Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tenn. Cheerleaders Defy Atheist-forced Prayer Ban

After the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) complained to the Oneida, Tennessee school district about public Christian prayers, administrators terminated an 80-year tradition by banning prayers over the loudspeaker on the football field, but the cheerleaders wouldn't bow to political correctness and led the stadium in the Lord's Prayer at game time. Now, the cheerleaders are being bullied by atheists via social media from across the country and beyond.
“In that moment the atmosphere was kind of great because it was nothing but heads bowed, and you heard the Lord's Prayer ring over the football field.”
-- Kayla King, Student at Oneida High School
For background, read Atheists Threaten to Sue Every School in Tennessee and in Mississippi but admit they're Short on Lawyers to Sue ALL Christians

Also read Tennessee Democrats & Republicans Pass Religious Liberty for Schools

UPDATE 12/7/14: Ohio School Supt. & Citizens vs. Complaining Atheists

Click headlines below to read previous articles:

'Bless You' After Sneeze Gets Tenn. Student Suspended

Thousands vs. Atheists, Prayer at Florida Football

North Carolinians Pray at School, Defying Wisconsin Atheists

Georgia Citizens & School Team Up vs. Anti-Prayer Atheists

Saginaw, Michigan Ignores Atheist Threats Against Prayer

-- From "Tennessee Cheerleaders Sidestep Prayer Ban By Breaking Out The Lord's Prayer" by Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post 9/18/14

It was pressure from groups, like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, that compelled the district to put a plug on prayers said over the loudspeaker.

“The majority of people in this area want to have prayer before a ball game, and I don't think its right for a minority out away from here dictates what we do here,” [said Kevin Acres, game announcer].

But now that the cheerleaders are taking charge, Acres sees a silver lining.

“Where you had one person saying a prayer over the PA, now you've got hundreds maybe a thousand people saying it together,” Acres said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "High school cheerleaders defy prayer ban at football games" posted at WBTW-TV13 (Myrtle Beach, SC) 9/18/14

Oneida's director of school's Ann Sexton says they received a letter last fall from the ACLU reminding them it is unconstitutional to hold school sanctioned prayer at football games.

“We were advised to stop the practice,” Sexton said. Instead, they instated a moment of silence before games.

On Friday night's game against Watertown, the cheerleaders from both teams joined hands and recited the prayer, and they weren't alone.

Because while prayer can no longer be said over the loud speaker, the Oneida cheerleaders hope to make sure it's still heard loud and clear.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pregame prayer is back in Oneida" by Mike Blackerby, Knoxville News Sentinel 9/18/14

Rather than face a possible costly and protracted legal battle with the ACLU, [Oneida High School principal Kevin] Byrd said Oneida schools officials reluctantly relented and adopted a policy of offering a moment of silence before games instead of holding a public prayer.

“It’s a situation you see, especially in small-town USA, where we’ve come under attack and people are rallying around each other,” said Oneida coach Tony Lambert, a devout Christian who fervently wears his religion on his sleeve.

“This makes you conscious and aware of the direction we’re headed in this country. I believe in prayer and know that God hears us.”

“We went to the cheerleaders and said ‘would you consider leading the Lord’s Prayer during the moment of silence for anyone that would want to join in?’ It was at their discretion and they organized it.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Oneida cheerleaders bullied for pregame prayer" by Kelsey Pape WBIR-TV10 (Knoxville, TN) 9/20/14

"They have really seen a lot of negative, hateful comments. It's really just breaking their hearts," said Misty Rhey, mother of a cheerleader. "They are getting messages to their Facebooks, their names are being brought up."

Mothers said the girls have received threats, they are being called names, and a lot of people are taking it to another level.

"We grow up telling our children not to bully other children and now these children are being bullied by adults. It's not fair to them," Rhey said.

"It's really disappointing to see the way the adults are acting, especially toward teenage girls. It's really heartbreaking to see it and the only thing I know to do is to pray for them," SuJon Fry, mother of a cheerleader, added.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read the long list of states enacting laws to bring prayer back to schools in response to the myriad atheist lawsuits against Christians and prayer nationwide.

In addition, read U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of public prayer, and read the resulting resurgence in public prayer following the Supreme Court decision.