This group is absurd and it is only creating more division to a country that was once “One nation under God”.
Youtube footage of Georgia football players taking turns being baptized in a drum of water has incited an investigation. The video, filmed at Villa Rica High School before a team practice, was posted online by First Baptist Villa Rica church. Video below.
They were hoping for a viral hit but instead got a stern letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The video was taken down from Youtube Tuesday.
The Carroll County School System is investigating the mass baptism.
“The Carroll County School System was made aware of a situation that took place at Villa Rica High School prior to football practice on August 17th. The District is currently looking into the specifics of this situation and will take appropriate steps to ensure all state and federal laws are followed.”
In a letter obtained by 11Alive, the FFRF had strongly urged the district to ensure to investigate the incident and to “ensure that there will be no further illegal religious events.
“It is illegal for coaches to participate in religious activities with students, including prayer and baptisms,” the letter reads. “Nor can coaches allow religious leaders to gain unique access to students during school-sponsored activities.”
The First Baptist Villa Rica seemed to be wholly unaware of the illegality of their actions.
Their video’s caption: “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!”
Villa Rica is hardly the only city in Georgia to attract the ire of secular leagues. The FFRF is currently engaged in a lawsuit against another Georgia county one school pressuring students to pray in class.
“I can’t remember another case like this,” says FFRF co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Starting this video out, they it a step of obedience, and then the camera pans to the students. 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.”
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