ACLU takes on Nebraska football coach for being too religious


LINCOLN, Neb. — School districts in Nebraska have been threatened by the ACLU that if they invite University of Nebraska's assistant football coach, Ron Brown, to speak they may be violating the first amendment.

Brown, co-director of Mission Nebraska, has been delivering talks to schools about drug and alcohol use. He often refers to scripture in his presentation and openly shares his faith.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska issued a letter exhorting public schools to refrain from subjecting students to religious endorsement.

Brown said that he has given the same talk to students for 20 years and isn't going to change because of the ACLU, according to The World-Herald.

Schools make the assemblies optional to students when speakers are known to give religious presentations.

"I'm going to talk about Jesus Christ whenever I'm talking about drugs or alcohol or character," Brown said.

"Who says stealing is wrong? Who says doing drugs and alcohol is wrong?" Brown asked a Nebraska newspaper. "There's a source. There's a final say and I believe that is the Lord God."

The other speaker in the ACLU warning was Keith Becker, founder of the Todd Becker Foundation. Becker speaks in public high schools where he relates the tragic story of his younger brother, Todd, who was killed in an alcohol-related car accident when he was a high school senior.

Becker states on the foundation's website that the major focus of this message is choices and consequences.

Brown and Becker have received numerous comments from school officials complementing the speakers on their presentations and ability to reach the students.

The ACLU finds their message offense. "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," said ACLU Nebraska Legal Director Amy Miller on their website.

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