A high school in Alabama has received a stern rebuke from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, with the not-for-profit organization asking the school to immediately cease broadcasting pregame prayers over its loudspeakers, citing a violation of all students’ freedom of religion.
As reported by AL.com and Trussville Patch, among other sources, Hewitt-Trussville’s athletic department was reported by a concerned parent, who alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which in turn filed a complaint directly with the school. There was no immediate word on what the FFRF would do if Hewitt-Trussville authorities ignore their pleas, though past precedent would mean a lawsuit could be in the offing if the school doesn’t respond appropriately.
Even parents and students who might want to support the Hewitt-Trussville tradition of a pregame prayer would have a hard time justifying its continuation, given the actual prayer itself.
“Father, today we play as two separate teams, but we live as one body of Christ, as your hands and feet. And through it all we play…ultimately to further your kingdom…In Jesus’ mighty name we all pray, Amen.”
“In Jesus’ mighty name we all pray,” does not leave much room for interpretation. Rather, it confirms that the prayer being held by the school was directly and unequivocally Christian, which is a pretty direct violation of Constitutional rights.
If nothing else, the ruling has spiced up the closing stages of Hewitt-Trussville’s still undefeated 2017 season.