It doesn’t happen all of a sudden.

No, this degradation of culture we’re experiencing happens over time, growing like a downhill snowball, moving us so imperceptibly to the left that we don’t even notice it at the time. It’s only when we look around and think, “Gee, things weren’t like this when I was growing up,” that we realize we’ve been bamboozled.

Twenty years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a high school football coach being suspended for praying with his team, but it barely caused a blip in the media this week. That it happened in Arizona is even more remarkable. That it happened at a time when football fans and young players could use all the positive role models they can find is unconscionable.

Tom Brittain of Tempe Preparatory Academy – a state-funded charter school – was the victim of an overzealous headmaster this week and has been suspended for two weeks. His only crime was to ask one of his players to say a short prayer before the game and then a short prayer of gratitude for the victory. That’s all. He wasn’t out on the field proselytizing the Gospel or trying to bring players to Christ. What school officials are calling a violation of church and state is something more akin to a brief recognition of a higher power. Certainly, it’s a stretch to make the argument that Coach Brittain was endorsing any particular religion.

Of the situation, the school’s headmaster said, “He is a man who likes to pray and I don’t object to that. Just, he can’t do that with our students. That’s the only prohibition.”

From the tone of his statements, this sounds like a headmaster bowing to pressure rather than one on an ideological crusade. Nonetheless, that’s just as harmful. Still, he’s probably right to be afraid. If a student complained (details are scarce on how the praying came to the attention of the headmaster), we could have seen Tempe Prep become the target of another overblown ACLU case. The left has become so concerned that a minority might be offended that they are willing to throw away everything that was great about our country to protect them.

Ray Rice has been rightfully criticized for his deplorable actions in that elevator, and Roger Goodell is still a long way from explaining why it took so long for him to face a proper punishment. With this kind of violence on display in the NFL, how is it that a prayer can be considered harmful to children? Are high schoolers so weak-minded these days that a single prayer can infringe on their right to believe as they choose? Of course not. Our educational system has some problems, but it isn’t that bad.

If the atheists and liberals have their way, you’ll see “under God” removed from the Pledge, “In God We Trust” removed from our money, and any public mention of God erased from the culture. No, it won’t happen tomorrow or the next day, but it will happen just as surely as Coach Brittain was suspended. Unless conservatives demand their country back, the left’s dominance of culture will continue unabated.