The Forsyth County News in Georgia runs an advice column by Candy A. Westbrook called “Football Mom.” People ask her questions about whether their injured children should get back on the field, if playing offense and defense is too strenuous on their kids, and what they should do if the weight room at school is unsupervised. Nothing too unusual about those columns.
The most recent letter is from a mom whose son attends public school and wants to know what to do about a Christian pastor who spoke to the team. Her son came back “saved,” but not baptized, and whatever happened to church/state separation?!
Westbrook’s response? It’s basically a long condemnation of the mother for even asking such a question because she claims every school should be doing the same thing.
Oh, so they didn’t hold a baptizing at the camp? Well shucks. That’s a shame.
… 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-tabacky 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.
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.
There’s obviously a difference between an inspirational speaker and someone shoving Jesus down everyone’s throat. What would Westbrook say about a Muslim imam invited to speak to players? Or an atheist? She never even considers those options because no one else pulls this shit.
She also acts like the mother is mad that her son found Jesus, which isn’t really the problem. The son can choose the myth of his choice. The controversy is that he was forced to listen to a preacher at a public school camp. That’s illegal. This isn’t complicated.
If Westbrook actually knew what she was talking about instead of talking out of her ass, she would’ve recommended the mother reach out to a church/state separation group that understands the law so they could take action. Instead, she acted like a lack of forced Christianity is why kids “force-guzzle alcohol,” shoot up drugs, or try a “wacky-tabacky cigarette.” Which is what all the cool kids are calling it these days.
Religion isn’t the solution. You know what actually prevents kids from making harmful decisions? Being part of a tight-knit community, whether it’s church, a sports team, drama club, etc. And this football team, by making religion a component of the summer camp, is effectively pushing kids out if they don’t buy into a certain God. They’re making the problem worse.
No one’s saying we should push atheism on the kids, either. But a public school should be neutral on the subject of religion. Inviting a pastor to speak violates the law.
The most sensible thing in the entire column is the disclaimer at the bottom in which the newspaper says, “We are not responsible for results.” Even the paper seems to understand that Westbrook’s advice shouldn’t be trusted.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)