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Published On: Wed, Sep 24th, 2014

University of Tennessee refuses to ban prayer before football games

The University of Tennessee is standing against the threats of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, saying they will not ban prayer before football games. Thousands of UT fans at Neyland Stadium stand and observe a time of prayer before each game.
 
“This is a public university, not a Christian club,” wrote Annie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF in a letter to the chancellor. “When you’re not religious or are of another faith and you get prayed at during events, it’s really very grating.”
Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

“It’s a sock in the gut for you to go for a sporting event and then be told to conform to someone else’s religion,” she said in a story published by the Knoxville News Sentinel. 

UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek says that university has the right to pray according to the U.S. Constitution. He also noted a court decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled “nonsectarian prayer at public university events does not violate the First Amendment.”
 
Republican state representative Kevin Brooks said, “I am so thankful that Tennesseans are going to stand up and say this is the Volunteer State and voluntarily we’re going to keep praying.”
 
“You roll your eyes and say why is this going on at a government-subsidized event?” retired ecologist and FFRF member Bob Craig told the newspaper. “I also see it at all the high school games where they have prayers before games and after games. It’s really out of place. It’s hurting all those people that don’t have that belief and ostracizing them.”
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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. U. Tennessee | Football | Prayer | Freedom From Religion says:

    […] The Global Dispatch reports: […]

  2. edwords says:

    A student could give a signal upon which everyone who wants to can pray.

    But the school cannot involve itself in it
    (unless it wants to lead Muslim and Jewish prayers, too.)

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