Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wanna Get Baptized After Practice?

Jesus fumbles?This is just bizarre. From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

The head football coach at Breckinridge County [Kentucky] High School took about 20 players on a school bus late last month to his church, where nearly half of them were baptized, school officials say.

I belong to a tradition that considers baptism a sacrament to be performed in the context of a faith community that makes a long-term commitment to nurture the person being baptized. So the idea of eight or nine football players being baptized en masse at their coach's urging seems weird to me.

Oh, and the school superintendent was in the congregation:

But Superintendent Janet Meeks, who is a member of the church and witnessed the baptisms, said she thinks the trip was proper because attendance was not required, and another coach paid for the gas.

Meeks said parents weren’t given permission slips to sign but knew the event would include a church service, if not specifically a baptism. She said eight or nine players came forward and were baptized.

I'm not gonna go all ACLU on the Breckinridge County School District, but this sort of activity falls outside the bounds of what I would consider acceptable coach-player, school-student relations. But who am I to judge?

(Actually, to answer that last question, I am the author of Kneeling in the End Zone: Spiritual Lessons From the World of Sports, coming next month from Pilgrim Press and available from Amazon, Cokesbury, and other bookstores.)


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