It's a simple case of a school administration that knows better, but chooses to 'honor tradition' or otherwise allow the majority to literally lord over whatever skeptical minority is too scared of them to speak up publicly. It's nice to see the Freedom From Religion Foundation occasionally pick a good battle.
Here is George Thompson, Superintendent of Bell County Schools, telling us about how he knew better but went ahead with school-sponsored prayers before football games.
"If we tried to fight it, we couldn't win. There was no way we could win the suit because of the previous court cases," said Thompson.
It's a time honored tradition - that appears to have come to an end.
"We've always taken a position that we're going to do it until somebody makes us stop. And apparently, it appears that time has come for us," said Thompson.
Like the FFRF, I find it appalling. And yet, utterly typical, that a xian would understand the law and choose to flagrantly violate it for the benefit of his fellow xians, until he gets caught and is forced to yield by the threat of a lawsuit.
And here is Sandra Stepp, the wife of the preacher involved, who had led the pre-game prayers, reportedly, for 18 to 20 years. She spoke on his behalf for a newspaper interview over the phone; the fellow has some trouble hearing.
She said she and her husband, and many fans at the game, were disappointed about the traditional prayer being canceled.
Stepp said she understood two families objected.
There are far more who support the prayer, she said.
"It's sad that one person or two can stop this when there are so many of us wanting this," she said of the prayer.
What's sad here is that the measure of what should be legal, to these folks, is simple majority rule. For everything. They might feel differently, I suppose, if they were on the other end of it. But since they're practically all xians down there in Kentucky (or so they believe), I guess they think that whatever they say, goes.
If they really want to keep organizing prayers, the students will do it themselves, which is as it should be. In the meantime, the skeptics will suffer the retaliation of their community...of many supposedly kind, compassionate xians who don't take kindly to having their state-sponsored religion challenged. For example, a comment from WYMT News article. There were so many ridiculous comments to choose from.
Well, if they don't want to hear the pray - SHOW UP LATE! You are a bunch of chickens to start something like this and not step forward and reveal yourself. Plug your ears, put in some earplugs, do something other than cause a big stink. You wouldn't have a problem asking God to help you if some tragedy happened in your life (i.e. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina) would you. I am quite sick of this separation of church and state argument. Our nation was founded on Christian beliefs - and if you don't like them, then get your tail on an airplane and get out of the U.S.
'I am quite sick of this separation of church and state argument.' Spoken with a straight face, seemingly. And it's an idea shared by many in that community. What nonsense. These people speak of the freedom of the mob. They practically wish disaster, tragedy and (of course) eternal hell upon these skeptics who took their football prayers away. After reading these articles and the hateful xians who commented on them, I think those skeptical families were quite justified in lodging a complaint anonymously. Should work better than a prayer at keeping them safe.
It's not liberal xians that skeptics have an issue with. It's folks like these, who tell us if we don't like it, get lost and don't ruin their fun.
12:16 PM PT: Glad this did not ruffle feathers at Street Prophets; the republishing was not my idea. I know I am a bit more strident than you folks.
Also, rec list? Zounds! heh. That's a first. Thanks, everyone.