A prominent atheist group is claiming that the Auburn University football coach’s attendance at a school revival event was “unconstitutional.”
According to CBN News, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has denounced Auburn University football coach Hugh Freeze for attending and helping with a revival and baptism event at the school earlier this month.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, hundreds of students at the Alabama college spontaneously were baptized during a “Night of Worship” event last week, hosted by the school’s Christian ministry, Unite Auburn.
“These ongoing and repeated constitutional violations at the university create a coercive environment that excludes those students who don’t subscribe to the Christian views being pushed onto players by their coaches,” the FFRF wrote in a statement.
The atheist group also urged Auburn University to “put a stop to religion in its athletic programs.”
“As coaches, their responsibility lies in guidance on the field, not guiding these students to pews. They should start by firing the team chaplains, whose very presence signals that Auburn University has an inappropriate relationship with Christian evangelists,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, said.
The organization also argued that Freeze violated the U.S. Constitution.
However, Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel and director of the Center for Academic Freedom with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said that FFRF’s argument holds to a “twisted interpretation of the First Amendment.”
“Freedom From Religion Foundation’s twisted interpretation of the First Amendment has the potential to crush both students’ and their coaches’ essential right to live out their faith,” he argued. “Public universities are supposed to be the marketplace of ideas and have an obligation to protect and promote free speech and free exercise of religion.”
More than 5,000 people reportedly attended the “Night of Worship” event that featured guest speakers New York Times Best Selling Author Jennie Allen and Pastor Jonathan Pokluda. Passion Music led worship.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.
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