PM

    jets12 says:
    Apr 16, 2014 5:33 PM

    Says the guy that’s mentioned a contradiction that didn’t exist at least 4 or 5 times. Debate the issue, if you can.

  106. 8to80texansblog says: Apr 21, 2014 5:21 PM

    planck16 says: Apr 16, 2014 1:04 PM

    I believe in all freedoms but despise the fact the others can attack mine.
    ________________________________

    First off, I don’t know that anyone was “attacking” your freedoms. This is the comment section of a CFB blog… maybe get some perspective.

    But that comment is what makes America great. We don’t all have to have the same opinion. Nobody is going to put you in jail for believing/not believing in god, or believing in a different way than you do. It’s why this country was founded. People escaping religious persecution. America was a land where any religion was accepted and no religion set above another.

  107. dman6015 says: Apr 23, 2014 11:16 AM

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (freedom from), or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (freedom of)”.

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