Becker won’t back down from ACLU

A Christian advocate from Kearney, Keith Becker said he won't change the religious message in his anti-alcohol presentations to schools, despite threats of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberty Union of Nebraska, which says the endorsing religion in schools violates the First Amendment. “The Todd Becker Foundation has visited over 150 public schools in Nebraska and our reputation testifies to our commitment to maintain appropriate boundaries when we present our assemblies,” said Keith Becker, the organization’s founder. He said high school administrators across the state “highly recommend this assembly due to its life-changing impact upon their students.” Becker explains on his website that he uses the story of the 2005 death of his 18-year-old brother in an alcohol-related car crash to “point students to the life-changing Gospels of Jesus Christ.” ACLU Nebraska says that's illegal. The organization send a letter to every public school superintendent in the state, singling out Becker and current Nebraska tight ends coach Ron Brown for touting their religion in school presentations. “Both men have made it perfectly clear that they intend to convert children to their own religious beliefs while the students are in school away from their parents’ guidance,” said ACLU Nebraska Legal Director Amy Miller. “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.” Miller’s letter threatened legal action against the schools if the presentations continued. Brown served as state director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 2004 to 2008. He echoed Becker’s statement, saying he does not plan to change his message to students. ACLU Nebraska Executive Director Laurel Marsh said repeated parent complaints led the organization to act.

posted at 11:41 am
on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

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