Infuriated Atheist Group Takes Action over NCAA Coach’s Statement on Nonbelievers

Infuriated Atheist Group Takes Action over NCAA Coach’s Statement on Nonbelievers

In a brief interview with ESPN immediately following the win that put the South Carolina women’s basketball team into the Final Four on Easter Sunday, head coach Dawn Staley gave the credit to God.

And that was enough to make sure that the always-tolerant free-speech loving folks over at the Freedom from Religion Foundation gave birth to several live kittens.

“God is really funny,” Staley said. “He’s really funny. The devastating loss that we had last year, He put us back here with a totally different team.

“If you don’t believe in God, something is wrong with you,” she added. “Seriously! I’m a believer. I’m a believer because He makes things come true.

“When you’re at your worst, He’s at his best. Look at him!”

That’s probably not the way I would have phrased it, but Staley had just won a very important game. I’m sure the adrenaline was pumping, so I’m inclined to give her a little grace.

The folks at FFRF, having not received grace themselves, aren’t really in much of a position to dole any out.

In addition to tying themselves up in knots over those brief comments, FFRF apparently doesn’t much care for the way Staley does … well, anything.

“Staley has also continued her practice of preparing ‘gameday devotional’ for players and sharing these chosen bible verses on her social media pages as ‘Head Coach of South Carolina Women’s Basketball,'” the group wrote in a statement on its website. “This is inappropriate for a number of reasons, including the fact that her X account is directly linked to the South Carolina Women’s Basketball account.

“She continues to describe each game as ‘Jesus versus’ whoever the team’s opponent is, creating a Christian environment within the basketball program that excludes non-Christian and nonreligious players,” the organization claimed.

If you want to read the entire statement from FFRF — I’m not sure why you would, but hey, you do you — you can do so here. (You might be only the third person to do so, after me and my assignment editor, but that’s probably more clicks than the FFRF generally gets on its “news” page).

“FFRF has written to the university a number of times previously about Staley’s ostentatious religiosity, but she has only ramped it up,” the statement stated in what was probably a keen but unintentional insight into why its members are so hyped up about this issue.

“The University of South Carolina must take action to protect its student athletes and to ensure that Staley understands that she has been hired as a basketball coach and not as a pastor, FFRF insists,” it wrote. (Seriously — the statement actually says “insists.”)

Well, that oughta teach USC. I doubt they’ll ever recover.

Maybe it’s just me, but I suspect the school and its athletic program might take such a complaint more seriously if it were coming from a student-athlete and not a group of largely irrelevant anti-Christian fanatics in Wisconsin who, as Staley said, have something “wrong” with them.

Because, yes, Staley’s statement was perhaps inartfully phrased, but it was nonetheless accurate. Those who don’t believe in God — more specifically, in His Son, Jesus Christ — have something wrong with them.

Paul put it this way: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3)

Unbelievers have something wrong with them — it’s called being dead. Not physically dead, obviously, but spiritually dead, separated from God the Creator who made us and He wants a relationship with us. Unbelievers are dead; that’s the bad news.

The good news is that no one has to stay that way. Paul, in the very next verse, explains why.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-7)

That saving grace is available to anyone who will believe — for Dawn Staley, for you, for me … even for the good folks at FFRF.

They don’t like that truth, of course, which is one reason why they push back against it so “insistently,” if you’ll pardon my use of the word.

But truth is truth, whether we like it or not. There are only two genders. Guns don’t kill people. Social media is bad for you. Abortion is murder.

And if you don’t believe in God, something is wrong with you.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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