U.S. Sens. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) have recently spoken out against the unfolding drama between the state of Alabama and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).
The FFRF recently sent letters to two colleges in the state. One was sent to Snead State Community College after staff allegedly complained they felt compelled to participate in prayer during staff events and before meals.
"They feel that they are being forced to bow their head and participate because not doing so would require them to expose their personal beliefs and potentially be subject to retribution," the letter read.
Another letter was sent to Auburn University after the university's Unite Auburn event, which featured Christian speakers—afterward, hundreds of students gathered by a nearby body of water where students were baptized. The FFRF claims head football coach Hugh Freeze and other faculty baptized students.
"The event was organized by Chad Prewett, Auburn's assistant men's basketball coach, and his wife Tonya," the FFRF said. "Jeremy Napier, chaplain for the Auburn men's basketball team, was involved in planning the event and admitted that he personally baptized more than 20 students."
The FFRF said university-sponsored religious activity is a violation of the Constitution. In a letter to Auburn president Christopher B. Roberts, FFRF pointed out several religious events held at Auburn over the past several years and asked for change.
In response, Robert U.S. Rep. Aderholt (R-Haleyville) voiced support for the schools, and Gov. Kay Ivey responded with a lengthy condemnation of the FFRF's efforts. The FFRF swiftly responded to Ivey's letter.
Now, Alabama's two senators have added their voices to the fray, voicing support for the colleges and condemning the FFRF for attempting to infringe on the faculty's rights.
In a statement to 1819 News, Britt outrightly condemned FFRF's "concerted effort to get more Americans to turn away from God."
"I applaud Governor Ivey's strong stand," Britt said. "It was great to see that so many students at Auburn University chose to get baptized and boldly proclaim their faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Individuals voluntarily, of their own God-given free will, being born again through Him is something to celebrate — not denigrate or suppress. The same goes for voluntary prayer by staff and faculty members at Snead State. It is disappointing, although not surprising, to see an out-of-state, leftwing group launch yet another attack on Alabamians' constitutionally protected religious liberty. Make no mistake — this is part of a continued, concerted effort to get more Americans to turn away from God. That's the opposite of what we need as a nation — we need a revival. I will continue to stand up for the rights of each and every Alabamian in the United States Senate, while fighting every day for Alabama's values and interests."
Tuberville tersely tweeted that he was "Happy to be criticized for being 'overly prayerful.'"
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