Kentucky Student-Led Pre-Game Prayers Under Fire by Atheist Activists

Prayer Football pdMIDDLESBORO, Ky. — A prominent atheist activist organization has renewed its complaint against a school board in Kentucky after it recently decided to reinstate pre-game prayers—but with the stipulation that the prayers be led by students.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent a letter to the superintendent of the Bell County Board of Education to ask that it recant its approval of the prayer practice.

“We ask that the board rescind this unconstitutional decision and refrain from injecting illegal prayer at school-sponsored events,” it wrote. “[I]t is surprising … that the school board would knowingly violate the law and bring back prayer before athletic games.”

Prayers had previously been presented during Bell County High School games by a local Christian minister, but were discontinued in 2011 after FFRF likewise sent a letter declaring that the practice is unconstitutional. The Kentucky Education Department had provided counsel to school officials following receipt of the correspondence that clergy-led prayers at public high school games ran afoul to federal case law.

However, according to reports, during a recent booster club meeting, several in attendance stated that they missed having the prayers at the games. The booster club then approached Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam about the matter, who told them that the prayers must be student-led to be permissible.

The following day, a student group called “First Priority” approached Gilliam, who took the matter to the board. The Bell County School Board then approved First Priority’s request last Tuesday.

“We’ll have several of our First Priority students … who are interested in leading the prayer,” teacher Samantha Johnson told WKYT-TV. “It’s not an organized prayer. It will happen sometime before the game, probably over the loud speaker.”

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Last Friday, students offered their first prayer at the event. Gilliam explained that the students had to find their own public address system to use as the school stayed completely separate from the offering of the invocation.

“They’re basically on their own,” she told reporters. “All we’re doing is allowing students the freedom of expression if they so choose.”

However, now that the prayers have resumed, FFRF says that it has again obtained complaints about the invocations and is seeking for permission to First Priority to be rescinded.

“The district must take immediate action to ensure prayers are not scheduled at athletic events,” it wrote. “The board must immediately rescind its decision to host prayers before the games, even under the condition that they are ‘student led.'”

FFRF further asserted that it “makes no difference how many people want prayer or wouldn’t be offended by prayer at school events…” However, it incorrectly assumed in the correspondence that the school public address system was being provided to students, in addition to the time.

Booster club leader Joe Humfleet told the Associated Press that he hoped the district wouldn’t cave to FFRF’s demands.

“We need to go on with what’s right,” he said. “We’re letting the minority dictate what we do. It’s not right morally, and it’s not right by our American way.”


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  • Dave_L

    I never imagined Russia would be a guiding light for America, but with their pro family stance in opposition to homosexuality, and now this on Abortion, I believe God has/will bless them.

    Russia: Church and State Sign Agreement to Prevent Abortion

    The agreement includes joint actions with medical institutions for the

    “creation of crisis pregnancy centers at hospitals with the participation of psychologists and participation of representatives of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church in advising women who are planning to terminate the pregnancy, in medical institutions”

    and for the provision of space for

    “posting information of religious organizations of the Russian Orthodox Church on the stands in medical institutions.”

    Additionally, the two parties will also undertake

    “joint efforts to provide assistance and support to pregnant women whose prenatal diagnosis indicate to the malformation of the fetus, as well as mothers who give birth to a child with developmental disabilities.”

    to require women to visualise and listen to the heartbeats of the foetus before being given permission to access a legal abortion;

    exclude coverage of abortion from the Obligatory Medical Insurance;

    to prohibit the sale of safe medication that terminate pregnancies.

    http://www.nationalrighttolifenews(DOT)org/news/2015/07/russia-church-and-state-sign-agreement-to-prevent-abortion/

  • Emmanuel

    While CNN, MSNBC and all the lefty channels are quiet about it. Their silence is an admission of guilt and agreement.

    • Homer for God

      Them and the atheists, non-believers and any other troll on these forums that supported the decision of Roe v. Wade.
      Keep the armor of God on..more proof the end is near.
      God Bless

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        On both a-theism and liberalism (pardon the redundancy), there are no grounds for objective moral values and duties. It is “anything goes” in that worldview. 97% of a-theists are pro-aborts, and Richard Dawkins has said that it is immoral NOT to abort a Down Syndrome baby. Most a-theists and liberals remain quiet on these revelations for a reason: their worldview supports it. They do not understand why this is objectively evil.

        In order for the few a-theists willing to condemn atrocities like this, they must steal the existence of objective moral values and duties from the Objective Moral Law Giver, God, that they do not believe in, yet hate. And a-theists agree with me here:

        “In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, or any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference… DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.” (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995))

        “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology
        tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.” A-theist William Provine

        “The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate when someone says,
        ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. Nevertheless, such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, . . . and any deeper meaning is illusory.” (Michael Ruse, “Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics,” in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), pp. 262-269).

        “What are we to say about them [the mentally handicapped]? The natural conclusion, according to the doctrine we are considering [Darwinism], would be that their status is that of mere animals. And perhaps we should go on to conclude that they may be used as non-human animals are used – perhaps as laboratory subjects, or as food.” James Rachels “Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism,” p 186.

        “If … men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be any doubt that our unmarried females would, like the worker-bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill their fertile daughters; and no one would think of interfering.” Charles Darwin, “The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex,” p. 100.

        “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.” — Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

        In addition, he subtitled his magnum opus The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.

        “No rational man cognizant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man.” — Thomas Huxley, the man most responsible for advancing Darwinian doctrine

        “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population.” – Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, 1939

        “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan.” — Margaret Sanger

        “But for my view, I believe that there should be no more babies.” — Margaret Sanger

        • Oboehner

          What did Dawkins say about wheelchair bound invalids?

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            I am not sure on that one. Could it have been Peter Singer? He is the one who is for post-birth “abortions” up to the age of two:

            http://www .abc .net .au/news/2012-08-15/young-case-against-peter-singer/4199120

          • Oboehner

            The question was somewhat rhetorical referring to his counterpart Stephen Hawking. How his tune would change than.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            I finally caught up to you – excellent! You know, Hawking is still doubling down on the universe creating itself. It is amazing to see the lengths to which a person will go to reject God, but, then again, there but for His Grace go I.

          • Oboehner

            If one would really look critically at evolutionism without preconceived religious fervor, one could easily see the ridiculousness of it all.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Amen! Belief in Darwinism requires a blind faith acceptance of miracles far more improbable that the Resurrection of Jesus.

        • Dave_L

          Thanks for the work you put into this.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Thank YOU, Dave L – I am getting SO much out of YOUR posts, truly driven by the Holy Spirit!

  • Angel Jabbins

    The Supreme Court (a handful or morally bankrupt liberal elitists) gave mothers the ‘right’ to kill their babies in the womb..burning them alive with saline or ripping them apart with forceps and then tossing them in a garage can. And we thought it couldn’t get any worse. But it has….selling these little babies’ body parts!! Could our country sink any lower?

    “A wealth of anatomical, behavioral and physiological evidence shows that the developing human fetus is capable of experiencing tremendous pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization.” (Worse, in fact, than the pain an adult would feel.)

    I wish all the pro-aborts would read the article at the link below. If they can read it and STILL be pro-abortion, they are heartless beasts with no conscience. Babies who receive surgery before birth are given medication to deaden pain….no so for babies who are aborted.

    http://www.doctorsonfetalpain. com/fetal-pain-the-evidence/#.VbGh_PlViko (lose space between dot and com)

    • WorldGoneCrazy

      Trust me, Angel: the folks that are pro-abortion in 2015 can look at pictures of aborted babies and watch videos of abortions while eating their salads and drinking red wine and laughing. People are now posting stories about how “proud” they are of their abortions. It is truly demonic. Thank you for the link and God bless!

    • Josey

      I believe they are with out conscience, these administrators, doctors, nurses and our government officials who advocate abortion, it is demonic. We treat animals better. The animal organizations fight for the lives of whales,sea lions, etc. but say nothing for the millions of babies being murdered and torn apart in their mothers wombs. Abortion has become a way of convenience, just get rid of the problem (pregnancy) and pretend it never happened. God’s wrath is laid up for these that so callously take part and promote this! I pray for the women who for one reason or another feel this is the only way out, to kill their own flesh and blood. We have counselling for everything under the sun but do these abortionists counsel these women that there are other alternatives to abortion, doubt it, they talk those into it that express concerns, a fact from a friend who went through it. There are so many who would adopt these babies.

      • Homer for God

        “We have counselling for everything under the sun but do these abortionists counsel these women that there are other alternatives to abortion, doubt it”
        Not only will the “counselling” be unheard of soon, but doctors are already required to present the option of abortion to couples they believe will have a “high risk” pregnancy. Praise God more and more stories of “high risk” babies being born with no problems. It goes to show that science (no matter how much people put their 100% faith into it) is not accurate all the time and it will never be as reliable as God’s Holy Word is.
        One thing to note is we can take something out of this. Once our flesh dies and we are granted access into Heaven, we will see each and every one of those souls God has created and man destroyed.
        Keep your armor up and continue to pray for these victims and those affected as well as those butchers and who support these unholy laws.
        We have to remember that they are God’s creations as well, even though they do what is wrong in His eyes. We love unconditionally because God does, and we have to have the same faith and hope that they will answer God’s calling on their heart as well before it’s too late for them. Once rapture comes and God’s people get swept up, all that’s left is them. We have to disciple to as many souls before its too late.
        God Bless

  • amostpolitedebate

    BS guy on BS television network takes obvious hatchet job at face value. News at eleven.