Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baptize! On 3! Break!

Oi! When is it ever a good idea to take your high school football team to a church revival? I'd say it's never a good idea. There seems to be a certain subset of folks who just will never be happy with living their faith, and feel the need to impose it instead.

I was recently invited by a friend of mine to attend his church in the coming weeks for a series of sermons that did in fact sound pretty interesting. I was appreciative of how politely he extended the invitation, and honestly I expect nothing less from him. That's how you win converts. You live the faith. You don't use God as a team bonding event, pull a few heart strings, and whip out the peer/coach pressure to secure a baptism. If my kid made a commitment to God and Christianity at an event like that, I'd be furious too. I'd never be sure he/she only took part to appease the person doling out the playing time. Kids do far dumber things than that to fit in with teammates and make coaches happy.

Besides the fact that it is unconstitutional, there are practical reasons to keep religion out of our public school activities. Kids should never feel there is a quid pro quo for their affirmation of faith, or that a grade might depend on their involvement in FCA or some other religious after-school activity. We preach the virtue of fighting peer-pressure, and then use it achieve something much more personal and important in a young person's life. An affirmation of faith should be from the heart and uncoerced.

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