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Everyone should be allowed to practice religion

BY CHANDLER SHIELDS

The controversial issue of allowing public prayer during School-related activities have been a raging snowball rolling down a steep hill since the 1900s.

Shields

Yes, the First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” But our founding fathers did not forget to add “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The Free Exercise Clause gives American citizens the right of knowing that their religion will not be questioned or prohibited by the government.

Recently, prayers over the loudspeakers have been abolished from two neighboring schools. Why? What is the big deal? Arab High School and Brooks High School were forced to end the prayer before football games due to complaints. S u p e r i n t e n d e n t Mullins started the traditional prayer before games more than a decade ago.

Every Friday night before Arab took the field for the first kickoff, a prayer was led over the microphone for the entire stadium to hear.

For 10 whole years, no one has been vain enough to complain about the prayer.

Why take it away after one “offended family” and “one atheist’s” letter? What happened to majority rules?

If the individuals were so offended, then their opinions were enough to back up their side rather than bringing the Freedom From

Religion Foundation, based all the way in Wisconsin, into the mix.

Attending a county school, living in the Bible Belt and taking on stereotypes of good southern men and women are a few of the several things that go hand-in-hand with prayer.

If it is so awful for someone to pray out loud, those “being forced to go through the misery” can just close their ears and hearts to the God that created us all.

Obviously, you chose to live in the South, and if you are that offended by the idea of prayer or religion as a whole, you should move where the liberality is increasingly taking over.

There are many other ways to avoid listening to a short, yet uplifting prayer.

Unwilling fans may show up to the game once the players are a few minutes into the first quarter as a reasonable alternative.

The prayer can be avoided if it is such a hindrance to any certain individual’s life. An entire community should not be penalized for something one person said.

Although it may not be legally correct to pray aloud, America was rooted in religion and good ethics.

The right to pray to my God traces back to our founding fathers.

The Pledge of Allegiance can be considered along the same lines. There are a few differences, but the choice to respect it is yours. I have been in classes with students that do not hold their hand over their heart or even stand up, much less recite the pledge.

Simply standing is an act of respect for those of our past and present.

At the Arab and Brooks games, no one forced anyone to pray aloud or even stop what they were doing; prayer is a choice for all people.

Take it or leave it; it is just an act of kindness and respect.

Both superintendents’ hands are tied.

They know prayer before games is what their hearts desire, but their minds, due to politics, will not allow it.

They know that their school system could be sued by these unhappy and self centered individuals. The unknown Arab resident’s outrage on prayer sparked the man’s complaint from Brooks.

Diligently enough, the faithful fans in Arab went on.

Many of the fans in the stands recited the Lord’s Prayer loudly enough that they did not even need the loudspeaker. God’s voice overcomes all.

“That is not politically correct” is a statement overused in more ways than one.

Almost every word, phrase or action can be categorized as “not politically correct.”

Our government is not politically correct and look where we are now.

So, what is a simple prayer over the players’ safety and the coaches’ knowledge going to do?

Though it may not be politically correct, in the long run, allowing the prayer to proceed is the right thing to do now and forever.

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