It is getting way out of hand the way Christians in America are being denied their freedom of religion and freedom of speech! Imagine being penalized just for raising your right hand toward the sky to thank God after scoring a touchdown! Is this done in any other religion? Now it is deemed “taunting” to thank God? Really? If nothing is being done in protest of this atrocity, it will only get worse. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the penalty if you don’t speak out. In essence, your silence in matters like this is nothing short of acquiescence to evil! As Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said:“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
God will not hold anyone guiltless who sees evil and does nothing. Speak out. MB
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A public high school quarterback in upstate New York was penalized for raising his right hand toward the sky to thank God after he scored a long touchdown run to put his team down by one point at a crucial moment in the game.
In the final minutes of the first half of Mexico High School’s regular season finale at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High, Mexico junior quarterback Dante Turo, a devout Christian, exploded through the middle for a 73-yard run for a touchdown that brought the Tigers within one point of tying the game going into halftime.
a yellow penalty flag and gave Turo and the Tigers a 15-yard penalty, which was assessed on the following extra point attempt.
The referee claimed that Turo’s gesture to God was taunting, therefore worthy of an uns
“I was just trying to give glory to God,” Turo told Syracuse.com after the game.
After being penalized 15-yards on the ensuing extra-point attempt, the Tigers felt forced to try for a long two-point conversion. The Tigers failed to reach the end zone on the conversion attempt and went into the halftime down by one point, instead of tied. As the Tigers lost by a score of 33-31, the extra 15 yards assessed on the two-point attempt after Turo’s run could potentially have been the difference in the game.
“At that point, right before the half, we would have kicked to tie the game. So we had to go for two. It kind of changed the course of the game,” Mexico head coach Tee Murabito said after the game. “Was that a play that cost us the game? No. But it did have an influence. That call had more impact than you see in the box score.”
Murabito was flabbergasted by the call since his quarterback has consistently praised God throughout his playing career and has never been penalized for it before.
“All season long, he’s been doing that,” Murabito asserted. “No one ever came up to me and said he’s got to stop that.”
In fact, Turo, who has compiled 12 running touchdowns this season, even raised his hand to praise God earlier in that same game when he scored the first of his four touchdowns in the game on a one-yard run in the first quarter. In that instance, Turo was not penalized or told he couldn’t make the gesture again.
“I do it every time I score, no matter if it’s a QB sneak or a longer run,” Turo insisted. “The ref said I was taunting the other team. That wasn’t my intention at all.”
Turo explained that he spoke to the referee prior to the start of the second half about the call and was unsatisfied with his response.
“I kind of explained to him that I wasn’t trying to do anything arrogant or anything like that. I was just expressing my faith,” Turo said. “He just said ‘Don’t do it again.’ Those were his only words. Honestly, I don’t think it was right. I wasn’t trying to bring attention to myself.”
The penalty, which Murabito said had an impact on the game, could have impacted the Tigers playoff seeding as well. Since the Tigers lost the game against Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, they lost out on having a home game for the playoffs and instead had to travel to Chittenango for the first round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated with a 34-26 loss last Friday.
Syracuse.com shared the video of the Turo’s run and penalty call to an athletic director, an experienced football coach and football referee with over 15 years of experience, and they all agreed that Turo should not have been penalized.
“There is no penalty there,” said the referee, who spoke anonymously. “Nothing occurred. It is not even remotely close to unsportsmanlike conduct. It is not, ‘delayed, excessive or prolonged,’ by any measurement and that is the standard for high school.”
When asked by Fox News about whether he will continue to praise God after his touchdowns, Turo said he most definitely plans to continue the tradition.
“Without a doubt I will raise my finger,” Turo assured.
Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of The Olive Branch Report
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I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.