Apologies ahead of time for anyone I end up offending here in this post. I assure you that is not the intent.
The question is a good one..............but I would guess that there aren't many who have served on a staff consisting of faiths other than Christianity.
As a Hindu, I plan to coach football really soon and always ask myself will I be discriminated because of my religion or race. Would people judge me differently and would I be teaching the game in another way than majority of coaches do? The answer to that is that as coaches, we do not teach hatred towards others because thats setting a bad example.
I would ask this: Does having NO faith effect coaching more than having faith/religion/beliefs different from the religious norm in the community?
True or not... the masses won't know until its too late, but instant credibility can be established through religious affiliations, simply due to the strong history of religion within this country...And of course... in America, the religion of shoice has been christianity.... hence buddism, hindu, Islam, can not be utilized to garner such legitimacy, and therefore, those that practice said religion don't shout it to the world, because there's no leverage to be gained.
I grew up in a very conservative part of the country where I know that any coach who would merely talk openly about a different faith than the rest of the population would be run out of town on a rail. As a kid I got a lot of flack from my classmates because I didn't attend church--my parents just didn't want to go for their own reasons--and because I didn't know how to recite or conduct myself during prayers at school events since I'd never prayed before. It's still that way. We had no Muslims, no Jews, no Hindus or anything else in our schools.
The handful of Catholic and Mormon kids had to put up with teasing, though as far as I know it rarely got too serious. I am embarrassed to say that some of my teammates enjoyed bullying the atheist, gay, goth, and punk kids (basically anyone who was "different."). A couple of our then-assistants, one of whom became HC my senior year, knew and condoned it. I'm not sure if their religious beliefs played a role or not, though. That and a $17 million sexual harrassment lawsuit probably contributed to their firing a few years later.It's not been that long ago that my hometown made the national news because a very small, very vocal group of parents claimed that using fairy tales to teach elementary school children to read was secretly an evil plot to corrupt their good Christian kids and turn them into little satanists--no, I'm not exaggerating. They were actively telling their kids not to do their school work and to disobey their "anti-Christian" teachers. Every so often people here still make very public scenes demanding that religion be actively brought into the schools and government.
Just about any local community here would have a fit if any non-Christian (or even a non-specific-and-accepted-denomination-Christian) became a coach or teacher and started talking to kids about his religious or spiritual beliefs. There would be a few overprotective parents who would literally jump at the opportunity to file a lawsuit in the name of sticking up for Jesus, even if the coach was being respectful of everyones' beliefs and never did anything wrong.
was cassius clay viewed different than mohamed ali?..... was lew alcindor viewed different than kareem abdul jabar? thats were the answer to this question is... (does religion cause the public to have a preconception about a person, do they lose respect if they are not christians?) but yeah there is still ignorance out there. it is also more prevelant in some places than others.
I feel the same thing is happening in America.
People think America is a "Christian nation" , so therefore being American=being a Christian. Not true.
The one thing that interests me is why is faith, and specifically christianity
so tied up with football, such that this topic would even be asked and
attract anyone. My very amateur guess there is that it is cultural: football
is universal of course, but very heavily influenced by the south and
southwest, and similarly faith is very prominent there (for a variety of
reasons). Basketball is more east and west coast, and I hear about this kind
of "faith" stuff and its importance less frequently with respect to it.