Magazine article The Christian Century

Prayer Wise

Magazine article The Christian Century

Prayer Wise

Article excerpt

CHRISTIAN FOOTBALL FANS in Texas and elsewhere are getting back at the Supreme Court. Provoked by the ruling in June that outlawed school-sponsored prayer at high school football games, some fans in Texas and North Carolina have staged prayer rallies and protests. They have organized "spontaneous" prayer at the games, sometimes reciting the Lord's Prayer after the playing of the national anthem. Leading this effort in Sante Fe, Texas, home of the school that was the focus of the high court's ruling, is a group called "No Pray! No Play!" Meanwhile, Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice, which represented the Sante Fe school, has declared itself ready to defend any school district that is sued for allowing such prayers.

All this defensiveness is misplaced. While the "No Pray! No Play!" folk may think they are challenging the court, they are really engaging in just the kind of activity that the court's ruling allows.

The court's objection in the Sante Fe case was that the school system, by overseeing the election of students to lead the pregame prayers, was officially sponsoring the prayers and thereby violating the "no establishment of religion" clause in the First Amendment. …

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