“I can’t just say, ‘Hey, man, here’s a Bible…'”

This may be the most Clemson thing ever.

Last season, Dabo Swinney, the head football coach at Clemson University, gathered his team on the practice field one day for an important announcement. “Someone is about to turn their life over to Christ,” he said.

DeAndre Hopkins, a star wide receiver, stepped forward. A livestock trough had been placed near the 50-yard line and filled with water. Mr. Hopkins, still wearing his uniform and pads, climbed in. As several dozen teammates and coaches looked on, he was baptized.

A livestock trough?  Was the lake booked?

(h/t)

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104 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

104 responses to ““I can’t just say, ‘Hey, man, here’s a Bible…'”

  1. Normaltown Mike

    How gauche.

    Don’t they know that college football is about making money.

  2. heyberto

    “Oh, George, not the livestock…”

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    I’m glad the debate over dunking, pouring or sprinkling do not come up.

  4. heytogoober

    It is an ag school … is he an animal science major?

  5. cube

    Nothing says separation of church and state like a public university performing baptisms during football practice.

    • Normaltown Mike

      A university didn’t perform a baptism.

      But other than that, you’re spot on old sport.

      • cube

        Nothing says separation of church and state like a public university conducting baptisms during football practice.

        Happy now Gatsby?

        • Normaltown Mike

          You’re persistent, but missing the point.

          A university cannot perform or conduct a baptism. People do. Nothing in the story establishes a state religion. Just because Dabo et al work for the government doesn’t mean they have to worship the government to the exclusion of any other religion.

          • Gravidy

            I think it’s fair to say I’ve read the Constitution in its entirety several times more than most people have, and I’m still waiting for someone, ANYONE, to show me where a Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state exists in the text of the document. It doesn’t, of course, but that doesn’t stop most people from saying it does. The saddest part, however, is the fact that so many people believe it does exist. Literally.

            And here’s an unexpected disclaimer: I’m not a religious person. I’m just someone who can read.

            • There’s nothing in the Constitution about an Air Force, either.

              The Constitution at heart is a contract between the government and the people living in the US, subject to interpretation. It’s not immutable holy writ.

              • Gravidy

                Don’t get me started on the list of things that aren’t in the Constitution. If you want to make the point that 90% of what the federal government spends our money on is literally unconstitutional, you’ll get no argument from me, sir.

                However, I’ll just have to disagree with you on the appropriate level of interpretation. Me? I just read the words. I’m just a country engineer. “Interpretation” is what got us to where we are today. “Interpretation” is what lets the same group of people tell me every imaginable form of expression is covered by the First Amendment, but the Second Amendment doesn’t allow me to own a gun. So I’ll pass on the interpretation, if you don’t mind. I think most people suck at it, quite frankly.

                • Spence

                  By “where we are today”, do you mean the world’s number one superpower and economy with no notable challenger in sight for at least 20 years after the Soviet Union fell? Or did you mean something else?

                  • Gravidy

                    I meant exactly what I typed. If you want to refute any of it, please be my guest.

                  • Cosmic Dawg

                    By “where we are today” I’m going to guess he’s talking less about the period from 1989 to present and more about the period from 2000- present. So no, 12 years is not going to topple the U.S. overnight, but it’s been a pretty lousy 12 years, all things considered.

                    So while you score some cheap points with your snark, regardless of your political bent, if you don’t apprehend the startling erosion of our civil and economic liberties via disdain for the Constitution under W and Obama, then you have not been paying attention.

                    Also, since his point was about the evisceration of the Constitution, your statement suggests you don’t think this fast and loose approach to its interpretation is a problem. So, if federal influence has been waxing since the fall of the Soviet Union as private influence wanes, it follows that you want to give the government much of the credit for our being the world’s number one economy, which is also pretty much the sole reason we can afford to be the #1 superpower.

                    But we’ve prospered in spite of the federal government, not because of it. Let me think of a few things our brilliant federal government has done to improve our lives over the last 25 years that have strengthened our economy and improved the lives of the average citizen. Hmm. Where. To. Begin.

                    Bailing out Wall Street bankers and other blatant acts of crony capitalism (cash for clunkers, General Motors, etc), wars and nation-building, spying on its citizens, customizing FDA and EPA regulations for big pharma and big agriculture to prohibit new entrants or drive smaller businesses out of power, continued / more / bigger subsidies for everything from sugar to ethanol to solar power companies in politically influential districts, targeting political enemies for scrutiny by the I.R.S., defrauding the public by refusing to fix or abandon a coerced so-called retirement account that despite games with math is bankrupt (social security), all the while financing this waste and corruption with trillions upon trillions of borrowed money.

                    Yeah, it’s been a terrific 25 years because we finally started really ignoring the Constitution in earnest. That quaint, antiquated document so revered by all those tin foil hat wearing cranks has nothing to say to the sophisticated modern mind. Except that almost all of the above problems are fixed by a strict interpretation of the Constitution, save perhaps the wars and deficit spending.

                    • Gravidy

                      I appreciate you doing all of that heavy lifting to help clarify what I meant by “where we are today”. I obviously wasn’t in the mood to do it myself. :-)

                      You have a very valid point about the relatively recent acceleration of the erosion of our rights. Honestly, though, the “interpretation” that I so despise has been going on for a lot longer than that. Politicians and judges have been inventing fake Constitutional underpinnings for their desired goals for many, many decades. Truthfully, judges do it now much more than politicians. Politicians have figured out they don’t need to bother with it any more.

                    • Dog in Fla

                      Not Somalia and, except for long stretches of I-95 in South Carolina, drivable interstates?

                    • Gravity,
                      “Politicians and judges have been inventing fake Constitutional underpinnings for their desired goals for many, many decades. ”

                      More like, since the beginning of the Republic. Jefferson called Marshall’s rulings with constitutional underpinnings “Twistifications” ;)

                    • Gravidy

                      Twisty: I did not know that. Obviously, I should read your blog more often. :-)

                    • StuDawg

                      Well said

                    • DawgFaithful

                      Good Lord. I thought this was a Football blog…. How do you have enough time in the day to get into political debate in the comments section of The Best Georgia Bulldog Football Blog Anywhere? That’s right… TBGBFBA

                    • What I said wasn’t snark, I was stating cold hard facts, something which you seem make up as you go.

                      First, the influence of private companies in the past 12 years has gone straight through the roof after Citizens United. Second, as Gravidy makes clear below, he wasn’t talking about this arbitrary timeframe from 2000 forward. You dance around in various timeframes like you’ve got a Delorian with a flux-capacitor as it suits you. Third, it’s hard for me to find you credible when you say that we’ve done well in spite of the federal government. Yes, there are lots of problems (regardless of political bent), but you can’t ignore that since the 1900s we’ve gone from an isolationist economic nothing to the world’s premier superpower. This happened during the same time that government grew pretty steadily from Teddy to FDR to LBJ, took a brief pause under Reagan, then got going again. If you define it over 12 years, yeah, maybe there’s not enough data. But over 110 years… I think you can at least conclude that government had some role in our success, or at a bare minimum that expanding government doesn’t necessarily cause ruin and the total degradation of our society. And before you flip out and call me a communist, I’m not advocating for more government, just shooting down your utterly baseless and factless assertion that constitutional interpretation has caused increased government to destroy us and the moral fiber of our lives.

                      You also wrongly accuse me and anyone else who thinks that there has to be some interpretation of the Constitution as being anti-Constitution, which also makes me mad. The founders didn’t know what to do with Standard Oil, Microsoft, abortion, gay marriage, and just about everything else that everyone has gotten upset about. Amazingly they created a judicial branch to interpret the laws, which means judges are forced to interpret the Constitution, especially where it’s silent. Even the founder of the BS textuallist movement, Scalia, often makes up shit when it suits him and there’s no clear guidance from the 220+ year-old document.

                  • Cosmic Dawg

                    Spence, if this post reads nastily in places, please forgive me – I am trying to become more civil in these kinds of debates, with varying degrees of success.

                    What I said wasn’t snark, I was stating cold hard facts, something which you seem make up as you go.>

                    Gravidy’s statement was specifically about “where we are today” regarding the effects of dishonest interpretations of the Constitution. Your “facts” were not stated in a vacuum, but meant to convey a point – namely that the denigration of the Constitution had not hurt the country, and you say as much in your follow-up post. So defend it or recant, and you’ll also have to explain where I’m making up facts in my original post…

                    And of course a person can adopt a snarky tone stating “fact” or fiction. Your tone was snarky.

                    First, the influence of private companies in the past 12 years has gone straight through the roof after Citizens United. >

                    Citizens United was decided four years ago, so it couldn’t have changed the last 12 years without borrowing my DeLoreon. And I’m sorry if you think entities on the right are “electioneering” when they exercise free speech but unions, non-profits, Hollywood documentary producers, and left-wing media are simply “reporting” or “educating” when they exercise their own rights.

                    Second, as Gravidy makes clear below, he wasn’t talking about this arbitrary timeframe from 2000 forward. You dance around in various timeframes like you’ve got a Delorian with a flux-capacitor as it suits you.>

                    Gravidy actually agreed with me below that the acceleration over the last 12 years has been astounding. When I picked the last 12 years to focus on, it was because you set the collapse of the USSR ~1989 as a starting point, and about half of that period – the last 12 years – has been a real disaster. Do you feel like we have real “superpower” clout in our economy or influence abroad right now? Me neither

                    Third, it’s hard for me to find you credible when you say that we’ve done well in spite of the federal government.>

                    Why? Isn’t it possible that things would have worked out better without a large federal government?! Do you think it can expand indefinitely with no adverse effect? True, we want for very little, but why is the credit given to the federal government by default? Just because we get services from the federal government, are we getting real value for our money? What ideas from creative, industrious people are we unable to fund because our money is getting sucked into that mess in D.C.? What excellent, innovative private charities, not just here but perhaps abroad, have to suffer because of Mitch McConnell or Harry Reid’s political ambitions? When was the last time you thought, “wow, this government XYZ is really working out splendidly!” ?

                    <Yes, there are lots of problems (regardless of political bent), but you can’t ignore that since the 1900s we’ve gone from an isolationist economic nothing…>

                    “Lots of problems” is a colossal understatement, IMHO. By the way, In 1913 we had twice the GDP of our nearest competitor, China. That’s not an economic “nothing” – that’s #1 with a bullet – and that was when the role of the federal government was still extremely small in comparison to today’s standards. In 2003, China was about 20% behind us. In 1960 we were first in per capita income, in 2013 we were about 9th.

                    <…to the world’s premier superpower. This happened during the same time that government grew pretty steadily from Teddy to FDR to LBJ, took a brief pause under Reagan, then got going again. >

                    FDR, wielding great power over congress and with the SCOTUS and the public on his side, presided over the worst economic decade of the 20th century. This was America’s reward for contempt for the Constitution and FDR’s hubris in trying to control the economy from Washington, which helps to make my point. I would steer clear of that example… (LBJ is another disaster, I wouldn’t pick him for an example either)

                    In any event, I don’t think you realize what a powerful force free markets are, and how much impedance from the government they can overcome. If you want some real proof about what governments do and what markets do, consider the long technological stagnation before the industrial revolution and the boom after it. The chief radical difference between those periods of human history as I see it was the birth of the modern notion of individual liberty – free trade, private property rights, the end of guilds, etc. Economies and people prosper in proportion to the degree to which they value individual liberty – both civil liberty and economic liberty – and the examples of countries that prove this point (both ways) are innumerable.

                    Again, I’m not arguing that the federal government has been exceptionally oppressive during all eras you’re now pointing to – capitalism can flourish even under fairly lousy conditions. But everything has its limits.

                    <…I think you can at least conclude that government had some role in our success, or at a bare minimum that expanding government doesn’t necessarily cause ruin and the total degradation of our society.>

                    I don’t think everything the government does is terrible, and I never said so. But yes, expanding government too far beyond its original mandate to absolutely has consequences, and serious ones. You don’t think rigging this entire system to benefit special interests, or taxing people to the extent that they can’t finance or operate new businesses, or creating a climate of surveillance, or not knowing when and how the rules are to be applied, has a serious effect on the well-being of the economy and also the average person, especially the average poor person who has no power to influence these decisions?

                    What other conclusion can you come to than that broader interpretation of the Constitution has led to an expansion of government?!? Even if you’re for it, that’s what happens! And who said anything about the moral fiber of our lives?

                    You also wrongly accuse me and anyone else who thinks that there has to be some interpretation of the Constitution as being anti-Constitution, >

                    I am frustrated at the use of the word “interpretation”, as if any reading of any document is entirely subjective and every perversion of an author’s intent is acceptable. It is not.

                    Not “broad” but impossible interpretations of the Constitution are used – when they bother to address the issue at all – as justifications for every bad idea from The Patriot Act to Bush’s prescription drug bill to AHCA to Cash for Clunkers to TARP. So if a person thinks these are reasonable “interpretations” of the Constitution, then yes, that person is not only anti-Constitution but also anti-language and intellectually dishonest. If you think these and similar programs are unconstitutional, I have no idea why you posted your original post.

                    I’d rather people just got honest and said “I know this is against any sane reading of the Constitution, but I believe the value of these programs to the country outweighs the rule of law.” At least then we’d be shooting straight about what we’re doing.>

                    which also makes me mad. The founders didn’t know what to do with Standard Oil, Microsoft, abortion, gay marriage, and just about everything else that everyone has gotten upset about. >

                    Yes, they did, they anticipated that there would be both federal over-reach as well as issues they didn’t anticipate, so they specifically left everything not left to the federal government as left to the states.

                    Amazingly they created a judicial branch to interpret the laws, which means judges are forced to interpret the Constitution, especially where it’s silent.>

                    No, when the Constitution is silent it is not up to judges to decide, it explicitly gives power to the states to decide.

                    Even the founder of the BS textuallist movement, Scalia, often makes up shit when it suits him and there’s no clear guidance from the 220+ year-old document.>

                    Again, the age of the document is irrelevant. Pointing out its age makes clear your contempt for it and is a mirror for the foolish arrogance of the age. Time has no more to do with the validity of a philosophy than the color of the paper it’s written on.

                    If it’s the law we agreed to abide by, let’s obey it or amend it, not end run around it. I will let Scalia defend himself.

                    • Spence

                      Thank you for the thoughtful reply. In nearly every one of your points above, you start with a conclusion then argue it through to its circular starting/ending point, usually with some form of restating my words to suggest that a) I have no respect for the Constitution and b) that things would be a lot better today economically without the current reach of the federal government. The first is insulting, the second is speculation.

                      Go Dawgs.

                    • Spence

                      Btw – your 1913 China point is so wild I can’t let it go. China was an impoverished third-world nation with an agrarian economy in 1913. Shit, when I grew up in the 80s we talked about sending our leftovers to starving kids in China. But China has a huge population and as everyone knows its communist government has poured everything in its power into industrializing in the last 30 years. To claim that the decrease in relative GDP between us over the last 100 years is a result of our federal spending/government is without any rational basis whatsoever and entirely ignores their change in world stature.

                      Perhaps you could compare us to someone like, oh, England? Germany? Let me know how those comparisons turn out please.

                    • Spence

                      To the China point… Our GDP was roughly double theirs in 1913, as it was double England and Germany’s. Today, our GDP is roughly 7 times as big as England and Germany’s.

                      I’m going to enjoy telling my friends about your China point.

                      And, btw, judges ARE tasked with interpreting laws when laws are silent, including the Constitution. They’re not just there to tell juries when to go to lunch.

                • Just out of curiosity, whether it’s in the Constitution or not, what is your opinion of the concept of separation of church and state? Regardless of the origins of the concept, I see a value in it. I would hate for a national religion to be established and mandated, especially if it weren’t my own. ;)

                  • Gravidy

                    As I said in my response to Spence below, my opinion is that it should be as written in the Constitution. I think Congress has no business establishing a national religion or applying religious tests to anyone who aspires to participate in the federal government in any way. I also think they should not impede your exercise of your preferred religion in any way. Where I think the SOCAS crowd jumps the shark is when they take those specific Constitutional limits on Congress and start trying to say they mean a county courthouse can’t have a menorah on site. That sort of limitation is plainly (and to me, thankfully) missing from the Constitution.

                    • Gotcha, I understand your viewpoint better now.

                    • Spence

                      So can a judge make a ruling based on religious principles? If he does, can’t he just say “well I’m not establishing an official religion?” Is the First Amendment meaningless, except that Congress literally can’t declare a religion to be the one?

                    • Gravidy

                      Spence:

                      OK, you’ve officially lost me now. I’m not sure where this came from, but I’ll address it. Of course a judge can’t make a ruling based on religious principles. Judges and Justices are supposed to rule based on the law and the Constitution. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been the case. Lately, I’d dare say it hasn’t even USUALLY been the case.

                      As to the second part of your comment, there’s more to the First Amendment than the snippet I quoted about religion, and I’ve already told you what I think that part of the First Amendment means, so I won’t repeat that here.

                • Spence

                  For what it’s worth, there is no mention of God, Christ, Church, or Creator in the Constitution. In fact, the Constitution almost didn’t pass because of it:

                  “A religious test was that in 11 of the 13 states, in their constitutions, in 1787, said you could only hold public office if you were Protestant. What happened after September 1787 in Philadelphia with the signing of the Constitution was that it wouldn’t go into effect until 9 of the 13 states ratified it.

                  Americans have no idea how close the Constitution came to being not ratified. How in these state ratifying conventions, the vote would be 30 to 27, something of that sort. And one of the lightning rod areas of debate was, in fact, about religion, was the omission of any religious purpose from the Constitution. No reference to God, no reference to Christ.

                  Now, in each of these state conventions, for the next year, there was a huge cry that the Constitution be changed to eliminate the no religious test clause. With claims like it’ll allow a Papist, a Mohammedan, an infidel, a Jew to hold public office. The proponents of the Constitution said no. And in fact, each effort in each of the states was turned down, which was read at the time as a clear announcement that government is a secular function and has no religious purpose. And this is how we know that despite the fact that there’s nothing in the Constitution about formally saying separation of church and state, we know what their attitudes were to religion and government.”

                  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/290/transcript

                • Cosmic Dawg

                  More like, since the beginning of the Republic. Jefferson called Marshall’s rulings with constitutional underpinnings “Twistifications”

                  …and this is not news to anyone here, but of course Jefferson himself was not immune to the pressures, re the Louisiana Purchase.

            • Spence

              You should understand that the battle you’re waging has been going on for years, and it’s been fairly well established that Jefferson and many founders wanted a clean separation. However, Article 6, paragraph 3 is a good start for evidence of that intent. For an interesting look at the history of the separation of church and state, and how religious advocates have for years been trying to insert Christian norms into the Constitution, this is a good listen.

              http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/290/godless-america

              • Rhymerdawg

                I agree there was supposed to be a clear separation. But most assume a separation from religion as a whole and that clearly cannot be the case given the wording of the Dec of Indep and the Constitution. The actual clause “separation of church and state” comes in a document written by John Adams to a clergy member, can’t remember what denomination, in an effort to ensure that the Constitution clearly implied a separation between the state and a “national church,” e.g. Anglican Church of England. To take it further than that is really to impose revisionism on the intent of the phrase.

                • The phrase came from Jefferson in 1802. But the battles that were waged over Article 6, Para 3 during the conventions were huge. The Articles of Confederation did contain reference to a creator, and the drafters of the Constitution purposefully avoided inclusion of such language. Further, the religious test clause is striking evidence of their intent. The whole thing almost didn’t pass because of it, and the absence of religion in the document is intentional.

              • Gravidy

                First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank you for offering a thoughtful and applicable response to my comment. I haven’t been getting much of that around here lately.

                Yes, I do understand I’m not the first person in this crusade. I’m also aware of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists and the “religious test” wording in Article Six. The problem with interpreting both is that, at best, they only lead you to what some people think “should have been” – rather than what “is”. What “is” is some pretty simple wording in the First Amendment:

                “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

                For someone like me who takes these things literally, I take that to mean that Congress can’t establish a national religion, nor can it prevent you or me from freely practicing the religion of our choice. My religion of choice, by the way, is “none”.

                I can’t read those words and conclude that they preclude a county courthouse from having a nativity scene or a menorah on site. I just can’t. That is about a dozen leaps too far for me.

                Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’ll never agree with you.

                • Spence

                  I’ve enjoyed debating this with you too. Thanks for your civility.

                  I can appreciate the dozen leaps argument. But my point above about the judge was to say that if the First Amendment means only that Congress is forbidden from declaring a national religion, it’s pretty toothless. The courts have interpreted that rather vague statement to mean that governments (city, state, etc) can’t officially endorse a religion, and this extends to actions by government and representatives who speak on behalf of the government (ie in their official capacity).

                  Invariably, some very close call creeps up, like a nativity scene, and the offended side declares the First Amendment to have been entirely hijacked, and those flames are fanned hard by talk-show hosts and extremists.

                  The truth is, it’s pretty straightforward. Our founders saw great value in not interweaving religion and government. They stood fast on a document that didn’t mention God and expressly made religious tests and the establishment of religion forbidden. The courts followed that lead. I don’t think that’s enough to conclude that our courts are out of control or that there’s no room for judicial interpretation.

                • Cosmic Dawg

                  Do you have an issue with the University receiving federal money and allowing one of its agents to coerce participation in a religious ceremony on school grounds? Do they have to nail a plaque to the wall to be “establishing” a religion, or does any threat of ostracism or exclusion count?

                  I’m a Christian, and I think I have a problem with it, and it’s a Constitutional problem – I think it’s different than Dabo having a casual, consensual conversation with a student about God.

          • It’s a closer call than you’re making it out to be, as the header quote indicates. But as long as Dabo is being up front with recruits the way he is, I’m not bothered by it.

          • cube

            You’re persistent as well, but I’m afraid you’re the one missing the point.

            Dabo (i.e. the University) conducted the baptism, along with whoever actually physically dunked the student in the water and said a prayer.

            • Normaltown Mike

              I’m persistent in believing you are ignorant and would come to understand the words you are using if only you thought about it.

              Dabo is not…a university. Dabo is not…the state. Dabo doing something with a student does not establish a religion.

              For you government worshippers, I understand how threatened you are by non-believers. But you need to come to terms with the fact that some heretics will continue to practice their own religion, even on the sainted and hallowed grounds of a government cathedral such as a university.

              • Spence

                You don’t need to be a dick.

                As a “government worshiper” (your words), I guess I wonder how I’d feel if I was a Jewish kid trying to impress Dabo and his staff to get some playing time who was watching a teammate get dunked in a cattle trough. Perhaps you should at least try empathizing a little with the other side a little and understand this isn’t a black and white argument, and there’s a lot of religious concerns at stake, not just the Christian side.

                It’d also be nice if you didn’t demonize people like me who have some concerns about how the head coach, who clearly represents the football program, of a state university, which is clearly a government entity, uses mandatory practice time, which is clearly a government function, to conduct a religious ceremony. I don’t give a shit where and how you practice your religion, but I do believe our government shouldn’t have an official religion, and that government officials shouldn’t perform religious ceremonies on the clock as part of their official duties. That doesn’t mean I’m threatened by you, Dabo, Bobby Bowden, or Mark Richt (whom I happen to love). And there has to be some leeway sometimes, like prayer in the workplace etc.

                All that’s to say, there’s a time and a place to practice your religion, and despite the fact I’m not the most religious guy, I’ll come to blows with people who infringe on your right to practice your religion as you see fit on your own time. Football practice, however, is not the time to hold a fucking baptism.

                Maybe this might be an easier exercise: what if there was a Muslim coach who had one Muslim kid on the team, and during a mandatory practice he gathered the team around and performed a sacred ritual of Islam with the single Muslim kid while making good Christian kids watch. Would you not at least think he was suggesting Islam is a preferred religion, and would you not entertain the possibility that he may favor kids who are Muslim? Would that be ok with you?

                • Normaltown Mike

                  When I visit Bubba and Zada in December, I say “Happy Hannukah”. They say “Merry Christmas”. It’s not that difficult a process to handle.

                  If a Jewish kid (like Aaron Murray) wants to play for an evangelical Christian (like CMR), I’m sure he can figure out what he is ok with and what he’s not. Participate when he wants, don’t when he doesn’t.

                  If a Christian kid (like Tim Tebow) wants to play for one of Satan’s twinks (Urban Meyer), I’m sure he can figure out what he is ok with and what he’s not. Participate when he wants, don’t when he doesn’t.

                  So long as Dabo doesn’t establish Christianity as the official faith of Clemson and demanding players make an affirmation of faith, then I’m fine with it.

                  I would imagine the reason Dabo did it is that he was glad for the player and wanted to celebrate the moment.

                  • Spence

                    “So long as Dabo doesn’t establish Christianity as the official faith of Clemson and demanding players make an affirmation of faith, then I’m fine with it.” – Dabo could have selected a different time other than a mandatory practice. He could have invited players to his house, a church, or some other cattle trough during down time. He didn’t. He chose to do this during practice. That’s using his position of government granted authority to make a bunch of 18-22 year-old kids watch a Christian ceremony, authorized by the head of a state school’s football program. Maybe he didn’t write a memo declaring Christianity to be the official religion, but that’s a cop out and renders the First Amendment without any teeth.

                    “I would imagine the reason Dabo did it is that he was glad for the player and wanted to celebrate the moment.” I agree. But he could have chose a non-mandatory, off-the-clock time to show his joy, and I’d be fine with that.

                    All that being said, I hope he never holds an actual practice again and turns the Orange and Purple into a tent revival, at least until after we play them.

                  • +10 for “Satan’s twinks”. Gonna have to remember that one.

          • Go Dawgs!

            I’m willing to bet you’d feel differently if Dabo Swinney was initiating players into Islam on Clemson’s practice field instead of Christianity.

        • My name (Reverend Whitewall) is an inside joke among friends, I’m not a Rev., but do consider myself a very strong Christian, and I agree with you. (By the way, not implying anything about your spiritual beliefs). I love how guys like Richt and Dabo live their lives and try to help those underneath them grow spiritually, but there is a value to separation of church and state as well. I think this particular act (the baptism) was over the line.

          I have a higher opinion of Dabo than most here, though. He’s a goofy looking guy on the sidelines sometimes and wears his emotions on his sleeve, but he’s done a good job pushing Clemson past that annual 8-4 team status, and in his personal life, he practices what he preaches. One example, shortly after he was hired, the Clemson administration decided they needed to make some cuts. They were having to pay Tommy’s buyout, revenues were down because the Bowden era had ended so flat, so one of the cuts they were going to make was the team chaplain, it was announced on a Friday morning before a gameday. Dabo immediately went to the higher ups and demanded that they keep him. They told him they just couldn’t justify it in the budget, so he told them to add up the cost of his salary, benefits, etc and deduct from his own salary, and he was fully prepared to do it if it meant keeping the chaplain. Keep in mind Dabo’s first contract was pretty low by coaching standards, the amount would have easily been 10-15% of his salary. He refused to leave the offices until they found a way to keep the chaplain, and lo & behold the administration decided they could afford the chaplain after all (they didn’t want the public embarrassment of looking poor, having to deduct from their coach’s salary that was already among the lowest in the BCS schools). I like a guy who is willing to put his money where his mouth is though.

          I’d rather not see baptisms during official team practices, but I don’t have a problem with anything else I read in the article. Clearly the players know well in advance of arriving on campus what to expect, and they voluntarily pick Clemson anyway (the majority have more than just Clemson offering them scholly’s). And there’s been no evidence that their faith impacts playing time in any way. Obviously if it did, I would change my tune.

  6. Spike

    You might be a redneck if…

  7. USEagle

    Much respect for Dabo

  8. Bulldog Joe

    The pissed-off livestock were not available for comment.

  9. Doggoned

    Sorry, but that’s just weird. Implies that the team (which does represent a state university) is also a Christian team. You can have a Christian coach, you can have Christian players, you could have Christian fans, but you can’t mandate, require or even appear to designate a entire team as a “Christian” team.

  10. David K

    So when a Muslim player wants to stand up at the end of practice and address the team about the virtues of Islam or perhaps perform some sort of religious ceremony for the team, I’m sure Dabo is cool with that as well.

    • If the player came to Dabo and said “Coach, I feel like a lot of my teammates have a lot of misconceptions about what I believe and why I believe it. I’d like to have an opportunity to address the team and clear things up”, I’d be willing to bet money that Dabo would gladly allow him to. I live in Greenville, SC, so I’m fairly immersed in Clemson whether I want to be or not, and by all accounts he is one of the most genuine and considerate people you’ll ever meet, very much like Richt. I randomly ended up standing next to Dabo at the baggage claim a few years back at our airport here and we had a very nice, friendly chat for several minutes, it was like talking to any other random stranger that might have been standing there, he doesn’t put himself on any type of pedestel.

      By the way, I also think Richt would agree to the same request I outlined above.

      • If that same hypothetical player wanted to convert another player to Islam in a ceremony would Dabo allow that?

        • Fair question, and one I’d be talking out my arse if I tried answer. :)

          • Fair enough Reverend. I respect your honesty. I’m not too upset about it, but I know that’s tricky ground for Dabo.

            • Yep, and like I said in my long comment above, I don’t like that it was conducted during an official team event either. I do think that was a step too far. If they were doing it at a later time and he just announced to the team “Hey guys, Hopkins has decided to dedicate his life to Christ and wants to be baptized. We’ll be doing it Sunday at 10am at ABC Church, if any of you would like to attend”, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But you’re right, that puts him on some tricky ground, if anybody else wanted to perform a similar ceremony for another religion.

              • Gravidy

                I gotta say, Rev, I agree with Twisty. You and I probably don’t agree on everything, but I’ve read all of your comments on this page and I like your style. You make thoughtful points, and you don’t filibuster or try to change the subject when someone asks you a tough question. You’re setting a fine example, sir.

  11. uglydawg

    It’s a lot easier to make fun of those who walk the talk than it is to be one of them. DS and CMR and Tim Tebow and other high profile Christian men know they will be abused and made fun of but they consider it small price to pay….in fact, I believe they would tell you it’s an honor…to be “put down” and ridiculed for their faith. I agree with what Rev. Whitehall said to a point. If could have waited until church..but we don’t know the details. The concern I see (about religion being practiced in public institutions ) is..whose religion? I don’t want my kids or grandkids being prostelyzed by a Muslim, for instance)
    Even so, I admire those who aren’t ashamed of their faith…and am disappointed in those that belittle good men for having it.

    • bulldogbry

      Wait, who is ridiculing Dabo for his faith? For that matter, who ridiculed Tebow for his faith? I’m a lifelong Christian but I’m tired of the notion that we are constantly under attack.

      • cube

        I take it that you don’t watch Fox News then :)

      • uglydawg

        I disagree, bulldogbry. I see attacks on prominent Christians all the time. Tim Tebow has been attacked a lot. He’s been attacked on this very website more than once. Elizabeth Hassleback was hasseled off of “the view”, largely for her Christian “view”. Read the remarks above this and tell me none of them are disrespectfull or snide. CMR has been called, sarcastically, a “Missionary” on this very website…the insination being that he’s too religious to be an effective coach. These people are constantly running into the devil (and yeah, I believe there is a devil..Satan) because they are walking a path perpendicular to him. If we’re not running into criticism and even persecution, then we must not be very distinguishable from the world…and that’s totally accepted by the world. But these men we’re discussing here are different. They have the balls to stand up for their Lord! But I agree…we aren’t under attact all the time and what attacks we endure are almost laughable when you read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and such. But if you haven’t noticed, in particular, Tim Tebow being ridiculed, you must be sleepwalking.
        I know Blutarsky doesn’t particuarly want this turning into a theological free for all, but I didn’t open this can…and I do have a dog in this fight.

      • StuDawg

        Peek your head out from under your rock once in a while.

  12. FranklinTNDawg

    I personally have no problem with the baptism (and I say that as a sort of non-religious person who has issues with organized religion, but believes in the higher power out there – interpret all that as you please). The problem with it is, that it opens up a major “risk” for any university. All it takes is one person to feel uncomfortable with it and file a complaint. Maybe a guy makes a complaint that he is not getting playing time because he didn’t participate in the religious activities of the team. Whether it’s a valid complaint or not, next thing you know the team is in the middle of a PR nightmare and coaches start getting fired. Didn’t something like this happen with UGA cheerleading coach s a few years back?

  13. Derek

    The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion. The purpose of the clause is to protect the people from a religious tyranny and to protect the churches from government intrusion.

    This is why prayer in school went by the wayside 50 years ago. Separation of church and state is not a perfect description of the establishment clause, but its close. It certainly doesn’t miss by a lot.

    If you want to know whether you should be offended by a Government’s action as it pertains to religion, substitute Satanism with Christianity.

    If Dabo had set aside time for someone to perform a Satanic ritual, would you object? If the answer is yes, you probably ought to object to those ceremonies occurring in the name of your religion too.

    • uglydawg

      If Dabo had of done that he’d not be living in the State of SC right now.
      Almost every single teacher I had at Georgia State berated The Bible in general and Christianity in particular. Not any other religion…just Judaism and Christianity. Why? Probably because in the 70s there were only Christian and Jewish kids in the classroom in Atlanta. It was determined to offend and destroy. Today’s college kids tell me that nothing has changed in that respect…only ALL religion and faith is ridiculed as superstitiion and lore.
      Where’s the call for “seperation of church and state” in these instances?
      It seems to be a knife that only cuts one way.
      Nobody was harmed..in fact lives will be changed for the better by the action that took place on that field.
      If you want to worry about something, there’s a lot a lot worse happening than a baptism on a football field.

      • Derek

        So a law that said you can’t say anything bad about religion wouldn’t violate the establish clause how? No one should question dabo’s capacity to say good things about his own religion. I think the line gets crossed when you start engaging in ceremony with others for religious purposes. It is clear that dabo was encouraging Christain conversion by giving a forum to the player to adopt the preferred religion.

        In addition, Christ was tempted by the devil if you believe the bible and as far as know he was able to withstand the assault. The point being don’t whine about being tested. It’s a good process. You don’t have to be sheltered from every contrary opinion. I get sick and tired of people who are only comfortable hearing what they believe as if they are entitled to an info cocoon that no one else is. Do you feel for the atheist a public event during the benediction? I’m sure you say suck it up don’t you? I’d say the same thing about your college curriculum.

        • uglydawg

          There’s no purpose in our arguing and especially to the point of misrepresenting what the other has said…in order to score some silly
          point. I’ll try to respect your point..which I see but I think you’re dodging something.
          Yes there should be limits…and I know where Christians stand with most academia…but that doesn’t change the hypocracy or make it OK.

          I don’t see how actively damning a particular religion on campus is any less a problem than promoting that religion on campus.

          We should be celebrating that some people take Jesus seriously when he tells them that when the world hates them to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad”! I wish I had their dedication. Maybe someday I will.

          I don’t mind the persecution. In fact, I wish the Government would ban people from going to church, because they would pack the pews in spite.
          The church flourishes under persecution.

          Amazing is the blatant hypocricsy of the radical seperation interpretation. It’s baloney and it’s not about the Constitution.

          It’s about bigotry…..Religous bigotry.

          • Derek

            Again, I have no problem with any state official promoting his own religious views. This would include those opinions that derogate other religious or even all religions. State actors should and do have freedom of speech. I also support students groups of all sorts doing whatever they would like (within reason) to promote their own religious views.

            While there is a growing bigotry against religion, it is nothing compared to the official bigotry in the name of religion that has occurred through the centuries. Our constitution seeks to protect all from all forms of intolerance and bigotry and if you look at it fairly it does a pretty good job even if the citizenry do a poor job of understanding it.

            In Middle Eastern countries they would stone professors who spoke about Islam the way your GSU professors speak about Jesus. I know you think the Saudis got this question right. The founders of the country had a different view.

          • Spence

            I wish you could see the difference between not allowing a football coach to perform a sacred religious ceremony during a mandatory practice (as opposed to on his and his players’ own time) and “actively damming a particular religion on campus.” Until you can make that distinction there’s no sense in continuing this debate with you.

            You’re not helping your cause, fwiw. Lots of non-Christians think extreme political Christians conflate the idea that they can’t do anything they want with religious persecution. You’re argument is right in line with that.

      • BR Dawg

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Being that religions lack this evidence it opens them up for questioning. Institutions of higher learning should teach people critical thinking. Why should religion be off limits? Suck it up. I’m not religious but I have to deal with people’s beliefs all the time.

      • cube

        “Nobody was harmed…in fact lives will be changed for the better by the action that took place on that field”

        That’s an awfully, awfully big assumption about the total effect of religious beliefs on someone’s life, let alone the lives of multiple people.

    • simpl_matter

      Good comparison, Derek. He’s a university employee, on university grounds, and he is “at work” performing a religious ceremony and advocating its benefit in front of students. Not a good idea.

  14. SCDawg

    Senator, you’re sure blowing the cautionary “no politics, no religion” all to hell lately. :)

  15. Debby Balcer

    They are being sued by the freedom from religion group. Not sure if it is over this. I live in Greenville too. It was reported on WYFF4.

  16. godawg

    Contrarily look what happened to Kelly when he expressed his belief that Dabo et al, should have gone for it on 4th and 3 in the first half Saturday. He got kicked off the team for expressing those beliefs. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? Sounds like a pretty petty little Draconian state he running over there… :-)

  17. W Cobb Dawg

    I, for one, am for the separation of church and livestock.

  18. AusDawg85

    FOOTBALL is a religion by Gawd!!