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Published On: Thu, Apr 24th, 2014

Freedom from Religion group targets Clemson, Dabo Swinney, for voluntary Bible studies

From Wisconsin to South Carolina, a Freedom From Religion organization is threatening the Clemson Tigers over voluntary Bible studies and one of their coaches us of Bible scriptures. Supporters note that everything is voluntary and there is no proof any religion is being “established.”

photo Jennifer Moo via Flickr

photo Jennifer Moo via Flickr

The Wisconsin based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a letter of complaint to Clemson against football coach Dabo Swinney. The letter cites concerns about the religious influence coaches have on football players, and states that Swinney has not fostered a culture adhering to the separation of church and state. 

The foundation says it does not want to infringe on Swinney’s religious freedom, but it does want to ensure that Clemson players are protected, and they say they want to make sure coach Dabo’s position does not pressure athletes to become more religious. 

“What we’d like to see is the end of this chaplaincy position and end to Bible distributions by coaches, an end to devotionals scheduled and put on by coaches and staff. The coaches need to step back and just coach (football) and not coach in religious matters.”

Swinney is open about his faith, and under his direction the team holds weekly Bible studies for coaches and a voluntary chapel services for players the night before each game.

Clemson officials say they do not force religion on players and Swinney says he welcomes students of all faith on his field. 

ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow notes “The Freedom From Religion Foundation exercises this power to the fullest, using litigation and threats of litigation to challenge everything from the National Motto (“In God We Trust”), to war memorials, to even the display of the Star of David at a Holocaust memorial (yes, really).”

In his Fox News article, Sekulow adds “American democracy thrives in an atmosphere of freedom, when all Americans enjoy to the fullest their rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. Democracy thrives when we seek not to censor speech we dislike, but instead to change hearts and minds through debate and dialogue…Through quirks in the law, and with the help of a complicit media, angry atheists seek to change the terms of the debate, to narrow the marketplace of ideas to exclude religious voices.”

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  1. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney discusses faith, recruiting as FFR group complains - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] to the Wisconsin-based FFR foundation, Swinney has promoted a culture in the program that promotes Christianity and violates constitutional guidelines of the separation of church and […]

  2. Your Name... says:

    Why do Christians think that the first amendment was only written for them? This is exactly why public institutions need to expunge ALL religion from their sponsored activities.

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