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Reply to "Group complains about Brooks’ pregame prayers"

Originally Posted by b50m:

Now everyone knows about it.


Religion - US
Atheist Group Tries to Stop Prayers at High School Football Games That Include ‘Jesus’

By Todd Starnes
Published October 26, 2011

An Alabama school district has been accused of allowing prayers that invoke the name of Jesus during high school football games, according to a complaint filed by a national atheist organization.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said the Lauderdale County school district has violated the First Amendment by allowing the prayers at Brooks High School.

School superintendent Bill Valentine confirmed to Fox News that he had received the complaint.

“We’ve referred that complaint to our attorney and we are in the process of reviewing it,” he said.

The complaint was lodged by a single resident who objected to the student-led prayer before high school football games played on school property.

The Times Daily newspaper identified the complainant as Jeremy Green. In an email to the newspaper, Green said he was taking a stand for the so-called “separation of church and state in an effort to protect the constitutional rights of the non-religious.”

“It is not the job of the public school system to endorse religion,” he wrote.

Valentine said that to his knowledge, no one has ever lodged a complaint with the school system about the prayers.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a similar complaint against a school in Arab, Ala. That school decided to end pregame prayers and instead offer a moment of silence.

Valentine said they haven’t made any decision about prayers for Friday night’s football game.

He said the complaint has generated lots of telephone calls – mostly in support of keeping the prayers. He added that most callers have been understanding and “seem to appreciate the quandary we find ourselves in.”

Lauderdale County has about 8,600 students enrolled in public schools and Valentine said the community has a very active religious community.

Among those is David McKelvey, pastor of the nearby First Baptist Church, Killen. He discussed the controversy during his Sunday sermon.

“It’s very sad,” McKelvey told Fox News. “I would think that any other prayer from another religion would not receive this kind of negativity.”

McKelvey said he’s attended football games when students deliver prayer and to his knowledge they have always been benign – mostly prayers for the players, the coaches, the referees and the fans.

“They are in the Christian context with the student ending the prayer in Jesus’ name,” he said.

The pastor called the complaint “unfortunate” but not surprising. Christianity, he said, is under attack.

“It’s going on all over the place,” he said. “You just hate for it to be coming to your doorstep.”

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It is sad, but not for the reason the pastor thinks.  So he thinks that if Islamic prayers, specifically Catholic ones even, UU or Humanist, Hindu, or some other prayers were said instead that there would be hugging and happiness all over?  They are benign to him because that is his faith and the idea is totally reasonable and pleasant to him.  Christianity is under attack because they can't yell prayers over a loudspeaker?  


The reality is that there are more than just that one person who didn't care for the prayers...I didn't even when I was Christian for the same reasons I don't now, but to speak up and say how a person feels does bring on attacks and character assassination.  I think that is rather obvious from this situation and the reactions the man Green has received.  It isn't that Christianity is under attack, but that finally the people who don't happen to want Christianity to be state or country-sponsored are beginning to speak up.  It's that finally there is opportunity for all groups to be treated fairly...well, sort of I guess.  Not really since this person is being attacked.  


You know, when my kids were in kindergarten at a public school here the teacher used to sing Christian songs with the class and made a fairly big deal of it.  I didn't hear about it until school was over, and when my husband mentioned it I asked why he didn't tell me before.  He said he knew I would speak to her about it and he didn't want our daughter treated badly because the teacher (a wonderful teacher) was very religious and he was afraid for the other kids to report to their parents why they couldn't sing church songs any more.  Seriously...this is in Florence City Schools and not a private school.  She came home one day asking me why the teacher (who was very nice to her) and whispered in her ear a few times that Jesus loved her.  Where did that come into the lesson plan?  


We used it to explain different people believe differently and surely she was trying to be nice, but she said she told her she didn't believe in Jesus and the teacher corrected her.  She came home confused as to why her teacher would do that.  It was at the very end of the year, but really if I had gone down there to ask her to refrain from that do you bet she would have thought teh same of me or my kids?


And this year there is a Bible quote hanging in the room.  I know that if I speak up and ask why it is there my child may be treated differently, and I know this from experience.  I don't see anyone laughing at or teasing the kids for being Christian, but I do see it for kids who aren't.  I know of a mother who had to take her child out and homeschool her because she was taunted by the other students (not FCS but this area) because the child is Wiccan.  The teachers and principal didn't use the opportunity to teach the kids about bullying and tolerance or firmly stop the bullying, so the parent had to quit her job to stay home with her child.  It's just that this Green person had the guts to  speak up is the problem that some have with him, and look at his life now.  Who is being persecuted?

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