THURSDAY
March 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 49
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
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COLORADO BASKETBALL COACH TOLD TO STOP PRAYING WITH PLAYERS

    DENVER (CWNews.com) - The head basketball coach of the University of Colorado in Boulder has received an order from the Colorado ACLU to stop praying with his players or face a lawsuit.

    Ricardo Patton received the letter from the state branch of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union on February 22, but the Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties organization, has come to his defense. Members of the team have reportedly gathered in a circle for prayer after practices with and without the presence of Patton.

    On at least one occasion, the players reportedly prayed for teammate Josh Townsend and his family after the loss of his sister, Lauren, one of students killed in the Columbine High School shootings.

    "Free exercise of religion was one of the most important factors in the founding of this country," said John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute. "That the ACLU would attack Coach Patton for supporting his players in doing something they feel is right, which in this case happens to be praying, is unfortunate. The First Amendment clearly protects the rights of adults who want to pray together voluntarily on a public university campus."

          

March 9, 2000
volume 11, no. 49
NEWS & VIEWS

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