The Uninspired Manifesto
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Intimidation, Anti-semitism... High School Football Sucks
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia this week heard arguments in a case involving a public school football coach who wants to pray with his team.
Marcus Borden of East Brunswick, N.J., claims he just wants to show respect for his players by going down on one knee and bowing his head while they pray. But court documents show that Borden has a long history of promoting Christian religious worship among students, cheerleaders and others. For many years, he either personally led prayer before games or brought in a minister to lead them.
This case has many disturbing features. Cheerleaders who complained about the prayers were tarred as “Jewish cheerleaders” and exposed to anti-Semitism. Borden, when told to stop praying with the players, arranged for them to take a vote on having prayer. Everyone knew where the coach stood, so of course the vote was in favor. One boy later told his mother that he opposed the prayers but feared being kept out of the game if he voted no.
Its sad this case had to go all the way to court in the first place, when the school should have taken care of the problem from the beginning.