Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I received this in an e-mail the other day. For those of you who still think that we still have freedom of religion here in this country, read this.

This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School , Kingston , Tennessee , by school Principal, Jody McLoud, on September 1, 2002.

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country.

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it, "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK.

I can even use this public facility, to present the merits of killing an unborn baby, as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem.

I can designate a school day as, "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess, "Mother Earth," and call it "ecology."

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as, "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it, "enlightenment."

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God, and to ask Him to bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated
This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical. I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.
For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and refrain from praying at this time.

However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God, and ask Him, in the name of Jesus, to bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet."

One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another, and began to pray.

They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand, and they prayed in the announcer's box.
The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America - the seat of "justice" in the "one nation, under God."

Somehow, Kingston , Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten..We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion.


MadMustard said...


When I saw this email post, I was skeptical that it was true. I sometimes get emails that look bogus to me and I fact-check them at truthorfiction.com.

I checked this one for accuracy and it is true. The only thing that was incorrect was the date. The correct date is September 1, 2000.

Good job.

Mark said...

I am skeptical of a lot of things i get in e-mail too, but It didn't occurr to me that this one might be bogus, I suppose because it doesn't really matter if it's true or not. These things are happening, whether or not some school principal had the guts to say, perhaps, what we all are thinking.

Daffy76 said...

I think it's important to note that these people prayed in spite of the rules. People think that if you outlaw something like prayer it will keep others from doing it. The simple fact is Christians bow to an authority higher than the law. When the law is not on our side, that is when we need to pray the most. The whole mess reminds me of the book of Daniel. Daniel and his friends had the courage to do what God had led them to do, no matter if it meant facing the fiery furnace or the lion's den. Oh, that Christians would have more of that kind of fervor today!

Excellent post, Mark. I cried.

Lores Rizkalla said...

Wow! Thank God for that man.

I used to be a high school social studies teacher. I used to teach a unit on World Religions in a Cultural Anthropology class I taught. After teaching on the Eastern Religions, I taught on the monotheistic religions.

It never failed that the day I mentioned the name "Jesus," one student would ask the inevitable question, "Miss Rizkalla, is this legal to talk about this in a public school?"

That would send me on a political correctness rant...every year! We are 'tolerant' when it comes to Buddha, Mohammed, Mother Earth, etc.--thankfully. But, the children have been brainwashed to not 'tolerate' the name of Jesus.

Thank God for that principal!

Toad734 said...

It goes both ways, freedom of and freedom from, and neither are absolute, just as free speech and freedom of the press.

Have any of these people ever heard of a Church?

It's illegal for me to have sex with my girlfriend at a football game, but not illegal for me to do it in my house, where it is appropriate. There is a time and place for everything, no one wants religion shoved down there throats, and if they do they will go to a church to get it, not a football game.

If I was in the stands I wouldn't have wanted to listen to some boring prayer to someone who doesn't exist. So where are my rights to watch a football game in a football stadium which was paid for by my tax dollars? Are you saying I have no rights?

What if he wanted everyone to bow towards Mecca, would that be ok too?

By the way, Religion is regulated under the constitution, condom dispersion isn’t.

Dispensing condoms to prevent teen pregnancy and AIDS is not sexual perversion.

When has anyone made a PA announcement about abortion at a football game?

Earth Day, is just like Valentines Day, it’s just a day, no one worships the Earth or the Easter Bunny, they are just days on a calendar.

If Christian people do stupid things, such as this... well…if the shoe fits wear it!
I really don't know what his last statement is supposed to mean anyways.

mlwhitt said...

Very interesting article and I love the way the Principal handled the speech.

But I have to agree somewhat with Toad734. As stupid as it sounds limiting officials from leading in a prayer in school, it does keep someone from say giving prayer to allah or name your deity of choice. This is one of those areas that I have a lot of problem deciding what should and shouldn't be allowed. Just because I don't see ANYTHING wrong with a principle giving praise to Jesus, doesn't mean that the guy next to me agrees with it.

It is truly a fine line. And I believe that many of my fellow Christians (and most of the time myself) want their cake and eat it too. We want to have free reign to spread the Word, but we don't want to hear other's religion. You just can't have it both ways. So what is the solution. Heck if I know... Thank goodness I am not the one in charge because I would pull the rest of my hair out, ;)

Mark said...

I think Toad needs prayer.

Erudite Redneck said...

Daffy, the people did NOT pray in violation of the rules. The rule has to do with what school officials can do, not what people in the stands, or students on the sidelines or the field can do. Which is why to say that the rule is an affront to Christianity is horse hockey. It's an affront to government-led religion.

And, what mlwhitt said.

Jay Dub said...

Toad I'll be preying for you. Mark this e-mail is great I'm going to have to send a few people to your blog to look at it. It's very inspireing.

Daffy76 said...

ER,I did not say that they prayed in violation of the rules, but in spite of them. I see a definite difference because the school official would have been violating a rule to do so, but the crowd made it a non-issue by praying anyway. That is my point.

And Toad, if you think Christianity is silly and that we are all crazy, can't you humor us for just like one minute at the beginning of a football game, just to be nice? These prayers were not started to convert anyone. They are offered in the spirit of calling upon a power higher than ourselves to protect the players from injury and promote good sportsmanship. That's why they have a place and are appropriate for anyone.

Erudite Redneck said...

Daffy, I stand corrected.

Trixie said...

I think you need to look more at the case law. The ruling was based on a school which decided to try to skirt the law by having a student "election" about whether there should be prayer at school functions, AND THEN electing a student to be the "official pray-er."
The ruling was based on that "one person praying for all," which virtually eliminated ALL other prayers at the school's events. Hence, the establishment of ONE religion (the elected student's.) And I don't care what school you went to, that's a violation of the First Amendment.
There is NO prohibition against anyone praying, any time, any place. What is prohibited is forcing one religious viewpoint on the public.
Substitute "Muslim" for "Baptist" in your arguments and see how much you object.

Toad734 said...


If you think us Agnostics and Atheist are so far out there can't you just give us 30 minutes before the game to talk about how there is no proof of God??

Is 30 minutes too much??

But a minute isn't?

Who draws that line, who decides how much time, if any is appropriate? You, a Christian? A bit of a biased opinion wouldn't you say?

You can go into a corner an pray all you want, and anyone who wishes to join you can feel free to do so, I encourage you to do so, that just means the beer and bathroom line is going to be that much shorter for me, just don't stop the game, or the school day to do it.

Are you going to give Muslims a chance to do it 5 times a day, interrupting you otherwise pleasurable outing?

Can't you pray at home, before the game, or in church or at night like everyone else? Why does everyone now feel the need to pray at schools, football games, restaurants etc? Isn't religion between the person and their God, not the rest of the world?

Trixie said...

Toad makes a great point, which is exactly what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:5-8:
(New International Version)

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Erudite Redneck said...

Amen, Toad and Trixie.

Fitch said...

Great article, Mark. It's sad but true that the predominant belief in this country is under assault from a dictatorsip of the few.

Daffy76 said...

When a public prayer is led the listeners have a number of choices--you can ignore it, you can bow your head and listen, or you can pray silently yourself--to whatever interpretation of God you hold. Yes, Muslims have every right to pray at football games, just like everyone else. Just because the person leading the prayer is usually a Christian doesn't mean that the entire throng of people there have to be. And note that I said usually.

And yes, I can pray at home before the game and at church and at night before I lay down to go to sleep, and in a corner and all those things. But what we're talking about is not an effort to convert anyone and shouldn't be offensive to anyone. It's a gesture to the participants of the game and it involves God for those who want it to. And it is a personal private thing, because I am not a Presbyterian, and I will probably never be one. But I can go to a game and hear a Presbyterian pray and not suddenly become one. I will sit in the stands and pray my personal prayer and understand the spirit in which the Presbyterian offers theirs.

Why do Atheists and Agnostics get so riled up at stuff like this? Are you threatened by people that believe in God? I mean you say that it's silly or crazy to have such beliefs, but you can't seem to ignore the ramblings of the very people you believe to be lunatics. I'm sorry our prayers are such an inconvenience to you and that you seem to be so caught up in the game getting started that you can't pause for just a second. I'm sure that people of other nationalities attend football games all the time, are we going to stop singing the National Anthem too?

Erudite Redneck said...

Not a question of how anyone *feels* about this. A question of what the Constitution says. And it says "Don't."

Daffy76 said...

I'm sorry. You'll have to tell me where the Constitution says that. I missed that part.

Toad734 said...

RE: Daffy

You are missing the point; you are saying that Muslims can pray during a Christian prayer that is not the same as what you are talking about. What you are talking about is grandstanding and bullying the people who don't want to hear it, or waste part of their day so you can do it.

So Daffy, would you be willing to let a Muslim get up and do his chant on a microphone before a football game, and then let a Jew come up and do his thing, then let the Sikh who works at the 7 eleven come up and do his thing, and then start the game an hour later?

Are you there for a football game or a church service? Pray at home! It won't kill you to go an hour without praying. And if it does, become a nun and live in a convent.

After all, you can do your own Christian prayer while the Muslim is praying in Arabic.

And the Constitution does say, in so many words, that the state cannot favor one religion over another, a football stadium at a public school would be government owned property and would thus be unconstitutional, as they guy trying to lead the prayer pointed out.

RE: Trixie,

I am going have to use that Bible quote, that's great. Although Christians generally pick and chose what they want to follow from the Bible, so it probably won’t make a bit of difference if I post that on my site.

By the way, anyone who wants to get in on the stem cell debate, come on over to my blog.

tugboatcapn said...

Toad, you may be the most biggoted, intolerant person that I have ever interacted with.
If christians take up a collection and repay you the seventeen cent of your tax money that went to that football stadium, will you then shut up?
You have no problem with the Government taking my tax money and paying for anything and everything that I don't agree with, but when someone wants to express their right to worship God, as is guaranteed by the first amendment of the Constitution, all of a sudden YOU have a problem with tax dollars being spent.
Every time I read one of your comments, you become more offensive to me.

Daffy76 said...

Toad, how is what you're saying not bullying people of faith? You think that it's okay to be Christian as long as I do it in secret. If that's not oppression I don't know what is.

I AM saying that if a Muslim wants to lead the public prayer at a football game once in a while, let them. High school football seasons last for several months, I don't see why, (if it's such a big issue), that any faith that wishes to can't be represented. By the way, that includes the Atheist and the Agnostic. I'll give you one night per season to have the mic to say, "We really hope that the players will play fair and that no one will get hurt. But we deny the existence of a higher power and therefore cannot invoke any kind of divine protection. Therefore, kids, good luck. You're on your own."

And by the way, the Bible says to pray without ceasing, so I can't and shouldn't go an hour without praying. Again, the public prayer before a football game is not offered to convert anyone. It is said in the spirit of good sportsmanship and in concern for the safety of the players. That you don't believe in the entity being addressed does not lessen that fact.

Your inability to see this as anything but a waste of time for you is inconsiderate to the fans of football who do believe in God and want a prayer said. The problem here is that you have no respect for any faith but your own or your lack thereof. You assume, incorrectly, that I exercise the same kind of intolerance. If a moment of silence were called for at the beginning of every game, would it be the same argument? I doubt it. You can pause for a moment of silence as long as it doesn't involve prayer.

I could go into the real reasons you feel that way. But really it would be better for both of us to halt this conversation in the interest of peace. I'm not going to change your mind and you're certainly not going to change mine. It's not worth getting my blood pressure up anymore. Let me just say, I'll pray for you. Have a nice day.

Mark said...

i just liked the story

Toad734 said...

The constitution does give you the right to worship as you chose but there is a time and place for that worship.
With your logic I should be able to walk into your church start screaming about how the minister molested me(ist amendment), tap my Keg (21st amendment) and then start shooting holes in the ceiling (2nd amendment).

Or perhaps that wouldn't be appropriate, now you get my point. Keep your religion in your church and keep your church out of my state, out of my bedroom, and off of people's bodies.