Militant Atheists Are Now Going After Deion Sanders
Football legend and newly-minted University of Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders is in the crosshairs of what I call the Godless Gestapo. Militant atheist organization the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is now taking on Coach Prime for talking about his Christian faith with his players.
The FFRF sent a letter to the University of Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano complaining that Sanders was — better sit down for this one — praying at meetings.
“Multiple concerned Colorado residents have reached out to FFRF to report that CU’s new football coach Deion Sanders has been infusing his program with Christianity and engaging in religious exercises with players and staff members,” the letter stated. “It is our understanding that on December 20, 2022, a staff member led other staff members in a Christian prayer to start an official meeting.”
Once you’ve picked yourself up off the fainting couch, there’s more.
“More egregiously, on January 16, 2023, Coach Sanders directed a staff member to lead players and coaches in Christian prayer before a team meeting,” the atheists continue.
Here’s the prayer, with its oh-so-dangerous theology: “Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
Oh, my word! Thanking God (and nothing else)? How dare he?
The FFRF cites a litany of court cases as well as its own “Pray to Play” report from 2015 (way to keep us updated, FFRF), which complains about coaches who either talk openly about their own faith or hire chaplains to do the, umm, dirty work.
“The true purpose and actual effect of these chaplaincies is [sic] to impose the coach’s religion on his players,” that report states.
“The University of Colorado must take action to protect its student athletes and to ensure that Sanders understands that he has been hired as a football coach and not a pastor,” the FFRF Karens said in the letter. “We request that Sanders be educated as to his constitutional duties under the Establishment Clause. He may not promote religion in his capacity as head coach.” The FFRF also requested a response from the university in writing.
Related: Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Football Coach Who Prayed With His Players After Games
Fox News reports that the University of Colorado replied to the FFRF in a letter about a week later, stating that Sanders was “very receptive to this training and came away from it with a better understanding of the University of Colorado’s policies and the requirements of the Establishment Clause.”
Another letter arrived at the FFRF office, this one from First Liberty Institute, which has rushed to Sanders’ defense. First Liberty Institute is the law firm that successfully litigated Kennedy v. Bremerton before the Supreme Court.
“We write to correct the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) misstatements regarding the requirements imposed by the First Amendment on public school employees’ religious expression,” the letter read. “The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that public school employees may engage in religious expression and exercise; therefore, public universities like CU may not target Coach Sanders (or other members of the football staff) for exercising constitutional rights on campus.”
Sanders credits his Christian faith with helping him get through various struggles. He spoke about how God helped him recover from a difficult surgery.
“I can’t walk on my own and people have to help me get in and out of everything, and I say, ‘Lord, I thank you,’” Sanders said. “You say, ‘Prime, how can you say Lord I thank you and it’s hard for you to help yourself?’ Because I’m alive.”
Sanders has also turned heads with his expectations for Colorado football players, stating that he expects his team to be “perfect gentlemen” in appearance and behavior. He also told media outlets before the Super Bowl that he looks for his quarterbacks to come from two-parent families, while he prefers defensive linemen from single-parent households.
It will be interesting to see if the FFRF tries to pursue any further action with Sanders. But with First Liberty Institute on Coach Prime’s side, the militant atheists just might leave this one alone.