LaFayette, GA – Atheist group, Freedom From Religion Foundation, claims Georgia high schools are violating the First Amendment by allowing churches to feed football players before games. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Walker County Schools in LaFayette, Georgia demanding an investigation into football coach Mark Mariakis and the practice of feeding football players by local church groups, according to The Blaze. Mark Mariakis coaches football at Ridgeland High School.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation also claims Ridgeland football coach Mark Mariakis prayed with his football players and used Bible verses on team shirts and in motivational speeches and engaged in activities hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Andrew Seidel stated in the complaint letter sent to the Walker County Schools that transporting football teams to a church for a meal is unconstitutional. The atheist group attorney also claimed the Ridgeland high school football program is in an “egregious” violation of the Establishment Clause and demanded the football team attending church hosted meals before games in LaFayette end immediately.
“It would be interesting to see what part of the Constitution we violated by simply offering a meal to fellow Americans. These are kids from our area that we do love and we do care about. We as Christians don’t force our religion on anyone,” Chattanooga Valley Baptist Church Youth Director Richie White told Fox News.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation allegedly received a complaint from an anonymous local resident about the football players being given food from a church group on game days. The atheist group also claims ministers “typically” makes remarks to the Walker County football players which focus upon Christianity during the pre-game meals as well. Walker County school administrators are reportedly reviewing the complaint letter from the atheist group and investigating the claims raised.