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Organization sends complaint letter on loudspeaker prayer at Hewitt-Trussville games

From The Trussville Tribune staff reports

TRUSSVILLE – The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sent a letter of complaint to Trussville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill saying there has been a constitutional violation regarding prayer being broadcast over the loudspeaker before football games at Hewitt-Trussville.

The letter was sent to Neill on behalf of the organization by legal fellow Christopher Line.

The letter states, “It is our understanding that prayer is broadcast over the loudspeaker before Hewitt-Trussville High School football games. A recent game included a prayer that stated, ‘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.’ It ended, ‘In Jesus’ mighty name we all pray, Amen.’

“It is illegal for a public school to sponsor religious messages at school athletic events. The Supreme Court has continually struck down school-sponsored prayer in public schools.”

The letter goes on to state, “Moreover, the Supreme Court has specifically struck down invocations given over the loudspeaker at public school athletic events, even when student led.”

The letter cites multiple Supreme Court cases, including Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. V. Doe, 530 U.S. 290, 320 (2000), which it states has to do with “striking down a school policy that authorized students to vote on whether to have prayer at high school football games.”

“The Court reasoned that because the football game was a school-sponsored event, hosting prayer was a constitutional violation,” Line says in the letter. “Even if student-led, the Court said prayers at a ‘regularly-scheduled school-sponsored function conducted on school property’ would lead an objective observer to perceive it as state endorsement of religion.”

Line says in the letter that prayers at District football games are “inappropriate” and “unconstitutional,” and the district must take “immediate action to end the practice of broadcasting prayer over the loudspeaker of football games.”

Line said the FFRF is a national nonprofit organization whose purposes are to “protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.”

He said the organization was contacted by a concerned parent in the district on the matter.

Dr. Neill was unavailable for comment at the time of the story.

Comments

  1. This is the same organization that complained about Leeds High School’s marching band program.

  2. Dylan Haynes says:

    Why cant people keep their religion in their own home and church where it belongs?

  3. Because that’s not what the Lord has commanded us to do.

  4. People get a life.
    If you don’t want to hear it close your ears, shut your door. If people don’t like something they always complain about it and try and get their way.
    Cry me a river..
    Jesus deserves all praise!!!!!

  5. But the constitution does Diana

  6. Just show up after the prayer. If you don’t believe, then you shouldn’t be offended by what you don’t believe in.

  7. Lena Nessa Abdoli where in the constitution does it say you should not pray in public?

  8. Just wondering if some of y’all would still have the same view point if the prayer was for another religion. Just a thought.

  9. Kevin Small says:

    Funny if I don’t want to hear vulgar music over the loud speaker or see provocative dancing, I am supposed to be okay with that at games, but God forbid someone have to hear a plea for safety and health and good sportsmanship.
    I really don’t understand these people. They are the PETA of politics.

  10. “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭9:26‬ ‭NASB‬‬

    Because as Christians we are called to be unashamed of our faith. Why are you offended?

  11. A public high school isn’t considered the public.

  12. People shouldn’t have any bs religion crammed down their throat. I’m sure you “Christians” would feel the same about an Islamic prayer??

  13. Hopefully this letter just got thrown in the trash where it belongs…

  14. My faith doesn’t stop at my doorstep. And that’s my personal freedom. It goes both ways you see.

  15. Nick Smith says:

    I’m almost certain this is by an atheist group. That’s mad about anyone that believes in any higher power. Oh and I’m an atheist and don’t care about if you pray or not before games.

  16. Kim Parrish says:

    If I was in a Muslim majority country, I would respectfully listen to the prayer to Allah and then yell PLAY BALL!

  17. Cathy Bean says:

    I support the band at Leeds and the prayer at HT… the complaint is absurd! Liberals complain but provide absolutely nothing beneficial…

  18. Kim Parrish says:

    If I was in a Muslim majority country, I would respectfully listen to the prayer to Allah and then yell PLAY BALL!

  19. Who wins? Freedom OF Religion or Freedom FROM Religion. I will tell you. It is whoever makes the most trouble, complains the loudest and has NOTHING BETTER TO DO! If you do not like it, don’t go to the game. Put some damned earplugs in.

  20. Lynn Reid says:

    How simply horrible it must be to hear a person much less a whole stadium of folks voice that they want safety and well being for all of those teenage kids and their coaches. It must burn the ears of the ones complaining.

  21. Nothing is crammed down your throat. If you don’t like it don’t attend it. I don’t like ” heavy Metal” music so I don’t attend heavy metal concerts.

  22. Separation of church and state.

  23. Dylan Haynes says:

    Personal freedom ends when tax payer funded events have prayer over loud speakers.

    Also:

    Matthew 6:5-6

    5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 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.

  24. Well, considering this hate group doesn’t send out letters about Islamic prayer, I guess we’ll never know.

  25. Don’t we listen to. Another contries national anthem if they win golds at the Olympics?

  26. It saddens me that there is an organization for freedom FROM religion, not freedom of religion. Lord have mercy on their souls!

  27. Lena Nessa Abdoli No it doesn’t! Nowhere in the Constitution do the words “Separation of Church and State” appear.

  28. Who’s cramming it down your throat? I don’t think there is a person with a rifle to your head saying pray or die, is there?

  29. Brian Kinner says:

    Hey Michael, teach us about separation of Church and state.

  30. Kim Parrish says:

    REALLY??? the first clue is the word “public”

  31. Susan Thomas says:

    That’s not cramming it down your throat!! Good grief, enough with the theatrics!!!

  32. Lena Nessa Abdoli , the term “separation of church and state” isn’t in the constitution. The 1st Amendment doesn’t allow the government to establish an official religion, but it actually allows people to have free speech regarding their religious beliefs.

  33. Separation of Church and State means the Government cannot tell you which religion to follow. It does not mean a school cannot say a prayer before a football game.

  34. Your comment wasn’t about tax-payer funded events. It was asking why people can’t keep their religion in their own home and church “where it belongs”, thus limiting my personal freedom to what you want. My personal freedoms allows me to worship wherever I want.

  35. Read the constitution much?

  36. Dylan Haynes nice, but do you understand the meaning of those verses or are you trying to use scripture without the knowledge of scripture?

  37. Dylan Haynes says:

    Sondra Martin, so why cant you pray then? Why is your faith so small you have to go against gods word and pray in public?

  38. Susan Thomas says:

    A prayer for safety that’s it. If you dont believe then don’t worry about it. It’s not like that prayer is going to hurt anyone. Amazing though, when one of your children gets hurt badly, you’ll be crying out to God. This is just stirring the pot. Always gotta cause drama and get attention. Absurd

  39. Dylan Haynes says:

    Ronald Hagood Jr., do you understand the meaning of the versus or just twist them to always agree with what you want to do?

  40. Carol Miller says:

    Student led prayer is allowed so just leave it alone. Great thing about Trussville

  41. Freedom of Religion not only grants you the freedom to practice your religion, it also grants me, and my kids, the freedom FROM your religion if we choose not to practice that religion. Separation of Church and State was included in the Constitution for a reason. It also serves to keep out all religions out from public schools. Including Islam, Satanic, etc.

  42. Jason Lynn says:

    Michael Lindsey separation of church and state is NOT in the constitution. Good try

  43. Does the good Lord no longer hear silent prayers? I pray whenever and wherever I wish..but I don’t make a show of it.

  44. Michael, I can’t speak for everyone else, but I am a Christian (so no need for the apostrophes). If I attended a basketball game in a Hindu or Muslim or Church of Scientology gym, and they prayed, I would choose not to pray with them and would instead pray to God. The first amendment allows them to speak and pray. Period.

  45. Al Wortham says:

    People will buy a house next to pig farm n complain about the smell. ..don’t like high School football game …move. N I’ll pray out loud for your safe travels

  46. Tax payers didn’t fund my way in the gate, so we prayed it up. As for your scripture quote, you have totally taken it out of context. Christ is telling us not to pray JUST TO BE SEEN, he is not telling us TO NEVER PRAY IN PUBLIC. The hypocrites he references would ONLY pray to be seen but never in private. Our lives day to day to day should be walked in prayer. Several times in scripture Christ prays in public over food, for people, and even while on the cross. That prayer did not hurt anyone, it was an earnest prayer for everyone there both believers and non believers. One cannot just leave their faith at the door because it is a part of who they are. I pray for you. In Him and forever forward.

  47. Scott Crawford thank you!!!

  48. Kim Parrish says:

    My kids went through the first grade at a Christian school but we went to the JCC and temple with our friends. It’s called tolerance. If you’re not Christian than just be respectful until the ballgame starts. oh, and one of my best friends is Muslim. If I go visit her in Saudi, I will wear a hijab. But I still pray to Jesus. I’m mostly liberal but I’m sick of all this political correctness!

  49. Terry Thren says:

    God bless those who prayed…

  50. Read again. It does not say that.

  51. This is the phone number for this organization 608-256-8900. Give them a call.

  52. Lori Kent says:

    Oh brother. Here we go again.

  53. Here is a thought, stay home

  54. Wrong context Dylan Haynes. That was aimed at the religious leaders who only pretend to follow and pray. But do not actually mean it. Follow up in Luke as Jesus touched on this many times…

  55. Y’all are sheep. I don’t need your religion promoted on my tax dollars. Not gunna argue with y’all. I’m from Alabama and I know how blindly religious it is. Amen.

  56. Dylan Haynes Yes, as I have studied them. In a nutshell, it means do not pray with a prideful attitude. Don’t pray with the purpose of having everyone look at you. Basically don’t be a show off when you’re praying. When you pray, you should be humble, not boastful.

  57. It’s also doesn’t mean what you think it means. It prohibits the government from establishing religion. Religious freedoms, i.e. Praying in public, are protected.

  58. Kim Parrish says:

    We aren’t talking about devil worshipping here…the vast majority of Trussville are Christians. But I would take my Muslim bestie right into that ball game and she would politely pray to Allah or stand silently and then we’d watch a ballgame. It’s called being a tolerant human being…when in Rome, do as the Romans. That being said, I wouldn’t attend a satanic ritual if I didn’t like the prayer!

  59. Except it’s not in the Constitution.

  60. I mean it was ruled unconstitutional YEARS AGO by the Supreme Court. I’ve thought about it for years

  61. Amanda Plain says:

    Making too much sense.

  62. All these small town comments lol

  63. Dylan Haynes
    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”

  64. Jay Bonner says:

    Fight for a dam flag,don’t want anything to do with Jesus! Sad

  65. I don’t see the correlation between liberals and this complaint. Stay focused on the issue at hand.

  66. Cathy Bean says:

    Kimberly R Tarver are you familiar with freedom of speech? Did a conservative file the complaint? I am certain they did not!

  67. No it means the government should not make decisions based on religious belief. But a prayer at a football game i think should not fall under this. Its a sport who cares.

  68. Jennifer Chinnis Lawley Separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution?

  69. I don’t believe the FFRF can do anything about individuals in the stands or anywhere else voicing a prayer on their on so long as it is not over the loud speaker. So I say have at it loud and clear!!!

  70. It’s unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and recite it in public. KEY WORDS: state officials, official school prayer, recite.
    Student or parent led prayer at a football game is not unconstitutional.

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

  71. Jennifer Chinnis Lawley I wrote a 22 page paper on this case specifically, if you take the time to read through the Supreme Court case, you will realize it is in fact unconstitutional

  72. People are so afraid of their rights not being respected that they disrespect the rights of others, therefore, doing to others as they do not wish done to themselves.

  73. Tammy McCown says:

    Here’s another. You can stay home and pray. Or you can pray in the stands. It does not have to be over the loud speaker

  74. I have no problem with the prayer so why should I stay home, if you don’t like it, don’t go. No one is making you go

  75. Jeff Jessen says:

    Michael Lindsey, explain the real reason why you’re so against religion and conservative values.

  76. Frank Vance says:

    Next game all the fans that want to stand and bow their heads and say a prayer should have the opportunity, that’s our 1st Amendment right. Say it Loud and Clear. If you want to really make them mad go onto the field after the game and kneel and pray

  77. Freedom of Religion Not Freedom from Religion.

  78. Let me just say this. I am praying on the complainers right now. Can’t stop me.

  79. Ramp up the volume and pray louder. Louder and longer!

  80. Lol, looking at Michael’s profile I would say religion isn’t the only thing that has been crammed down his throat.

  81. I say the silent majority rules…maybe we all need to stop being silent…

  82. I love that our school prays before the football games. That’s the problem with our society, scared to pray or announce your love for God. When the rapture occurs and those left behind will be crying out to God for merciful forgiveness.

  83. The Constitution says nothing about Separation of church and state. Matter of fact, it isn’t mentioned in any of the founding documents.

  84. Diana Ingram says:

    If it offends others why not just have a silent prayer and if others pray to someone else than they can…

  85. Yes, they send out a bunch of letters threatening to sue. Yet when someone agrees to go to court, they lose often.

  86. Kevin Small says:

    If I was in a predominately Muslim community I would expect it.
    Just like I am in a predominantly secular setting, I expect there will be vulgarity in the music played or the dancers at many games.

  87. This is so crazy. Keep praying!!!

  88. What law is that exactly, I hear it mentioned but cannot find it…

  89. Perhaps not in words but the Supreme Court has repeatedly interpreted it to mean exactly that.

  90. Dude… google before you make the same idiotic statement as everyone else…

  91. Every High School has prayer before their games. This is what’s wrong with America today. The anti-religion people shoving their beliefs and complaints down our
    throats. We that are Christians need to take a stand NOW.

  92. And do it with a bull horn!!!

  93. Tell them, this aint california… its the south!!

  94. That won’t make anyone mad, because that would be constitutional

  95. Pray before you leave the house. This will be a very expensive mistake.

  96. So a few overrule the majority?? Take a vote – then they can just deal with it. Like we have to deal with the kneeling if u want to watch a football game— u have way too much time in your hands

  97. Denise Hall says:

    Bunch of crap. If you don’t want to hear it come in afterwards but if you don’t believe why does it bother you ??

  98. I’m glad, it is to loud

  99. Tell them to ‘Get over it”. Don’t back down.. that’s the problem.. too many christians has backed down! Don’t back down!!!

  100. Miranda Mason I’ll admit, I’m not going to read the case. I didn’t study law or history in college, and as an adult, I really don’t have time to sit and read it. If you’re correct, then that is sad, sad for our country. However, it makes me wonder if the same people who are twisting the establishment clause into this bastardized version of what it is today, are the same ones who are trying to make us believe the second amendment was written to protect the rights of hunters. My favorite saying is “Your rights end where mine begin.”

  101. Tammy McCown says:

    I actually have no interest in going. A moment of silence or you can pray on your own anywhere. Are you ok with a Muslim prayer? A Buddist? What about a Wiccan?
    They should all be allowed the same access. This is America, a Democratic Republic, not a theocracy.
    It is a football game not a church service.

  102. The Supreme Court has said public officials cannot hold prayer, there is a difference. This is bullying pure and simple.

  103. Why even tell anyone? Just throw it in the trash!

  104. This organization just sends out letters threatening to do something. But 9 times out of 10 they back down when the school stand up to them. They have no basis to stand on.

  105. In God We Trust ! I bet they will accept them!

  106. I would bet money that this concerned person does not even have a student at trussville.

  107. Simple solution would be for people to just recite the Lord’s Prayer in the stands. You may be able to silence a loud speaker, but a unified voice in prayer is tough to silence.

  108. Lisa Fultz says:

    It was actually in a letter by Jefferson that was protecting our religious rights. It was never intended to be separated.

  109. Ron Selesky says:

    Breaking news…someone is offended by something somewhere.

  110. Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe

  111. Lisa Fultz precisely! This is why it’s so important to keep far left wing justices off the Supreme Court. Their interpretation is not what was intended.

  112. Nick Smith says:

    There argument is also on separateing school and religion. I’ve had this debate with other atheists. They also think it’s wrong to force someone to “participate” in a prayer. They also brought up feeling it this happened in Israel or Iraq or what have you.

  113. I’m surprised they didn’t refer to them as being “outraged”. 🙄

  114. Randall Ray Pearcy did you google this one before you posted 🙄

  115. Way to go Pam!!! Me Too!!!

  116. We have always had prayer before football games, we have the Ten Commandments displayed on the US Capital building, we have “In God We Trust” on our currency. This is our heritage. It makes no sense for people to say that we are cramming religion down people’s throats when we are simply doing what we have always done! Judeo-Christian religion has always been here. If anyone’s rights are being violated, it is the people of this country who are trying to keep hold of the principles that have been around since the foundation of this country.

  117. Tammy McCown says:

    This is the thing. This is a public school event. Anyone that attends should feel they belong and not out of place.
    Obviously someone did.

  118. Kevin Small , I hope you are not referring to the dancers on the Husky/Trussville team!!

  119. Are you kidding me??? You evil people!!! When Jesus comes to get us , your in a heap of trouble! Until then.. may every thing you touch, turn to dust. Everything.

  120. Michael Lindsey All the time here’s what it says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    What law was passed by Congress during this prayer regarding a religion? Sure seems to me though that we’re trying to prevent the free exercise thereof.

    See here’s the little trick about constitutional law, there are two schools of thought, generally “the plain language” school i.e. it says what it says and the plain language controls, it doesn’t change, i.e. it’s not a living document. And the other school “the living document school” i.e. 12 guys sitting in D.C. somewhere get to redecide what it means from time to time. The reality is only one of those schools has any evidentiary basis in the original crafting of the constitution, the plain language school, based on the copious notes taken by the founders on their thinking.

    Right now it seems that second group is winning though, but again per our forefathers that wrote the constitution, that was never intended.

    What this means is there are two prevailing philosophies on how to interpret the constitution, without debating which one is right and merely acknowledging that they do exist, there’s just a much credence to the argument that this group’s gripe and the cases they’ve cited are bupkis as there is to their argument that this is somehow tantamount to the establishment of a religion via congressional law.

    The reality is this group actually does advocate for a religion, atheism, and they want to force everyone to practice it in the public square. Never mind the absolute absurdity and logical fallacy of the religion of atheism, these arguments are absolute bastardizations of the constitutional language. They’re emblematic of judicial creep into lawmaking, which places every current law on shifting sand. If tomorrow the court can read into law some loud cultural sentiment, you can never know if what you’re doing today won’t be illegal tomorrow.

    This is nothing more than judicial terrorism meant to sensor the populace into compliance with a loud minority.

  121. You guys just like drama and to argue… eat an ice cream, be happy. 😂

  122. The MAJORITY wants prayer. The MINORITY can take a hike.

  123. Anne Snider Steward I personally just like the law and I’m tired of people being so poorly informed because they believe what they want

  124. Someone hand those people a tissue. Always crying about something.

  125. Aaron Beard says:

    The atheist is offended that a 30 second prayer is offered by a Christian because of religion, yet the faith of evolution is shoved down the throats of our children for their entire childhood in schools.

    I’ll make a deal… no more public prayers over loud speakers in exchange for no more theory of evolution taught as fact.

  126. I agree with you, Tammy. 100%. No need to publicly pray in regards to one religion, and not to another. That’s ridiculous.

  127. Why am I not surprised? Sad times we live in.

  128. Kevin Small says:

    Karen Davidson Bradshaw no ma’am. Just a general comment about some schools / universities that I have seen over the years.

  129. Kevin Small says:

    Nothing is crammed down anyone’s throat. If I was in a predominantly Muslim community, I would expect a Muslim prayer.
    I would be respectfully silent, but it would not offend me.

  130. Maybe if we had more prayers we might have less violence. If it is bothersome co.e to the game I. The second quarter.

  131. Tommy McGhee says:

    Majority rules. Why change to accommodate less than .1 %.

  132. Vickie Cobb says:

    I don’t understand how under freedom of speech BLM and KKK can speak at colleges and other organized events but Christ is not a part of Freedom of Speech?

  133. Yeah, yeah, yeah… it’s a law, but you can get around it. It’s not worth the drama. Just go to the bathroom during the prayer. I don’t like the preaching at the 4th of July festival…but I don’t listen..i go for the fireworks…and I’m opened minded and respects others beliefs…its not just about me. 😗

  134. 64% of Americans want marijuana legal. Still support majority rules?

  135. Miranda Mason I feel the same way about the Bible.

  136. Cathy Bean are you familiar with freedom of speech? A public school can’t endorse a specific religion

  137. Lol what high school did you go to? Cause I’m pretty sure even living in the bible belt that my high school nor do alot other than the really back woods country ones pray period during ANY school function.

  138. Jordan Wilbanks and your point is?

  139. HTHS, Clay, Odenville, Briarwood, etc. I beg your pardon lady.

  140. Kevin Small says:

    Ronald Hagood Jr. it’s not a law. It was a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury baptists. The metaphor was used exclusively to keep the state out of the church’s business, not to keep the church out of the state’s business.

  141. The FFRF are s**t stirrers, pure and simple. Run them outta town.

  142. Stamp that letter return to sender and put it back in the box!

  143. Keep doing it. If they don’t like it then cover your ears.

  144. Cathy Bean says:

    No one is endorsing a religion at school and you live in Colorado so that reveals how much you know about it… who are you to tell anyone what they can do? Are you familiar with the rights of others?

  145. Kevin Small I know, I’m just trying to see if another one of the puppets was gonna echo the same lie…

  146. They did this to Leeds 2 weeks ago. They need to go back home and away from the south that we still are for prayer.

  147. Never ever ever back down. if Trussville schools backs down to this then we need to stand and not support any school function that they do ever again and we will make them stand up if they do back down to people like this.
    But something tells me that they are going to try to please this group.
    I hope not

  148. It is student led. People need to get over themselves and stop being so easily offended. I’m offended that they are offended. 🙂

  149. Still a non issue! Your certainty regarding the complaint being a liberal or conservative is unfounded! From what I read it’s a group and nothing was mentioned about their political affiliation.

  150. Cathy Bean says:

    Kimberly R Tarver definitely an issue and since you support the out of state group maybe you need to add your name to the complaint and then deny you are a liberal and political in nature; almost all attacks on Christianity are liberal and leftist; again it is related to the issue and liberals are typically supportive of these complaints… prove otherwise if you can legitimately … their political affiliation would be easy to verify… common sense!

  151. Pinson does it too. That’s what is wrong with these people today. Everyone is offended by something. Well you know what? I’m offended that they are offended! This country definately needs more prayer!

  152. Wow! We had to know these issues would eventually hit close to home. These days are frustrating but not hopeless! God’s glory is not diminished in any way regardless of what a court may decide on this issue. However, as followers of Christ we must not be silent but rather speak out when and where we can. Depending on the decision, hopefully there would be some creative folks who could find their way around a ‘public’ prayer ban.

  153. Be strong Trussville and stand up to these people. Everyone has rights, even the majority. Don’t let a small small percentage make rules for the majority!

  154. My son has been out of Hewitt for about 10 years. I loved that they allowed prayer at the PTA meetings and other events. I knew someone would complain one day and ruin it. Trussville has been blessed in the past.

  155. I think they are doing this to many schools. I know they targeted Homewood too.

  156. Thomas Bagby says:

    Tell them to leave for Hell early and skip the Prayer!

  157. Janet Marino says:

    What have we done? This is completely wrong. Our families and children should have that “right”…….this should have never been “forced” on States by federal law. We are ALL united in Christ our Lord and Savior. The President, Senate, and state representatives should are be aware of what schools locally are enduring.

  158. And then they resort to name calling. Figures.

  159. Hewitt has always had prayer before a game! This is what is wrong with the world and kids is prayer was taken out of schools! IF you don’t like it stay home! Why is Their always that one that has to complain and get his way? We need prayers! This organization offends me and I’m sick of Winnie people taking away my privileges!

  160. Daniel L. Strickland most people would listen to other religions prayers if the tables were turned. Why wouldn’t you? It’s not hurting anything lol.

  161. Please don’t let these people get away with this. Stand up we have as much right to pray as they do to not listen.

  162. Well……you knew it was coming. I support prayer.

  163. Trussville School Board. Please fight this. Set up a gofundme and I know we can financially support this fight. America was created by Jesus believing people that were tired of the British government telling them who to worship. Our constitution says government can’t tell us who to worship. Separation of church and state is a big lie. Let’s fight this!!

  164. Praying for this group to come to know Jesus. If they don’t believe then why are they upset that we do. Their rights should not take away our rights. I received a letter from this same group as a teacher. It only made my school get stronger in prayer, the faculty and the students started leading prayer. If the students lead the prayer, they can’t stop them. I light will forever shine for Christ, no matter where I am. Christ is in me, so wherever I go, He is there! Be strong in Christ Trussville!

  165. Glen Fountain, it honestly doesn’t bother me a bit. It serves a medical purpose.

  166. Let them Pray it’s their right

  167. That’s okay. How about a moment of silence and I’ll pray for the teams in Jesus’ name. -Celeste

  168. If you actually still believe that Separation of Church and State is in the Constitution, then you really need to read it again. You won’t find it.

  169. Tammy McCown says:

    Is that Winnie the Pooh people?
    And just an fyi, prayer was never taken out anywhere or any school. Any student can pray, any teacher can bow their head and pray. They cannot have school led prayer.

  170. Tammy McCown at least Winnie the Pool has a polite personality!

  171. I thought the Bible said prayer was meant to be in private, but maybe that was fake news…

  172. Butch Largin says:

    Those that don’t like it have every right to ignore it. Should the 99% that desire it be forced to not have the right to do it?

  173. SA Brooks says:

    We should not back down for one person. Seems suspicious that so many schools are getting complaints at the same time. Dr. Neill, if you cow down to them, then I’m getting all the moms and grandmas to wear sports bras and paint their torsos. If Spain Park School caves in to that one girl complaining about doing that, then I’ll start it here. That one atheist will wish he just plugged his ears for 30 seconds instead of having to close his eyes for 2 and a half hours!!! I’ll be praying for you!!

  174. I would hope Hewitt Trussville would not comply with this request. If they do Christians should be prepared to all pray out loud (freedom of speech).

  175. Don’t back down. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Those people need to stay out of the state of Alabama.

  176. So, if 95% of the people in the stands want a prayer and 5% don’t, why should we cater to the 5%? Don’t take away the rights of 95% of the people for the 5%. That’s silly. You will never be able to please the whole population.

  177. We people in the stands can say our own prayer together and longer. We can take a stand and we have that right. They will wish they had left us alone.

  178. Jeanne Gibbs says:

    What’s the matter with folks ?

  179. Lisa Jo says:

    America love it or leave it. Christian terrorists get out.

  180. If they don’t like it they need to put their fingers in their ears. Lalala

  181. That’s one of many reasons this world is in the shape it’s currently in now.

  182. Melissa Noto says:

    Lord help the ones who denounce Him. Even if it’s just to prove a point…sad world we live in.

  183. Folks we live in the Bible Belt. You knowingly make that decision when you move here or visit. It’s really not that hard to not pray. If it offends you so much just don’t pay attention. Be polite and kind of the majority of us around here who are strong in their faith. Goodness, just be adults.

  184. Judy Womble says:

    Why are we yielding to this group from Wis. that hate our Lord and deny His Christ? These people are a very small minority who are desperately trying to take God out of everything in this country!! If people continue to give in to them they will succeed in their mission. This is a hate group and a work of the Devil!

  185. Joel Knight says:

    It’s not Freedom “FROM” Religion, it’s Freedom “OF” Religion. Mind your own business and don’t come to a game if you’re offended.

  186. The prayer quoted in this complaint is from my son and those were his words from his heart! It absolutely breaks my heart that with all the negativity in this world, that someone wants to complain about this. My son is one of the most non-judgmental, giving, patient, loyal, God-fearing people I know and I could not be more proud of him! He is the type of person who doesn’t just talk the talk, he literally walks the walk and is a LIGHT in this world to ANYONE who crosses his path. I am also proud that Hewitt-Trussville High School gave him this opportunity and has continued having prayer before football games. I really hope hearts are softened and lives are changed as a result of kids like my son taking a stand for CHRIST! 1 Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are BLESSED, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

  187. Wow…..sad article!! I think I will PRAY for the person that has an issue with prayer!!! If there was more genuine prayer in this world maybe we wouldn’t be in the shape we are now!!

  188. I am so sorry this happened to your son!!

  189. The parents and fans need to stand for the Lord and not allow some group from Wisconsin to try to tell them what they can and cannot do. Let them ALL pray aloud to make their stand.

  190. I pray privately myself..

  191. I hope trussville sent a letter back telling them not to come if they had a problem with it.

  192. Lena Nessa Abdoli isn’t wrong here, a “public” high school is taxpayer funded, so it’s technically considered a government event, not a private event. And according to a US Supreme Court case(Sante Fe Independent School Distreict v. Doe) having prayer lead over a loudspeaker at a “public” school event is unconstitutional.

  193. According to a US Supreme Court case(Sante Fe Independent School Distreict v. Doe) having prayer lead over a loudspeaker at a “public” school event is unconstitutional. A “public” high school is taxpayer funded, so it’s technically considered a part of the government, therefore this would been considered a government event not private.

  194. Amanda Dobbs says:

    Thank you for posting this!!!

  195. Amanda Dobbs says:

    Thank you for posting this!!!

  196. Amanda Dobbs says:

    Christ is one of the biggest parts of my life, but I’m not allowed to bring up religion/faith at all as a government employee. It’s just how it works.

  197. Amanda Dobbs says:

    Christ is one of the biggest parts of my life, but I’m not allowed to bring up religion/faith at all as a government employee. It’s just how it works.

  198. We will all stay strong in God’s words & follow the path to unconditional love from Him here & in Heaven. 🙏

  199. Amanda Dobbs so sad, if people can speak out against it, we should be able to speak for it.

  200. invite all other religions to submit prayers to be read with the Christian one.

  201. Patty Rapp Evans you can speak for this as much as you want but the Supreme Court has already made a ruling concerning this type of situation, and it’s unconstitutional. Seems like quite a few people on this thread see this as a slight towards their own faith and aren’t taking into account the faith of others that may have been attendance. Religion, no matter which religion it is, should be shown favor by a government entity according to the constitution.

  202. Lol I went to clay and went to almost every game. So I think I shouldn’t be the one pardoned

  203. Lloyd Frey says:

    Karen Davidson Bradshaw. The same thing happened here. The next Friday night the students in the stands started the Lord’s Prayer and the students on the visitor side joined in. Where there’s a will…

  204. It’s not student led, is it?

  205. No one is complaining about a football game. Cute analogy though.

  206. So- is everyone cool if we also say a rosary, a Muslim prayer, a Hindu prayer, a Jewish prayer and maybe a do a Wiccan sun dance? Or are we just wanting to be sure that the Christians in Trussville are comfortable? I’m really very surprised at how many people are willing to neglect the constitution here.

  207. Katy Hummel says:

    Branden…..I would be OK with each group wanting to say a 2 min or less prayer before games so we could accommodate all groups wanting to be represented,,,,,? To keep it from getting out of control time wise…each group would need to send their copy in ahead of time…if it became too much in one evening they could give each group a game to be the prayer leader for that night….my guess is that most of the community is Christian….Wiccans, Muslims, Jewish faith…do you want to be represented in HT Football game prayers?

  208. Does anyone want every religion’s prayers represented? The courts have ruled on this issue. Our constitution clearly separates church and state, so the courts have advised that if one religion’s prayer is allowed, all must be included if requested. It’s all well and good if the community is 100% Christian, and no other church/mosque/tabernacle/synagogue wants to send someone to pray on Friday night. I’m sure Alabamians don’t have to worry about “those people” living in their communities for the next fifty years, but their day might come!

  209. Tammy McCown says:

    It is not about “pleasing “. It is about inclusion. It is about government of which public education falls under not endorsing or forcing a religion.
    People in the stands can pray all they want. Just not on the loud speaker.

  210. Dela Pur says:

    Sounds like all the tax paying Christians with children in Trussville Schools should STAND UP and rally around Dr. Neill and the board in prayer because sounds like they have some decisions to make.

  211. Dela Pur says:

    So, Amanda Dobbs, from Christian to Christian, at what point are we Christians supposed to STAND UP? At what point will YOU stand up as a Christian living in our society today? This is not a rhetorical question…I really want to know.

  212. Dela Pur says:

    No dances, just prayer.

  213. It’s ironic and hypocritical that on issues like abortion, that atheist group and several people commenting here would say, “If you don’t want an abortion, then just don’t get one, but don’t try to prevent others from getting one, and don’t try to prevent the government from funding it.” But on this issue, they insist that since they don’t like prayer, the majority of us should be prevented from having it. How’s that for logic?!

  214. Thom McGuire says:

    If you don’t like it don’t go to the games..we like it..!

  215. Scott Camp says:

    Ignore them. Every school around here says prayers at ballgames before or after. It is student led. This organization has always complained but never does anything more than that. So stand up to these people and let’s play ball

  216. Amanda Dobbs says:

    Dela Pur I’m a social worker working with the homeless, so I stand up for His people in my everyday work. I try to exemplify His love in my work– I believe that brings people to Christ more than putting a prayer on a loudspeaker that people aren’t ready to hear. You *show* His love so that others may want to experience it too.

  217. Jessie Odell says:

    Not true. Homewood doesn’t, and there are a few others. A lot of what your seeing is a long string of legal events designed to let our administration know they are working for the parents and it isn’t their own private school to do what they want with. Theres much more to come, I’m sure this is just one of many events. We need new leadership in our school.

  218. So is the Superintendent going to let the prayer be said over the loud speaker or is she going to be out of town again? If not said over the loud speaker say it over the bull horn!
    There’s two ways to skin a cat!! I would tell them to keep those letters coming if I was her, they would run out of $$ for postage.
    Ridiculous! People need to stand up and quit letting people running all over them! Say the Prayer don’t forsake God because of atheists! That’s in the Bible your not setting an example for the children!
    ❤️

  219. Kathy Wilson says:

    There can never be enough prayers said
    Anywhere !

  220. There is a little something called the constitution

  221. I think that we should call the organization and leave the Lords Prayer on their voice mail. Right now I am sure they are closed, so can you imagine listening to message after message saying the Lord’s Prayer and then say we are praying for your organization to be accepting of others. Including us Christians.

  222. Susan Thomas says:

    It’s always student led, always has been

  223. Susan Thomas says:

    I disagree. If you were in a prominently Hindu county, or Muslim or any number of others, and they were saying a prayer or turning toward mecca I wouldn’t be offended. I might not pray with them but I would actually expect them to do what they do. I certainly wouldn’t expect an entire community or even country to change their behavior over me or any minority. Everyone knows the United States of America is a Christian country so if they have a issue with that they may want to stay where they are more comfortable instead of here. I’m not saying they can’t stay here, everyone is welcome, but if you’re so offended over a prayer for safety at a football game where the potential for injury is high, maybe this isn’t the best place for you.

  224. Susan Thomas says:

    It was ruled unconstitutional by someone who’d love to change what America stands for evidently. If you read everything that started this country the founding fathers intentions become clear. They were indeed starting a Christian country. Their intent was that state officials wouldn’t “make you worship our God”. Listening to a prayer is NOT making you worship. Nor cramming it down your throat. Ignore it, tune it out whatever just as you would if you were visiting another country with a religious that isn’t your own. Period. So much drama.

  225. Love it and fix what we don’t like. Until you spend time in the military and defend this great country in a war you don’t get to tell someone to leave. Empty words.

  226. Same goes for taking a knee. Just look away.

  227. Same goes for taking a knee. Just show up after the anthem.

  228. Kim Parrish Allah is the Arabic word for God. Who wouldn’t listen to a prayer to God? Do you know God and Allah means the same?

  229. Scott Crawford Allah means God in Arabic. Who do you think Muslims pray to? A brick? Smh. Are you serious?

  230. I don’t get the liberal part.

  231. No, it’s freedom from and of. Both.

  232. Eddy Bonner says:

    Sad to say but for the moment we will be forced to bend to the decision that has been made by activists judges. There are several articles that can be pulled up, smiths Station for instance, that are currently going thru this same situation. After advice from council, they refrained from prayer over the loudspeaker. Their crowd opted for reciting the Lord’s Prayer in unison. A call to American center for law and Justice m.aclj.org to Jay Sekulow by the administration might be helpful. With so many schools in our area coming under attack all at once, they might be able to take this back to court and obtain a reversal of the decision.

  233. Naman Renfro says:

    Please don’t mistake enforcement of the current law as an attack on religious freedom. It is illegal to use government facilities to effectively endorse a particular religion. Even if most of the people at the event are cool with it.

  234. Eddy Bonner says:

    Naman Renfro and that is exactly what will have to be challenged and changed at some point. The current law.

  235. Lisa McCarty says:

    The constitution doesn’t talk about prayer. Go to a country with a state religion where people of other religions can’t hold certain jobs and have to pay extra taxes so you can understand what our constitution was trying to avoid. “Freedom from religion” and “separation of church and state” are not in the constitution.

  236. Naman Renfro says:

    That’s gonna be a pretty tall order to change the constitution.

  237. Eddy Bonner says:

    Naman Renfro as we have come to discover, it all depends on who is looking at it. The constitution will remain the same. I believe that the ruling will be changed.

  238. Susan Thomas If the religion in the south was primarily Islam and you were a Christian, you would want to attend football games (at your public school) without having to listen to a Islamic prayer and I don’t think you can argue with that.
    Also, that is blatantly incorrect. I’m a history minor, there is zero evidence to support that theory. Also, the law is the law. If you want to go to school and have Christianity incorporated into that education, go to a private school. This is actually to protect your religious freedom, not hinder it.

  239. Did you even read the article? Doesn’t sound like it, the prayer was literally quoted.

  240. Wrong. Student lead prayer was ruled unconstitutional in 2000 by the Supreme Court.

  241. People, for the sake of your kids education you should hope they stop doing this. If it goes to court Hewitt could lose their accreditation and/or funding

  242. Anne Snider Steward it’s the law. It’s the law. It’s the law. It was decided by the Supreme Court in 2000. It’s not up for debate. If Hewitt ignores the warning and the NFFRF takes them to court, Hewitt could very well lose their accreditation. Opinions on the matter are a mute point, it’s the law, it’s factual.

  243. Legally yes they can

  244. Dear Baby Jesus…oops sorry of that was offensive…

  245. The people have the power. I’d love to see the student section react to this and lead the crowd.

  246. No matter what religion it is illegal to pray over speakers at publicly funded schools!

  247. Nothing is going to be reversed about anything that breaks the law

  248. Not on a loudspeaker, and in an official capacity, Debbie Richardson Conner. Not hypocritical at all.

  249. The communist say we will infiltrate from within we never have to go to war. The fall of the Roman Empire

  250. Endorsing a religion was loosely added to the establishment cause in the past 30 or so years. It is really not a good litmus test to decipher if the law has been broken – if that was the case then the President’s break the law when they place their hand on the Bible for the oath and end the oath with “so help me God” when they are swore into the office. It was originally interpreted as coercion. No one is forcing anyone to pray.

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