Tigers unite as FFRF seeks to divide

Tigers unite as FFRF seeks to divide

Tigers unite as FFRF seeks to divide

Attorneys and politicians are standing up for the Unite Auburn event held at the university earlier this month.

The event drew hundreds, if not thousands of students, some of whom went on to be baptized by prominent Auburn figures in a lake on campus.

"It lets people know that college students are unapologetic about their worship and seeking Christ and that we're rising up to take a stand for the Kingdom of God and to see that … it's time to be about our Father's business," one student told Fox News about the services.

But the fact that the school's football coach, Hugh Freeze, took part in the event did not sit well with the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF).

"Auburn University is a public university, not a religious one," FFRF wrote to the school. "It is inappropriate and unconstitutional for university employees to use their university position to organize, promote, or participate in a religious worship event."

In response, Governor Kay Ivey (R-Alabama) said pretty much everything but "War Eagle" to the FFRF.

"The facts described in your letters do not violate anyone's religious liberty," said Ivey, a graduate of Auburn University. "The First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion just as much as it prohibits government establishment of religion."

In reference to the FFRF's complaint, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama), a former Auburn football coach, posted on X that he is "happy to be criticized for being 'overly prayerful.'"

Meanwhile, First Liberty Institute's Jeremy Dys, the attorney for Coach Freeze, told Fox News Channel on Monday that Freeze and the others involved did nothing wrong.

Dys, Jeremy (First Liberty Institute) Dys

"This is an organization that is upset that Christian people are doing Christian things at a Christian-organized event," Dys stated. "The Founding Fathers had no problem with this kind of thing, and the Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed that this is perfectly acceptable, that coaches like Coach Freeze and all the other coaches involved here … do not have to shed their constitutional rights when they walk through the schoolhouse gates. They can actually be people of faith.

Dys went on to say that "unless and until this organization comes to us with something resembling proof that this has been coercive or forcing people to bow down in a way that they do not want to do so, then they need to go back and read the First Amendment," which guarantees the free exercise of religion.

"To borrow from Justice Gorsuch, this organization, in the name of religious liberty, is trying to use religious liberty to censor religious liberty," Dys added. "We're not going to stand for that kind of thing any longer in this country."