It’s Autumn here in Nebraska. Which means the state’s past time is in full swing. Nebraska Football is a big story here. And they are an even bigger story when they are good and carry the tough, blue collar attitude of their state with them.
Fans love the team. This includes the players and the coaches. They experience something of celebrity status here. There is something romantic about it.
This helps inform us as to how to understand a news story that displaced the normal daily practice reports leading up to an important weekend game in Division 1 Football.
THE ACLU IS NOT DOWN WITH THE GAME PLAN
The local ACLU is not as enamored with one of the Husker coaches. Receivers coach Ron Brown has found himself on the receiving end of several strategic media blitzes aimed to knock him off of his game.
The issue is that Coach Brown is a Christian. He loves Christ. Everybody here knows it. He is a fool for Christ in the media, in person, with his players, in public or wherever he has opportunity to speak. He is one who truly uses his popularity and influence in the state to preach the gospel of Christ.
And once again the ACLU is not down with Ron Brown.
The Nebraska chapter of the ACLU told the press – without notifying Brown himself, the coach asserted – that it would be asking schools to ban Brown and another local speaker because their messages to students focused not on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, but the virtues of Christianity.
“Both men have made it perfectly clear: They intend to convert children to their own religious beliefs while the students are in school away from their parents’ guidance,” ACLU legal director Amy Miller said. “Neither of these men can be safely invited to a public school without the school broadcasting their deliberate intention to violate the religious rights of families.”
To which Brown responds:
“This has happened so many times it’s not funny…Bring it on.”
“I don’t have a secular school speech and a Christian school speech, or a football speech or a church speech,” he said. “It’s all the same to me. I’m not a chameleon. I don’t change colors with the crowd.”
But the coach tells the schools to make his talks optional. He also said he’s within his 1st Amendment rights to cite what he thinks is the authority on why kids shouldn’t use drugs and alcohol.
“Who says lying is wrong?” Brown asked rhetorically. “Who says cheating is wrong? Who says stealing is wrong? Who says doing drugs and alcohol is wrong? There’s a source. There’s a final say. And I believe that is the Lord God….It’s an intimidation issue, and I’m not intimidated,” Brown said. “I won’t be backing down.”
You have got to love Ron Brown. He doesn’t flinch. He just keeps going and preaching Christ.
MAKING THE MOST OF OPPORTUNITIES & NOT BACKING DOWN
The ‘funny’ aspect of this, in light of God’s providence, is that this state is so romantically involved with it’s team. The schools know that the kids will listen to Coach Brown. They will remember what he said about drugs, alcohol, bullying, etc. They hear him.
So from a purely pragmatic standpoint, it works. They assess and accept the necessary ‘safety risk’ (to use the ACLU’s words) in order to accomplish their greater goal. Their pragmatism get’s Brown opportunities to talk to kids. And Ron Brown doesn’t flinch. I love that.
Amy Miller from the ACLU says,
“Instead of giving a presentation on an important subject like drunk driving, though, the speakers end up exhorting the children to become Christians.”
To which coach Brown says,
“I don’t have a secret agenda. These schools know.”
Yes Coach, but you do have an agenda. And I praise God for that! May God keep him humble, faithful and bold with the gospel of Christ! And give him more opportunities (like a BCS championship game where he can have more mic’s thrown in his face!)