Cheerleaders at Tennessee High School Take a Stand for Pre-Game Prayer

Cheerleader pdONEIDA, Tenn. — Cheerleaders at a high school in Tennessee have found a way to put prayer back into the pre-game period of athletic events in the face of a recent decision by school officials to replace the prayers with a moment of silence.

According to reports, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association instructed schools two years ago to discontinue offering prayers over the sound system prior to athletic events. But officials at Oneida High School defied the order and kept praying.

“We just felt as long as no one here locally complained, we can continue to do it,” announcer Kevin Acres told local television station WBIR.

But this year, outside organizations began to pressure Oneida High School to discontinue the practice. Therefore, the school replaced the prayers with a moment of silence.

Acres recently spoke about the change over the loudspeaker.

“I have been asked many times over the past few weeks why we no longer have an opening prayer, like we have done at every football game that I am aware of since we started playing football at Oneida in 1930,” he said, explaining that the removal of the prayer was due to threats of a lawsuit. “In an effort to protect the resources of our high school institution from any legal actions that these groups may take, we will from this point forward observe a moment of silence prior to the start of sporting events.”

Acres then explained that each individual attendee is welcome to do as he or she wishes during the moment of silence.

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“[D]uring the moment of silence, if you want to say a prayer, or choose not to say a prayer, that is your constitutional right as an American,” he advised. “In other words, it is no one’s place to tell you that you have to say a prayer, just as it is no one’s right to say you can’t say one.”

“On a more personal note, I would like to conclude by saying, ‘As for me and my house, we will worship the Lord,'” Acres stated.

But football coach Tony Lambert said that the absence of prayer was glaring.

“I heard the moment of silence, but it was kind of a sick feeling in my stomach,” he commented.

The cheerleading squad at Oneida High School was also disturbed about the decision and decided to take a stand. During a recent moment of silence, cheerleader Asia Canada began reciting the Lord’s Prayer out loud. Her fellow cheerleaders, and even the cheerleaders from the opposing team, joined her.

“When they started saying it, the crowd started saying the Lord’s Prayer,” she told reporters. “And by the time the prayer was over with, the entire stadium was saying it.”

Now, the cheerleaders recite the Lord’s Prayer before every game, and no one stops them because the prayer is student-led and is not delivered over the loudspeaker.

“The removal of prayer before football games wasn’t an option in my opinion,” cheerleader Kayla King told the Independent Herald. “It’s your option what you do during that moment of silence, whether you say a prayer or not, but ‘as for me and my house, we will worship the Lord.’ I’m thankful for the community I live in and hope to represent it well.”

 

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  • http://www.locomotivebreath1901.blogspot.com/ locomotivebreath1901

    God bless them.

  • Duke of Clay

    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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.
    But 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.

    • Richard Jones

      Spot on Duke, spot on

    • david ramseur

      Corporate prayer is good, just like personal prayer is good. It is edifying to the body of believers. Not all prayer in public is bad. Reality is not that cut and dry.

      • retchsweeny

        Yeah, it’s only Jesus saying that stuff…you know better.

      • Dan Summers

        Well glad you know better the Jesus!

        • jmichael39

          Why do you persist in opening your mouth about a subject you know just enough about to sound ignorant?

        • david ramseur

          When we come to the New Testament, biblical history begins anew with the birth of a son of David and Abraham (Matt. 1:1), who will eventually plead before the Father to keep his disciples from the evil one, to sanctify them in truth, and to make them one (John 17:15-21). This mediator of a new covenant taught not just individuals but a people to pray. After all, they are united under one Father (“Our Father”) and were to ask not just for their own bread and deliverance from temptation and evil, but for one another’s (“Give us …lead us…deliver us…,” Matt. 6:9–13).

          After the Day of Pentecost, the early church devoted itself, among other things, to “the prayers” (Acts 2:42). We have another corporate prayer that rehearses biblical theology in Acts 4:24–30, and a corporate prayer meeting is held as the people plead for Peter’s release—a request the Lord grants (12:12–17). Corporate prayer and fasting also leads to the setting apart and sending out of Paul and Barnabas (13:1–3).

          Paul states regulations for the behavior of men and women in corporate prayer in 1 Corinthians 11 and 14, and he asks the Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians to pray for his ministry (Rom. 15:30; Eph. 6:19; Phil. 1:19; Col. 4:3–4; 1 Thess. 5:25). Among other things, corporate prayer should always be done in a manner that builds up the church (1 Cor. 14:16-17). He also instructs Timothy to lead the church in Ephesus to pray for all men, especially kings and those in high positions, and this is to be done without anger or quarrelling (1 Tim. 2:1–2, 8).

          In the book of Revelation the saints who have gone before are corporately petitioning the Father to avenge their blood (Rev. 6:9–11). The prayers of the saints are incense before the throne of God (8:1–4), to which God responds with judgment upon his enemies (8:5–13). The church responds to the Revelation of Jesus Christ with the corporate prayer, “Come!” (22:17).
          http://www.9marks.org/journal/biblical-theology-corporate-prayer

    • James Grimes

      Here’s another atheist who is taking Scripture out of context. We’re not interested.

      • dimensio

        I agree. The people at this school who made a point to pray loudly and publicly so that they could be seen are nothing like the hypocrites spoken of by Christ, who prayed loudly and publicly so that they could be seen.

      • Dan Summers

        Well you take it out of context too James. How do you know yours right way out of the over 30000 different versions out there. Unless you are God…you have no clue as to how it is to be taken…you just your own interpretation and what has been told to you by others.

        • jmichael39

          Because its called C O N T E X T…. NOT a translation. And, perhaps, James, like myself, is well versed in textual criticism, hermaneutics, and ancient Greek and Hebrew. Are you?

          • James Grimes

            Thanks. The Atheist likes to comment while he has his foot in his mouth. I am a student of the Bible with numerous courses under my belt. It has been a wonderful study. I hope you have found the same. Blessings for a great weekend.

          • jmichael39

            I am well versed in theology, hermaneutics, textual criticism, Koine Greek, and, to a lesser degree, Ancient Hebrew. It literally makes me laugh out loud to watch people like this twit pretend like he understands the Bible and God enough to present an intelligent criticism.

          • James Grimes

            Glad to hear. The only way to read the Bible is with intelligence and an open mind. The opportunity to have God speak to us through His Word is a special privilege. The atheist trolls who haunt this site would never understand.

          • jmichael39

            and with the Author right there to explain things as we read.

          • jmichael39

            and with the Author right there to explain things as we read.

          • James Grimes

            Glad to hear. The only way to read the Bible is with intelligence and an open mind. The opportunity to have God speak to us through His Word is a special privilege. The atheist trolls who haunt this site would never understand.

          • jmichael39

            I am well versed in theology, hermaneutics, textual criticism, Koine Greek, and, to a lesser degree, Ancient Hebrew. It literally makes me laugh out loud to watch people like this twit pretend like he understands the Bible and God enough to present an intelligent criticism.

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            If you think you are such a biblical scholar, then I recommend you call in to The Atheist Experience TV Show out of Austin Texas on Sunday and go up against Matt Dillahunty. He possibly knows more than you on the subject.

          • James Grimes

            LOL… I’m not interested. Bye.

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            I’ve been there and watched a taping of the show. It’s excellent. I can see why you’d be intimidated though.

      • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

        James, I suggest you read the bible.

        What the Bible says about Children

        Children who refuse to obey their parents must be executed.

        If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice
        of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened
        him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold
        on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his
        place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn
        and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And
        all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou
        put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. — Deuteronomy 21:18-21

        He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. —
        Exodus 21:15

        He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. —
        Exodus 21:17

        Children who mock their parents will have their eyes plucked out by ravens
        and eaten by eagles.

        The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the
        ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. — Proverbs 30:17

        Like Abraham, parents should be willing to kill their children for God.

        And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and
        … offer him there for a burnt offering…. And Abraham stretched forth his
        hand, and took the knife to slay his son. — Genesis
        22:2,10

        God killed all the firstborn children in an entire country.

        The LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of
        Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the
        dungeon…. And there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where
        there was not one dead. — Exodus 12:29-30

        Sometimes God kills children for misbehaving.

        And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way,
        there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto
        him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and
        looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth
        two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. — 2 Kings 2:23-24

        Someday God will force parents eat their own children.

        And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters
        shall ye eat. — Leviticus 26:29

        And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of
        thy daughters. — Deuteronomy 28:53

        And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their
        daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. — Jeremiah 19:9

        And then there’s this statement, which could only be found in the Bible:

        Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the
        stones. — Psalm 137:9

        • James Grimes

          Kay, I read the Bible every day. I study the Bible. I know the Bible. Your comment here shows how little, if anything, you know about the Bible. It’s really easy to cut and paste from an online Bible, but to know it takes time and dedication to studying it. You have not done that. Please don’t misuse and abuse Scripture. You are not qualified to use Scripture to make any point, even as pathetic as the one you had attempted, on this site.

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            If you’ve read the bible and remain a follower of it, then you definitely support violence. Read Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Judges, Numbers and Exodus. After that, you should be an atheist. If not, there is something wrong with you.

          • James Grimes

            I’m not interested.

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            I can see why you wouldn’t want to read the bible, it’s quickest way to atheism and many humans can’t handle that because they are afraid to die. Thus, they make up stories or adopt others stories in order to pretend they will live forever. Should you ever decide to read the bible, I hope you will see it for what it is, really violent and disgusting. If there was a god and he acted like that, I wouldn’t even let him in my front door.

          • James Grimes

            You are one sick and delusional atheist. BTW, I am still not interested in your delusions.

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            Maybe one day you’ll get smart. I recommend watching archived videos from “the atheist experience”. you can search online to find them. Matt Dillahunty is the best!

          • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

            Your comment here shows how little, if anything, you know about the Bible.

  • Guest

    Add these students to your prayers folks. They are surely coming under attack.

  • retchsweeny

    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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But 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.

  • VRWC

    To those unbelievers who think we shouldn’t pray in public and who so obviously misunderstand Jesus’ teaching about hypocrisy in prayer, Jesus also, in the Gospel of Mark chapter 6, did this: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves…” That is to say, he prayed to God in front of 5,000 people. To sincerely pray privately or in public to seek the blessing of God is correct according to scripture; those who do it to be seen of men do indeed have their only reward. I would refer you also to St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 6, verse 7.

    • Marie Adigwe

      Most of us really don’t care if Christians pray in public. What we care about is prayer being led by government officials, teachers, and other employees of government-controlled facilities because, in our view, it represents a distinct violation of the Establishment Clause. We don’t care about personal prayer, and I would be pissed if somebody ever tried to stop me from openly praying because that’s a violation of the Free Exercise Clause.

      • VRWC

        Although you and I disagree about the meaning and reach of the Establishment Clause I appreciate your reasonable response.

      • KenS

        never mind the fact that by not allowing government officials and employees to pray in public is also a violation of the free exercise clause….did you ever stop to think about that?

        • Marie Adigwe

          You misunderstood me. I said that we don’t care about personal prayer. What we care about is prayer being led by government officials, teachers, and other employees of government-controlled facilities. In other words, these people can’t lead mandatory prayer (where everybody has to pray) because it promotes an establishment of religion, but they can pray individually.

  • Babette Anne Aben

    Why do we keep bowing to pressure from ungodly people. Why can’t they bow down to the pressure we should bring to bear on them.

    • LionKing

      Maybe because they’re more convinced in their beliefs than we are in ours. What a shame on us, if that is truly the case!

    • Dan Summers

      There is no problem with Student started/lead prayer. The problem is with School/teacher endorsement and leading of prayer in a Public school. That is illegal.

      • Tim Cunningham

        That is the current application of the Constitution. When this Great Country was formed, they had schools in Churches, and Bibles were used during the school day. It is sad the these groups feel that they need to search the US looking for these non-PC events. It looks like this backfired because OHS is in a Godly Community and now have been reminded not to take for granted something that they have been doing since the 1930’s.
        Praying for the Suit threatening group and Oneida, Tenn.

  • Nathan Marcy

    This is going to end up back in court. Sante Fe ISD v Doe ruled on this already that even student led prayer before school activities was only acceptable at commencement ceremonies, and only if it was nonsectarian. Given that the ACLU of Tennessee and the FFRF have been keeping an eye on Oneida I’m sure that this will be headed back to court and the school district can get raked over the bench again.

    • Tish

      When the reality of the hurt, the hunger the abused,the sick and all the true needs of humans and animals alike is so glaring and apparent…only those without a soul would spend what precious little time we have on this earth doing such inane and wasteful deeds, when that precious little time could be spent improving the lives of those who desperately need it,, even something so small as the touch of one human hand to another would be time far better spent than ”heading back to court to be raked over the bench again” as was stated above…what a shameful waste of precious time

      • Nathan Marcy

        We have the rule of law in this country. The school administration violated that law when they instructed the cheerleaders to lead a public prayer. I’m not a lawyer – I work in hospitals, so I know well about the hurt, the hungry, and abused. You can’t patronize me there. But, I am glad to see that there are people willing to take these petty criminals and punish them for so totally disrespecting the law in this country.

  • dimensio

    Good for these fine Christians! By banding together and praying loudly and openly, and by doing it in a way that everyone can see them, they will truly have their reward!

    • James Grimes

      Sarcasm doesn’t work on this site.

      • Dan Summers

        Yes…yes it does.

      • https://twitter.com/GodsDontExist GDE (Kay)

        It does.

  • Dan Summers

    Student lead…nothing wrong here. As long as it is not endorsed or started by the school….the cheerleaders can pray in public all the want. Though they are going against the word of Jesus by doing so….but all the power to them.

  • Rosemary Martin

    Praise God and please bless these young ladies and all that pray. As for me and my house, we will worship the Lord also.

    • JackLinks

      My god can knock your god out with one punch!

    • JackLinks

      My god can knock your god out with one punch!

  • JackLinks

    “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.…

  • JackLinks

    “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.…

  • paulie

    Why is it ok for everyone else to do what they do and Christians and jews can”t

  • paulie

    our politians are allowing this so they can get a vote , they no they are screwing us

  • Tim Cunningham

    These fringe groups that go around this Great Country threatening to sue other Americans for doing/ or not doing something they disapprove/approve of, without regard for the People who live there locally is ruining this Great Godly Country. Stay strong My Sister’s in Christ @ OHS.

  • Thomas Downs

    We are a nation of many religions. You cant have freedom to chose your own religion, 1st Admendment, when one religon is favored over the other by the Gov. And we the people decide at the birth of this nation that the choice to believe in any of the thousands of gods or no god at all is up to the individuals. It is not chosen by the majority for the individual. When those girls put on their unform they became spokesperson for all the students and the school not just themselves or just christains, so they are not in titled to spoke just for themselve. No different then when I put on my Deputy Sheriff’s uniform, my action and words are subject to restriction per the Sheriffs office policies. Same with a cheerleaders uniforms. Peace to all.