COLUMBUS, Ohio — A right-wing Christian commentator who says children in public schools are being educated by “homosexuals, fornicators and defiant haters of God” could be the next football coach at a public high school in the Ohio village of Hebron.
Dave Daubenmire, who refers to himself “Coach Dave” in online and radio commentaries, is one of three finalists for the vacant head-coaching job at Lakewood High School, part of a school district 35 miles east of Columbus in Licking County.
The Newark Advocate, which first reported on Daubenmire’s potential new job, wrote that Lakewood school board members will name the new coach at their February meeting, which is scheduled for Monday.
Daubenmire, then coach at London High School southwest of Columbus in Madison County, was sued by the ACLU in 1999 for leading locker-room prayers, passing out scriptural verses and telling Bible stories at team meetings. He and the school reached a settlement that prohibited “religious indoctrination,” according to the ACLU.
He also has coached at Heath High School east of Columbus and at Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster, Ohio. Most recently, he has run Pass the Salt Ministries, which organizes spiritual “boot camps” for men with a slogan, “Real Men Under Construction.”
In October, he posted a commentary saying he was “sick and tired of hearing about bullying” and called anti-bullying efforts part of the “homosexual agenda, to try to get people to not criticize or make fun of or poke fun at homosexuals.”
(Daubenmire said his words would be taken out of context, so here’s the rest of what he said: He’s not for bullying but it’s “the way of the world” and American children are being “sissified” by efforts to stop it.)
“He had the audacity to say a man desiring another man’s anus more than a vagina just doesn’t make sense. For that thy call him a hate-monger and a homophobe,” Daubenmire said.
A change.org petition urges Lakewood schools officials to choose another coach:
“Dave Daubenmire’s beliefs prevent him from being an effective coach to ALL students, and his history proves that only his personal agenda matters. He encourages bullying and flaunts laws in the name of religion. Hiring Daubenmire to work with kids sends a strong message that only radical conservative, Christian, heterosexual males matter to you. Safe schools are far more important than winning football games. Choose another coach.”
Equality Ohio has urged its supporters to sign the petition. A Facebook post by the LGBT-rights group calls Daubenmire “blatantly homophobic and pro-bullying” and says “our kids deserve better.”
In addition to his anti-gay views, Daubenmire has criticized government, Jews, President Obama, academia and even fellow Christians. And in taking a job at a public school, Daubenmire would join another part of society has criticized harshly.
In a 2011 commentary, he called out pastors for not urging people to take their children out of public schools:
“Instead, they show up at the football game, wearing the school colors, giving their tacit approval to what is going on inside those government-owned indoctrination centers. They might as well stand outside a porn shop and hand out discount coupons.
Pastors knowingly approve of their children being educated by homosexuals, fornicators, and defiant “haters of God.” What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased. Who is writing on your child’s blackboard?”