It apparently doesn’t matter that a Texas student athlete who had claimed he and his team were disqualified from a race over a religious gesture recanted his allegations and admitted that he made it all up, as it appears that Religious Right groups intend to pursue the story anyway.
The debunked accusation, promoted by Fox News and even Gov. Rick Perry, was featured as the top story on Liberty Counsel’s radio show Faith & Freedom even after the student and his father both acknowledged that the disqualification had nothing to do with religious expression.
Today, Truth In Action Ministries today is promoting the fabricated case as well, with Newcombe citing the fictitious account to warn of the imminent threats to the freedoms of religion and speech.
Virtually every week there is some outrageous story of an alleged violation of the separation of church and state. They’re becoming so frequent that they are often met with a collective yawn.
The crazy thing about all this is how removed this is from the clear intent of the founders themselves—as seen in their documents, in their actions, in their words, etc.
One recent incident that blows me away is that involving a high school junior sprinter in a competition in Texas. His team, the Columbus High School Mighty Cardinals, had a chance to compete at the state level, until he did something egregious.
What did he do? What was his crime? After a successful run, as one of four runners (100 meters each in a relay), he pointed his finger to the sky—in a gesture of thanksgiving to God.
This one gesture now disqualifies his team because it was supposedly an “excessive celebration”—which is not allowed.
His father was dumbfounded, according to Alexander Marlow of Breitbart News (May 3, 2103): “It was a reaction,” said the father, “You’re brought up your whole life that God gives you good things, you’re blessed.”
It dawned on me that if that young man had given an obscene gesture to his team’s opponents, and he were likewise punished, the ACLU would have been at that young man’s defense faster than he had run the 100-meters.
Let me ask a question in this case: Where’s the church? Where’s the state?
Why is it that any sort of Christian expression in the public arena is not allowed, but virtually every other expression is allowed?