50-yard-line mass baptism prompts complaint in Alabama town

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NOTASULGA, Ala. (WIAT) — The baptism of high school football players on the 50-yard line in their football stadium has drawn complaints from a group that pushes for separation of church and state.

After more than a dozen Reeltown High school players were baptized on the field in November, the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation demanded an investigation.

“Given that this religious ritual took place on school property with school staff members present, reasonable TCS students will perceive it was endorsed by the school,” a letter the FFRF wrote to the Tallapoosa County School System in December. “Allowing outside adults to perform religious rituals specific to one religion, in this case Christianity, at a team event, ostracizes those students and families who identify as nonreligious or practice a minority religion.”

Tallapoosa County Schools Superintendent Joe Windle told AL.com that he found no wrongdoing. He says the baptism was not conducted by the school.

This is not the first time the group has addressed an Alabama organization for violating the separation of church and state. Back in November, the FFRF sent a letter to the Walker County Sheriff’s Office asking them to stop promoting religious beliefs on their social media pages. A spokesman for the department said they would not stop.


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