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-Lawsuit: Pre-Game Prayer For Christian Schools Outlawed?

by Dr. D ~ September 29th, 2018

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Two Christian high Schools in 2015 were playing in a state football championship game at Florida’s Citrus Bowl. The school’s traditional pre-game prayer was outlawed by state officials in charge of the game supposedly because it was being played in a government owned stadium.

Adding to the confusion was the fact that the stadium itself had been dedicated by Billy Graham and was a venue which had hosted religious events in the past.

Cambridge Christian School filed a lawsuit over the denial of their religious rights in this situation. The case is now before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

From First Liberty website (which is handling their case):

First Liberty represents Cambridge Christian School (CCS) against the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

School officials asked the FHSAA to use the stadium loudspeaker to offer a pre-kickoff prayer before the state high school football championship game held at the Citrus Bowl against another private Christian school. The FHSAA forbade the school from praying over the loudspeaker. They argued the prayer might be viewed as an endorsement of religion since the students would be praying on government property.

The case is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

<Read the whole article>

Response: It is a ‘bridge too far’ and cannot be allowed to stand. From Hiram Sasser, General Counsel for First Liberty:

First they told us public schools cannot pray over the loudspeaker. Now they say two private Christian schools cannot pray over the loudspeaker. When will this assault on free speech stop? We will appeal this ruling and continue to fight against this incredible assault on the First Amendment.”

We agree with Sasser. This was an oppressive, heavy handed decision by the FHSAA officials that should be over ruled by the Circuit Court. If not, then it should be taken all of the way to the Supreme Court.             

The importance of this goes way beyond just a pre-game prayer. We cannot allow any kind of precedence that would outlaw prayer in public between willing participants. Next, some group would try to outlaw prayer on the Capitol and court house steps and lawn and maybe even in your local (government) park. Can you imagine a family being fined or kicked out of a park because they prayed over their picnic meal? Sounds ridiculous now but where does this end really end.

This is not just about religious freedom, it is also about free speech. Both strongly  protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.              *Top

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2 Responses to -Lawsuit: Pre-Game Prayer For Christian Schools Outlawed?

  1. Brian

    Your example of a family having a picnic in a park is a good one.

    Let me give you another one: there is legal precedent that the airwaves are public property.

    So, by application of this reasoning, no religious TV or radio broadcast could be made.

    Therefore, if this precedent is allowed to stand, it could be used as a basis to argue that no religious broadcasting is to be allowed in the US.


  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian,
    Taking religion/Christianity totally out of the public square is the obvious goal of the atheist activists. Right now it is schools and crosses but it could turn to broadcasting eventually.

    Already private liberal/progressive oriented companies like Facebook and Google are leading the charge deleting conservatives from the internet. This is not government action so legally ‘free speech’ and ‘freedom of religion’ while being assailed it is their choice and our choice to keep on using their services. Nevertheless it does show liberal/progressive intent to censure any opposing voices.

    It does not become a legal Constitutional issue until ‘the government’ is involved. Which does happen when it is totally dominated by leftist progressives and they can’t help themselves like in California or for a better example- Canada.

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