Sunday, September 09, 2012

Georgia School Stops Prayer, so Football Fans Pray

After a couple in Haralson County complained, the Wisconsin-based atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) threatened to sue, so the school system stopped a 50-year tradition of prayer over the loud speakers at sporting events. In response, citizens now wear Christian T-shirts and pray loudly during the official "moment of silence" prior to football games.

For background, read Prayer in America: Hidden Faith, or Public? and also read Missouri Votes to Bring Prayer Back to School, Countering Atheists

-- From "50 years of prayer stopped after school threatened" by Mike Paluska, CBS WGCL-TV (Atlanta, GA)

[Local residents] Frank and Sarah Mcintire said they just wanted the school to stop violating the constitution, not to cause problems for the team.

Haralson County Schools Superintendent Brett Stanton said . . . "We are going to follow the guidelines of the Constitution. I think it is a huge adjustment for this community, something they are having to adapt to. And something that has really brought them together."

Instead of being silent during the moment of silence, fans and players decided they would pray.

The act, according to community members, was to show that just because the school can't broadcast their prayer over the PA system, they are not going to stop praying.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Haralson students expected to lead prayer at football game" by Amy K. Lavender, Times-Georgian 9/7/12

“The Haralson County School System strives to provide the best learning environment possible for all of our students,” Superintendent Brett Stanton said in a prepared statement. “We have recently been faced with the threat of legal action regarding prayer from the public address system before home football games. Personally, it saddens me since my faith is a very important part of my life.

The Rev. Mason Bush, pastor at Providence Baptist Church in Tallapoosa, had been the team chaplain for 15 years, but stepped down this year. He’ll no longer be leading prayers on the field, in the field house or over the PA system. Neither will coaches. But the law doesn’t prevent the students from leading prayers.

“By state law, prayer can still be led by students, and that’s what will happen here Friday night,” Bush said. “The children have taken it upon themselves to stand up for what they believe in. Students from the football team, the band and the cheer team have all volunteered to lead prayer on Friday night.”

“I think the Christians’ rights are being violated,” said Tallapoosa City Councilman Dan Pope, who was an educator for 29 years. “This country was founded by Christians, our forefathers were Christians, some of them were even ministers. We’ve always had prayer before the games. It saddens me this is the point we’ve gotten to in our country when a minority can tell the majority what they’re going to do.”

The Rev. Jason Hatchett, pastor First Baptist Church in Tallapoosa, said he has begun to seek legal advice from the Liberty Council to explore options against the potential lawsuit.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.