Liberty Institute

News alert: Freedom From Religion Foundation has an agenda; journalists might consider that

News alert: Freedom From Religion Foundation has an agenda; journalists might consider that

News alert: The Freedom From Religion Foundation has an agenda.

For those paying attention, that advocacy group's name provides a clear indication of that agenda.

Why am I stating the obvious? Because in reading some recent news reports, journalists seem to treat the Freedom From Religion Foundation as if it's an unbiased expert source on church-and-state legal questions.

Let's consider, for example, the Washington Post's recent story on a high school football coach who baptized a player.

This tweet is from the Post reporter who produced the story. So in other words, the journalist agrees with the Freedom From Religion Foundation that what's happening is "unconstitutional."

Except that the tweet is inaccurate. The coach didn't baptize the player at a public school, according to the Post's own story:

The Newton school district, however, is sticking by Coach Smith’s actions. In a statement, the school said that the baptism happened off school property — outside a dentist’s office, about a block away from the school, Superintendent Virginia Young told The Post. “The District feels this is a private matter of choice for that student. Any additional Newton Municipal School District students that attended the baptism did so as their own voluntary act,” the school’s statement said.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger in Mississippi also notes that the baptism didn't occur at a public school:

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A football coach, prayer and Satanists: Washington state media have a field day

A football coach, prayer and Satanists: Washington state media have a field day

         It has all the makings of a great story: A praying football coach, God, angry school officials and a group of Satanists.

         This latest prayers-on-school-property drama takes place across Puget Sound from Seattle in Bremerton, a city of about 40,000 known for its shipyard and U.S naval base. Since 2008, the assistant varsity football coach at the local high school has prayed at the 50 yard line after each game. In time, this became a tradition.  

         Until the school district decided his actions could lead to a lawsuit. Here’s how the Seattle Times described it:

In a four-page statement Wednesday that appeared to have been written by lawyers, the Bremerton School District said it was placing an assistant football coach on paid administrative leave over a prayer controversy that’s gone nationwide.

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