On Friday night, local athletes prayed at the East Coweta-Newnan High football game. The student-led prayer followed a complaint to the Coweta County School System by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and information shared with school system employees from the Coweta County Board of Education attorney.
Readers have a lot to say about this issue:
Who gave the government the right to micromanage people to this extent?
As long as you’re cool with Satanists saying their prayers aloud alongside you…
The whole world has lost all reasoning. Too many rights and people are just too entitled.
With all the tragedy in the world, people are praying to win a game? How un-Christian is that?
We love Jesus and EC.
Atheist, are you happy now? First you complain about a coach praying with his players, and now you are absolutely quiet about the Texas church shooter who killed 26 people and injured 24, who was a outcast who preached his atheism online. Such hypocrites you atheists are.
An out of town atheist group, who do not believe in God, are bringing suit against the Coweta School System, to stop coaches and student athletes praying before a sporting event. How dare them try to end prayer to God for safety on the field, good sportsmanship
and more. The majority want to keep this tradition. This minority group must not be allowed to interfere or influence young lives against their religions.
Our God is awesome. Praise God, people still take a stand and pray.
My son's coach youth league coach prays with the team before every game and all of the parents love that he does this. I feel like it also creates a stronger bond.
They need to be praying.
It really stinks. Here the atheists are all about restricting everyone’s right to pray, yet nobody is restricting atheists right to believe what they want. We are having to follow legal orders to prohibit good people from doing good things.
The purpose of the Constitution is to protect your right to pray, not to stop you from praying.
I'm 100 percent behind free will. My son prays at every one of his games. That's his choice. It's my choice not to. And the truth is, it shouldn't matter. It's really no one's business.
Let me get this straight. People can take a knee and a defile our country with their rudeness and disrespect, but you won't let people pray.
From a legal perspective, I can understand the position if the coach was leading the prayer, but not just joining in. I'd feel the same way for the coach no matter what religion or religious act.
I have yet to find one good thing about religion.
This is shameful. The coach should be allowed to pray with the team if he wants.
Atheists won't be happy until God is out of everything. Christians, stand your ground.
I’m an atheist. I respect religions. I don’t want God out of everything. I want those who worship to enjoy the freedom of religion in all aspects of life where appropriate. Enjoy it at church, in your home, at family gatherings, at the grocery store, family outings. But can we just leave religion out of schools?
Would you feel the same if they were bowing to Allah?
I am all for separation of church and state. I don't care which tribe you subscribe to. It has no purpose or place in politics.
Matthew 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others.”
I'm all for religious freedom, but this bothers me. If no kids are being forced to participate and no other religions are being denied practice, let them pray.
I can agree with school employees not being allowed to lead the prayer, but they should be allowed to participate. The right to freedom of religion trumps some silly letter by an offended person. If they don't like the coach praying, they can look the other way.
Why do I spend so much of my time explaining to Christians that freedom of religion is not the right to shove your religion down the throats of the people around you when you engage in public activities?
Should anyone be forced to pray? No. Should anyone be forced NOT to pray? No!
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Pray at home, church or quietly before dinner, but not where government in any form runs the show and our tax dollars are at work.
I wonder why atheists are so determined to keep people from praying. I don't care if you don't pray so why do you care if I do?
Someone needs to come out with a prayer rug and a hijab, and pray to Allah, and see how fast these Jesus Freaks change their mind.
Church/state separation protects everybody – Christians included.
If it were any other religion, people would be offended. People who are different are always going to be looked down upon.
What’s sad is these atheists have influence over our children. I pray my children stay strong and don’t believe the ignorance of the world.
There is a church on every street corner. Radio stations that play nothing but religious music. Christian references almost literally everywhere. Why don't you try raising a child without religion? I can tell you from experience it can be fairly challenging. You should seriously try putting yourself in the shoes of someone who does not believe the same things you do.
Having no faith or hope in life must really be a struggle.
Take a moment to realize not everyone is of your faith. If kids want to pray, go for it – but it shouldn't be required, forced or led by school staff.
Separation of church and state is a thing, if you don't like that you'll have to put your kids in private school.
The coach was not leading the prayer. I repeat: the coach was not leading the prayer.
Everyone will always have an opinion about something. People are so quick to change things because someone's feelings got hurt or they don't agree. Get over yourself.
This has always been an issue, especially to those who have different beliefs than the majority in their community.
Follow the law.
Leave prayer alone. Lord knows, we all need it.
I believe that prayers should be said and led by the coaches if they feel led to do so. If a player doesn't want to pray or salute the flag, then they shouldn't be playing.
What does religion have to do with football?
What if the coach is a Satanist? Should the players have to pray with the coach then?
An individual should have the right to pray or not to pray. It has nothing to do with the activity of playing football. If a coach wants to pray with his team, go right ahead. But if a player doesn't want to pray, he shouldn't be forced to do so. It doesn't make him/her less valuable to the team.
I understand why the law says the coach cannot pray. The law looks at the coach as representative of government.
If they want to pray, then pray. If they don't want to pray, they don't have to pray. But someone should not be excluded in an activity because they do or do not want to pray.
I’m so sick of everyone trying to stop something harmless because they don’t believe in it. How is this team causing any harm? It’s so sad what this world has come too. Keep praying. Don’t let them tell you that you can’t.
When a coach participates in prayer as a representative of the government, the moment he prevents someone from: praying to a saint – as in Catholic tradition, summoning a demon, preventing an atheist from stepping away from the area or sacrificing a chicken, he has forced the government into taking sides on a person's religious perspective and violated someone else's First Amendment rights through government action.
And whose prayer are you praying? The Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews? And what about peer pressure? Students have enough peer pressure without feeling like they have to participate in something they don't believe in.
Sounds like the "local concerned community member" was only concerned for his/her own agenda – not the community.
If praying to God offends them, just think how offended they will be when they face Jesus and he says, “I never knew you,” and throws their soul into hell forever.
All these people talk about praying like they are actually doing something. Y’all keep praying, the rest of us have useful things to do.
If the coach was Muslim, would it still be okay with most of you? What if he were a member of the Satanic Church? Maybe the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the savings of many lives." Genesis 50:20
There’s a difference between atheists and anti-theists. Atheists don’t care if you pray as long as you’re not making everyone else pray. These are anti-theists targeting religion because in the era of butthurt and crybullies, they know they’ll win.
The coach, as a government official, and in his position as a coach is in a position of authority over his players and other students.
The coach clearly is a Christian, and has influence on his players. Add brainwashing at a church near you, and the results become a prayer spectacle in public to please their coach. I doubt very seriously they would pray at all without adult intervention.
I love our country, and want to protect our rights to worship, or not worship, any way we please. Allowing prayer in schools is a slippery slope into a Korea-like nation, where we are no longer allowed the freedoms to protest anything that goes against the wishes of the supreme ruler.
If you allow one type of religious prayer you must include all prayer. So when a Muslim student wants to pray, no one better get up in a huff. This country was built on religious freedom.
Back in my day we all prayed and said the pledge in school. We had no violent crimes. It seems society has lost its foundation and boundaries.
Some people don’t believe in God but believe in love. Love is not tangible either.
The answer to the problem is to privatize all school sports. Doing so will cut the school budget so that money could be spent on current books and other things that are pertinent to education.
God’s people have got to stand up for what’s right.
High school football games are lame anyway. All you're doing is guaranteeing a brain injury later in life. Shame on parents for even allowing their children to play a brutal game.
I cannot believe what this has turned into. God help us all.