And speaking of religion in public spaces: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has complained about preaching by evangelists at football camps at public schools in Hackett and Waldron.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation regularly writes government agencies that endorse religion to shame them out of unconstitutional practices. I suspect they find only a small percentage of the observances in Arkansas.
Here’s the full rundown on the latest. In short:
On June 5, evangelist Tyson Simon, an area representative for the Western Arkansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes, subjected a number of teams to Christian evangelization at a football camp held at Hackett High School. “Hackett was the destination, Simon was the vehicle, and God was definitely the Focus, the message, and the reason,” states a local paper. Clarksville, Cedarville, Waldron, Hackett and Mansfield high schools attended the camp, as well as several schools from Oklahoma.
On June 13, evangelist Konnor McKay proselytized players from various teams at a camp at the Waldron High School. McKay is the lead evangelist at Konnor McKay Ministries and lead pastor at Waldron Pentecostal Church of God. “McKay followed up on an invite from new Waldron Head Coach Jonathan Bates to speak to the many teams that descended upon Bulldog Stadium to inspire and impact the lives of the youthful footballers, coaches, and attendees,” states the local paper. In a Facebook post, McKay stated that he “had the honor of sharing the word of God with several high school football teams … including Mansfield, Danville, Lavaca, Hackett, and Waldron.”
The camps were highly publicized on the schools’ social media, and team members were encouraged — or, in some cases, required — to attend.
No word on the school district response. I’ll try to check in later today.
When will they ever learn that public schools aren’t supposed to promote religion?
Here’s the letter sent to Waldron Superintendent Gary Wayman. It apparently also sent a letter to Danville schools, another host of a football camp revival session, according to this post on Patheos.
Evangelist McKay, for one, is unapologetic. He reports on his Facebook page that many have rallied to his cause, including, wait for it, Sen. Jason Rapert.
I’m not sure how many are informed or have read about the big debate on my Facebook page, regarding me sharing an encourage spiritual word with several football teams. The individual has removed each of his negative comments from the post. I’d like to thank each one of you for your support, from Travis Plummer, to sharing what the law truly states, to state senator Jason Rapert, for stepping in and just plainly putting it how it is, and then to each one who encouraged, and uplifted my spirit with positive comments. This is a big win for Christians, the community of Waldron, and the state of Arkansas! and believe it or not.. a REALLY GOOD THING is preparing to come out of this situation. With that being said, STAND for what’s right, BELIEVE in each-other, last but not least put GOD first! The rest will take care of it’s self. I’m thankful for my Facebook friends who stand for what God has called us to stand for!