Dante Turo is the quarterback of his high school football team in New York. During a recent game, the 17 year old broke free from a group of defenders and ran 73 yards for a touchdown. He raised his finger to the sky to praise God.
Immediately the referee blew his whistle and threw a flag. According to Fox News, the referee penalized Dante and his team 15 yards for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.
Dante tried to explain his action to the referee. “I talk to the referee and told him I wasn’t trying to do anything malicious or arrogant. I was just trying to give praise to God,” Dante said.
Unwilling to accept the small act of faith, the referee told Dante, “Don’t do it again.”
Even Dante’s coach, Tee Murabito, tried to talk to the referee. “I told them he was praising God. How is that taunting?” coach Tee told Fox. According to coach Tee, faith and God are a large part of Dante’s life.
In the face of religious discrimination, Dante’s father Geno is proud of his son. If Dante were to score a touchdown in the next game, he plans to continue his small act of honoring God for what he has accomplished.
Geno is sad to see that even these small acts of faith are coming under scrutiny. “It troubles me. I think people have forgotten that we settled in this land to flee religious persecution. We’re supposed to have religious freedom here.”
While it is a small example of religious persecution, it is part of a growing trend of bigotry towards Christianity in today’s society. A football coach in Washington was recently ordered not to pray before or after his school’s football game.
It is a beautiful thing to hear stories of Christians who stand for their faith in spite of actions taken against them. May more people like Dante and his father spring up around the country and exercise their full 1st amendment rights.