Hugh Freeze is the head football coach at the University of Mississippi and a frequent tweeter of Bible verses, pastorly quotes and the sort of uplifting spiritual sentiments you used to find in a Family Christian Store day calendar.
Harmless enough, right? Wrong. Well, that’s if you’re asking the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
The FFRF has dropped a press statement, saying Freeze’s Twitter habit “creates the appearance that the University endorses Freeze’s tweets and the religious promotion therein.” The letter went on to insist that the University of Mississippi “take immediate action” to make sure Freeze is made aware that he “cannot promote religion” while acting as a University employee.
According to Christian Post, the First Liberty Institute law firm responded to this letter with the written equivalent of an eye roll, advising Ole Miss to “ignore the letter.”
The First Amendment protects the right of Americans like Coach Freeze to engage in religious expression on their personal Twitter accounts,” said Jeremy Dys, senior counsel to the law firm. “And our universities ought be places where tolerance, inclusivity, and diversity are promoted.”
Freeze’s faith has been a subject of conversation before. In 2014, Freeze was a central figure in the Washington Post‘s fascinating exploration of all the weird ways faith and football mix in American culture, particularly in the South.