MOORESVILLE, N.C., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- After the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation got involved, a North Carolina high school football coach has been ordered to stop baptizing his players.
In addition to the ban on baptisms, Mooresville High School coach Hal Capps has also been told he can no longer lead his players in prayer.
“It is a violation of the Constitution for the Mooresville High School football coach to organize, lead, or participate in prayers or other religious proselytizing before, during, or after games and practices,” wrote Freedom from Religion staff attorney Patrick Elliott in a letter to the school district. “It is well settled that public schools, and by extension public school officials, may not advance or promote religion.”
Superintendent Mark Edwards informed Capps that he was violating the constitutional separation of church and state. “He said he understood,” Edwards told the Observer. “He’s a very proud Christian.”
Despite the decision, some community members still support what Capps was doing.
“I think he's doing what he thinks is right,” Glenn Sander said. “I don't think he's forcing anybody; it's all their decision,” Maribeth Stewart said. “The more people who hear about Jesus the better. I think it's important to be able express ourselves, our beliefs.”
Freedom from Religion got involved after being contacted by a Mooresville High School student “who objects to religious endorsements” from Capps.
[Charlotte Observer] [WSOC]