Atheist Foundation Complains About Church-State Separation After Alabama High School Baptizes 18 Football Players on Campus

An attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to a high school in south Alabama complaining that the school’s role in the baptism of 18 student football players violated legal standards on separation of church and state. (WC Dawgs Facebook page)

An attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter to a high school in south Alabama complaining that the school’s role in the baptism of 18 student football players violated legal standards on separation of church and state.

The baptism took place on the Washington County High School football field on May 16 and in a letter dated May 29, attorney Christopher Line asked Washington County Superintendent John Dickey to ensure that the school is “no longer including religious rituals during school-sponsored activities.”

Social media posts about the baptism showed Chris Sanford, a student minister from Chatom Baptist Church, baptizing football players in a large trough on the football field. “None of this would be going on without head coach Devin Roberts,” Southern Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes staff member Dennis Hayford says in the video.

AL.com reached Coach Roberts, who said he was busy running a camp but might comment later. Dickey has not yet responded to a request for comment.

“As a school-sponsored event, football practice cannot include any endorsement of religion or religious rituals,” Line wrote. “It is also illegal for coaches to organize or participate in religious activities with students, including baptisms.”

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SOURCE: Al.com, Greg Garrison