There are two basic realities about growing up in the South — football on Friday night and church on Sunday morning.
God and the Gridiron are the official religions of the South.
So it’s not at all unusual to even hear a preacher or a student deliver an invocation before the opening kickoff.
They’d been doing that for generations in Jefferson County, Alabama.
But not any more.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers, filed a complaint on behalf of a “concerned parent.”
It seems as though a godless heathen took offense by prayers delivered at two local high schools.
“Our complainant reports that their child has been made to feel uncomfortable because they don’t share the same religious beliefs as most of the other students at their school,” read the complaint letter.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation says that the Supreme Court has ruled any invocation delivered over a public address system is unconstitutional — including prayers delivered by students.
“There are people affected by this. I think some people treat it as, oh they just don’t want to hear prayer. They don’t like that Christians exist. It has nothing to do with that. It truly is just that public schools are a neutral place. They should be neutral with regard to religion,” attorney Chris Line told television station WBRC.
The out-of-town atheists said Christian prayers recited over a public address system are illegal.
The school board consulted with their attorneys and decided it would be best to stop the prayers.
“The superintendent met with school principals and the administration will not allow prayer at school-sponsored events, including football games,” read a letter from the district’s attorney to the out-of-town atheists.
However, I doubt this is the last we will be hearing from the good people of Jefferson County. It is Alabama, after all. And I suspect that the school board and the atheists are in for a rude awakening come football season.
Because anybody whose been to a Baptist church revival meetings knows that a hellfire and brimstone preacher does not need a microphone to convey his message.
The Good Lord will take care of the amplification.