(ConservativeHub.com) – The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) in a recent letter to Christopher Roberts, the Auburn University President, alleged that a major baptism event on campus, which resulted in the baptisms of over 200 students, was in violation of the Establishment Clause in the Constitution. One of the baptisms in question was assisted by the university’s head football coach, Hugh Freeze.
In the letter, the organization claimed that the university has repeatedly violated the Constitution which has led to the creation of a “coercive environment” where students who don’t follow the Christian doctrine are being excluded. They further claimed that coaches are pushing their Christian beliefs and views onto other players.
Center for Academic Freedom with Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel and director Tyson Langhofer criticized the letter for being a “twisted interpretation of the First Amendment.” He argued that the interpretation given by the FFRF could potentially harm both the coaches’ and students’ right to follow their faith.
He said public universities are places that protect the freedom of religion and speech while also acting as a “marketplace of ideas.”
In the letter, the FFRF said that Auburn University was a public university and thus, it was unconstitutional for those working in it to be promoting or engaging with any events worshiping a certain religion. They added that Auburn University coaches should not participate along with students in religious activities.
Langhofer pushed back against the letter, claiming that what was unconstitutional was the letter, as the Supreme Court recently affirmed that coaches and students could in a private capacity take part in religious activities while on campus.
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