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Atheist Group: University of Mississippi Coach's Tweets About God, Faith are 'Unconstitutional'

( [email protected] ) Apr 12, 2017 09:35 AM EDT
An atheist group has urged the University of Mississippi to ban its head football coach, Hugh Freeze, from using his Twitter account, arguing that his tweets about his Christian faith are unconstitutional.
University of Mississippi head football coach, Hugh Freeze. Getty Images

An atheist group has urged the University of Mississippi to ban its head football coach, Hugh Freeze, from using his Twitter account, arguing that his tweets about his Christian faith are unconstitutional.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation - a group well known for its staunch opposition to Christianity, recently sent a letter to the University of Mississippi alleging that Freeze's Twitter page, which is filled with Bible verses and spiritual encouragements, "creates the appearance that the University endorses Freeze's tweets and the religious promotion therein."

Freeze's promotion of Christianity, the group argues, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution for a public entity to promote religion.

Thus, FFRF urges the University of Mississippi "take immediate action" to make sure Freeze is made aware that he "cannot promote religion" while acting as a University employee.

On its website, FFRF points out two particularly "offensive" tweets published on Freeze's Twitter handle: "Lead us by your truth and teach us 2day, for you are the God who saves us! All day long I put my hope in you. Ps 25:5 - be a blessing 2day" and "Here's the best news ever, your eternal standing with God doesn't depend on the your goodness, but on God's unshakable faithfulness".

The atheist group also charges that the University of Mississippi should be "particularly sensitive to respecting the rights and conscience of the nonreligious and religious minorities, given that the university serves the least religious population in the country: 1-in-3 college-aged Americans (18-29) are not religious and about 43 percent are non-Christian."

According to Christian Post, the First Liberty Institute law firm, the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans, responded to the letter advising Ole Miss to "ignore" it.

The First Amendment protects the right of Americans like Coach Freeze to engage in religious expression on their personal Twitter accounts," said Jeremy Dys, senior counsel to the law firm.

"And our universities ought be places where tolerance, inclusivity, and diversity are promoted."

On its website, FFRF describes itself as a "nationwide nonprofit organization that works to protect the constitutional separation of church and state. It represents more than 27,000 nonreligious members across the country."

Tags : University of Mississippi, Hugh Freeze, Freedom From Religion Foundation, FFRF, atheist, Christian, Twitter, tweet