Thursday, August 21, 2008

US Olympic Archery Coach: An Immoral Christian

People who use a position of authority to push Christianity, or any religion, should be ashamed of themselves. For a coach of the United States Olympic Team to do so is a complete disgrace.

The New York Times has an excellent article that describes how head archery coach Kisik Lee, a born-again Christian, pressures his team members to become Christian, to attend Christian church, and to pray together. Is this another overblown reaction to a humble believer's faith? I don't think so. Lee's transgressions are shameful:
  • Lee uses prayer as an integral part of training.
  • He gives every new athlete on his team a copy of "The Purpose Driven Life" by evangelical Christian Rick Warren.
  • Lee prays with the Christian athletes every morning.
  • Athletes are pressured to attend a Christian church, even after asking to be left alone.
  • Lee feels he can't coach non-Christians as effectively as Christians.
It is legal to discriminate if you're a private citizen in your own home – nobody can make you associate with other races or religions, or treat the sexes as equal. But when you take on power and authority over others, you also take on a responsibility to treat everyone fairly. Whether you're a judge, an employer, a politician, a policeman ... or coach, especially one who is paid by the taxpayers of the United States, our laws, and our national ethic, make it very clear that discrimination is wrong, and is prohibited.

Any person in a position of power has to take extra care practice complete impartiality in all things. Lee isn't just any coach: He's the head coach. He lives with the archers, trains them daily, decides who gets grants, and decides who stays on the team and who goes. The athletes' Olympic careers are totally dependent on Lee's favor. Whether Lee is actually impartial is almost irrelevant; the simple fact is that he is using his position of power in an immoral way.

Christians, including pastor Rick Warren, should be ashamed of Lee, and should pressure him to halt his unethical, and possibly illegal, religious proselytizing. If Lee were a true Christian, he would know this.


  1. This is the type of crap that prevents so many atheists from being themselves and honest with the world about their views. This is a hostile environment and (to use the "let's turn this around card") had it been the other way with an Atheist coach we would be hearing about this in the news.

  2. I'm always suspicious of athletes who say god helped them.

    Surely its like using drugs? Using a mythical creature to help you do the high jump or sprinting.

  3. It is not mentioned here, but I believe that NONE of this "bible thumping" coach's archers even made it in to the medal round. That coach failed and so did his empty headed converts. He needs to get his ass kicked to the curb.

  4. No one have the right to push us on any religion. We have our own beliefs and no one on Earth even head archery coach Kisik Lee has the power to force us to change our religion.


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