Fight continues over student prayer at South Pittsburg football games
September 10, 2013 1 Comment
By Jason Reynolds
Tennessee Christian News
SOUTH PITTSBURG — The fight over student prayer continues to rage, even when the students are not in class. One of the most recent cases involves South Pittsburg, a small community west of Chattanooga.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation started objecting in 2012 to what it called illegal prayer at South Pittsburg High School football games, where the prayer was given over the public address system, according to a press release by the group. The organization’s attorney, Rebecca Markert, kept contacting the school system about the prayer and prayers at other athletic events.
Eventually, Marion County Director of Schools Mark Griffith announced the system would allow 10 minutes before each game for student-led prayer, replacing the loudspeaker prayer with prayer said on field, according to NewsChannel 9.
Griffith is quoted in the story as saying, “We’re going to call it ‘Meet me at the 50.’ That way both sides, the home and the opposing side, can come together and conduct prayer.”
One South Pittsburg resident shared his thoughts about Meet Me at the 50 with Tennessee Christian News.
“As much as the groups like Freedom From Religion want to deny it, this country was founded on Christian values,” said Kenny Frame, whose nephew Chase plays football at the school. “Their idea was for freedom of, not from, religion. They wanted to live in a country that didn’t tell or force any religion on its citizens. If you didn’t want to practice any religion, you didn’t have to.”
Frame said that he has seen Freedom From Religion use Scriptures that talk about praying silently in your closet. However, Frame said, Matthew 18:20 says that where two or more are gathered together in Christ’s name, then He will be in their midst.
“This to me is God saying it is okay to pray openly in public, and in this day and age we need it more than ever,” Frame said. “It seems to me in the past 20 years or so that this country has gotten away from God and pretty much kicked Him out of schools. I know we are not supposed to long for the past, but in this case, we need to turn back to the way things were in the past and bring God back into our everyday lives. Prayer is our direct line to speak to God about anything, and He has told us in the Bible numerous times that He wants us to pray and ask Him for anything.”