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'I'm fed up with it:' Focus on the Family President Sounds off on Ruling Against Praying Coach

'I'm fed up with it:' Focus on the Family President Sounds off on Ruling Against Praying Coach Read Transcript

The president of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly,

joins us now by Skype to talk about the ruling

by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals against Coach Joe


Welcome, Mr. Daly.

Good to be with you, Mark.

Talk a little bit about this-- first of all,

your thoughts on the ruling.

Well, I think this is one of those watershed moments.

I mean, it's egregious that the government

would rule against a coach who's trying to do all

he can do to help those boys.

And I was one of those boys back when

I was 15 who had no father, like 17.4 million other young girls

and boys in the country today.

So it was pivotal for me to have a coach that

taught me character.

And I think what coach Joe is doing is wonderful.

And the fact that he's just go into the middle of the field

to thank God that his players are kept safe,

I think for the Ninth Circuit court to shut him down

and for the school to fire him is egregious.

Do you see this case going all the way to the Supreme Court?

I hope it does.

Because I think we need clarity on this matter.

You know, the Jefferson letter, which everybody points

to is the document for the separation of church and state,

when you read it, what Jefferson was saying

is that we shouldn't have a state

religion like England had.

But it also said the government should not

get in the way of a man and his God.

And I can't see a more horrible example

where the government-- simply because you draw a government

check, you can't go out to the middle of the field

and thank God for keeping your players safe?

This is the time for Christians, I

think, to say enough is enough.

Are we going to be in a country where we have these freedoms?

Or are we not?

And I think that's why I hope it does go up to the Supreme Court

and we get clarity on this issue.

Now, I understand you even wrote an op ed for

on this.

Why did you feel compelled to write it?

Well, you know, it's interesting.

Because when I was 15, like I said,

I had a coach my sophomore year.

I called him coach Mo, and just like Coach Joe.

But Coach Mo for me, he was the guy

that took an interest in me as an orphaned kid.

I played quarterback.

He would have me over to his home for dinner.

He paid the $100, $200 for me to go to a Fellowship of Christian

Athletes camp.

And that's where I accepted Christ.

And I'm kind of put out at this point

that people like the ACLU and others that

are so offended by someone like Coach Mo or Coach Joe,

that they would be interested in the character

development of their players.

To me, it seems they would rather

see me with a heroin needle in my arm

or having a premarital affair with some girl in high school

or a out-of-wedlock baby.

I just-- I'm tired of it.

I think these men and women who are

coaching with character because of their faith in Christ,

let them go.

Let them help some of those 17 million children who

don't have a dad in the home.

Let them point these kids in the right direction,

like Coach Mo did for me.

And I just-- I'm fed up with it.

We have got to get some of these things righted

in this country for the sake of the kids.

Let's talk a little bit more about the big picture here.

How do you see this case impacting religious liberty

as a whole in the United States?

I think this is the overreach of the government,

saying that a person cannot come into the public square,

if you're a government employee.

And you can do nothing to express your faith.

And I think it's an attempt to silence those of us of faith

from being able to speak in the public square.

And I don't care where you draw your check from.

Thomas Jefferson had a Bible study at the Capitol building

in DC.

He himself, one of the framers of the Constitution,

obviously showed us the intent that he

had that it was OK to talk about God in a Bible study

in the Capitol building.

Why should we do no less?

Why can't a teacher simply pray silently,

in this case at midfield, to say thank you,

God, for keeping my kids safe?

I just think it's such a double standard.

And it's really coming from those

who don't have a belief in God who are

offended by those of us who do.

And frankly, they just got to get over it.

This is the land of the free, not

the land of the contorted and the refrained.

So let's be free with one another.

Let us practice our faith, no matter who

we draw our check from.

Don't get between a man and woman and their God.

Anything else that you want to say, Mr. Daly?

Anything else that you want to get across?

I think we got it.

I mean, I'm passionate about this.

Because I was that kid that was helped.

I was the kid that could have gone down a much darker path.

And I would rather a Christian coach say to me--

or any coach of faith--

say to me, there's a better way.

You need greater character.

Let me help you do that.

Why in the world are we afraid of that?

Don't turn me toward drugs.

Don't turn me toward that damaging behavior

that will hurt my character.

Build my character.

That should be part of teaching.

All right, Jim Daly, the president of Focus

on the Family-- thanks so much for your time today, Jim.

We appreciate it.

Appreciate it, Mark.

Take care.

You, too.

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