For decades now, Friday night High School football in the fall has been and is a very important tradition in America. Alongside this beloved game, there have been many inseparable customs that have developed over the years. One of these customs is a postgame prayer where the coaches and players of both, private and public schools, gather together to lift up a prayer to God.
These postgame prayers are protected by our First Amendment rights, the free exercise of religion. Unfortunately, there are some who have misinterpreted our First Amendment rights to believe that somehow there is a right “from religious expression” such as the group “Americans United for Separation of Church and State.”
Americans United is a Washington, D.C.-based group that decided to pick on and target an out-of-state high school in Putnam County, Tenn. The group sent a letter to Upperman High School claiming, “several instances of prayer and proselytizing at events at the school.” In response, the school district caved and directed its teachers and coaches to cease from leading students in prayer although no student was ever forced to participate if he or she didn’t want to.
Americans United celebrated this as a great victory stating, “A great WIN for [Church-State] Separation!”Thankfully, a group of parents and fans who understand their First Amendment rights took a powerful stand.
After the next football game at Upperman High School, a large number of courageous individuals showed up to form a protective circle around the players and cheerleaders to ensure they could continue their postgame prayer tradition. Praise God for these strong Christians who have not coward to intimidation but who have remained strong in the Lord and in defense of the U.S. Constitution.
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