Sunday, November 1, 2009

Protest Prayers at Football Games

Students at Port St. Joe High School in Santa Rosa, FLA, have discovered how to exercise their Constitutional right of free expression. It seems that after a judge told the principal of the high school that he could no longer actively promote Christianity (see prior posting) the students decided to do an end run & proclaim their faith at the football games anyway by passing out cards before the game announcing that 10 minutes before kickoff, there would be a student led Lord's Prayer recitation. The students would then hold up placards asking the audience to stand & the Lord's Prayer is recited --- all led by the students. Then an announcement is made over the loud speaker that the school in no way promoted or was involved with the public prayer. (See article in the Panama City News Herald.)

It's legal. And it should be. No problem with students exercising their right to pray or expressing their faith freely.

The problem is that what the students are doing is both terribly rude & sets a precedent that these same students will one day not like.

Other faiths will begin to do the same thing at some point. One day, there will be a "Prayer Battle" before the game to see which faith can have the biggest prayer support. That is not good, but that is the scenario this sort of childish action is going to cause. And by "childish" I don't mean the students: I mean the Religious Not Right zealots who are playing these students like puppets in their political game.

Jesus said, "Treat others the way you would want to be treated." Somehow I don't think these same Christians would want to be in a situation where 99% of the crowd is Muslim & all begin a student led prayer to Allah --- & that handful of Christians in the stands will feel an intense pressure to conform. That's not fair. It's not keeping with the command of Christ.

But the bigger question is this: why does anyone feel compelled to do a public prayer before a football game anyway? Don't these people pray on their own, in private? Where in the Bible does it ever talk about football game prayers anyway? Doesn't Jesus condemn public prayers for the sake of being seen anyway? Wouldn't it be more useful if those students --- Ok, adults who are the real instigators of all this --- were mindful of their faith as an ethic instead of a political tool?

Rudeness is a big turn off to a cause. Imagine how people of other faiths feel when they came to see their child participate in a football game, but the Christians in the audience forced the witnessing of a worship service? That is not the way to influence people for a cause but it is a surefire way to alienate people --- & give them every reason to do the same thing to the Christian minority one day.

Godslingers in Santa Rosa: please use your God-given brain to think before you plan anything else. You're not helping.


Georgia Mountain Man said...

I can't help but believe that there are probably Jews in those stands, given the location. I'd bet that they aren't impressed by the Lord's prayer.

Diane J Standiford said...

I love the way you think. You certainly sound more Christ-driven than many "Christians" I have known. This kind of behaviour is exactly what has always turned me off of churches and WWJD pin-wearers. I often wonder if they are reading impaired. (They speak of reading the Bible, yet...)

Diane J Standiford said...

PS--your profile made me cry.