Todd Starnes

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is about to learn a very important lesson -- folks around Gainesville, Georgia don’t take kindly to out-of-town atheists trying to bully their children.

More than 200 people turned out in defiance of the self-described atheist group early Thursday morning for an impromptu prayer rally in the middle of the Chestatee High School football field.

The previous day, the atheists (acting on behalf of a single, unnamed citizen) sent a letter to school officials demanding that the football coaching staff stop participating in team prayers and that they remove all biblical references and religious messages from team documents.

To best of anyone’s knowledge around Gainesville, no one associated with the football team has a problem with the voluntary prayers. The atheists says that’s beside the point citing the Establishment Clause.

The atheists apparently went undercover to photograph coaches engaged in what they considered to be unseemly and unconstitutional behavior with the teenage football players.

“We have received reports that CHS coaches have joined players in prayer while standing in a circle, hands interlocked,” the atheists breathlessly reported in their letter to the Hall County School District.

Hands interlocked? I can only imagine that atheists across the fruited plain shuddered at such damning evidence.

The atheists also got upset because the team workout schedule included the words “Fortitude 2014, Gal. 6:9” and the cheerleaders wrote a Bible verse on a large banner: “Iron Sharpens Iron, Proverbs 21:17.”

Cleanse the school of religion or prepare to be sued, the atheists warned.

As we say in the Deep South, local residents are preparing to back up and bring it.

“If the atheist group doesn’t like the prayer, tell them to stick their fingers in their ears,” said one caller to radio station WDUN.

Parents of football players also sounded off – lighting up the telephone lines at the popular news radio station.

“I am a mom of two of the football players on the CHS football team and I consider it an honor and a privilege to have my boys on a team that is led by men that believe and trust in God,” one caller said. “I think it's a shame for one person to try and take that away from them.”


Todd Starnes

Todd Starnes is the host of Fox News & Commentary – heard daily on 250+ radio stations. He’s also the author of “Dispatches From Bitter America.” To check out all of his work you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter @toddstarnes. In his spare time, Todd is active in his church, plays golf, follows SEC football, and eats barbecue. He lives in New York City.