Football Mom: God and Gridiron Go Hand in Hand

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Dear Football Mom,

When your son attends a public school, do you think Christian pastors should come talk to the football team? Our son went to his coach’s summer camp and came back “saved.” Now he wants to get baptized. I thought there was such a thing as separation of church and state!!?

Dear Reader,

Oh, so they didn’t hold a baptizing at the camp? Well shucks. That’s a shame.

I have such biased opinions about this subject that your head may spin. But since you asked, are you ready for some hard answers and an eye-opening conversation? Warning: it could get brutal.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is simply this: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

I take that to mean we don’t all have to be Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or any other religion. We can CHOOSE. I believe your son had a choice, and he chose to believe. He exercised his freedom. Bravo for him!

Today, we have groups (I’m not going to give them more publicity by naming the few) dedicated to knocking down our freedom to choose. I mean, what the heck is that all about? Why get your panties wrinkled over who or where or what denomination a Christian speaker may represent in speaking with our sports kids? Let these inspirational pastors/speakers do their worst.

Inspiring our youth to grow a conscience and make right life choices could save not only their life, but the lives of others. Take, for instance, turning down a challenge to force-guzzle alcohol, smoke a wacky-tabacy cigarette, or—God forbid—shoot a needle in their arm. Or even worse, plan a mass shooting at their school. Without a moral compass, it happens all too often.

You never know the impact a speaker may have on kids. It could be something very simple that would prick a positive awakening and give a child greater purpose. Maybe players would think twice before belly-flopping right into a situation or any other choice that could have terrible, awful, tragic, end results. You just never know. But wouldn’t the real tragedy be to never try?

There is something that haunts the tar out of me even to this day. Years ago, in a church service, I heard guest speaker Rev. Willian Murray, the son of atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Remember her? He quoted his mother by saying, “If Christianity had been where it should have been, I would never have gotten prayer or reading the Bible out of schools.”

Well, we’ve certainly come a long way since then. We are so far down the road from respecting others, extending kindness, showing a shred of decency to classmates, or simply behaving with a thread of morality. These are all values to live by. But sadly, they are no longer taught within our school system.

I won’t bore you with the stats, but the chances today for campus riots, thug mentality, gang activity, and drug use are far greater than they were even in the sultry sixties. Take a walk through the halls of a high school during class change. (Be sure to sign in at the front desk first.) It’s a sad shock to hear the foul, four-letter words coming from the mouths of once-innocent children. There was a time when those shenanigans were not tolerated. Now, administrators breathe a sigh of relief just to end a day without incident. Without a moral compass to guide our youngsters, how can we expect more?

Be proud of your son. Support his decision. He made a hard choice in front of his peers and teammates.

Nope, I’m not the one who will empathize about coaches inviting inspirational speakers to address our sports teams. Or get all bothered about players exercising their first amendment rights. In fact, I wish—just for once—every coach in America would do the same at their summer camps. Maybe, just maybe we could all use a good dose of listening to some inspirational, positive messages. There sure is enough negative to plug a landfill.

Candy Westbrook is an author, columnist and a football mom. Click here for her website.

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