Football Prayer Controversy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/10/03

Football Prayer Controversy

"Real big deal. Everyone's getting riled up over it," said Idalou high school student Cole Morrison. On Friday night he was sporting a t-shirt that packed more punch than a linebacker. 'We pray before we play' read the shirt.

A statement aimed at the ACLU after the organization chastised the Idalou school district for broadcasting a prayer over the PA system at a football game. "We sent a letter requesting that they not do that," said ACLU spokesman Harvey Madison. He says the PA prayer violated the separation of church and state. "The school owns and operates that PA, so anything on that is school sponsored," he said.

"We are tired as Christians of them telling us what we can and can't do," said Pastor Alan Berry. He's fighting back, promoting a community prayer. "So, actually, it's the people of the community promoting the prayer rather than the school promoting the prayer," said parent Sheryl Sherman.

A prayer which took place not over the PA system, but during a a moment of silence. "And forgive those who trespass against us," said the crowd. But giving up the PA system may not be enough to satisfy the ACLU. "Switching over to a moment of silence, that's a fairly transparent attempt to disguise the same thing. If it has a religious purpose then the courts have ruled that it's the same thing as prayer," said Madison.

The stands peppered with green shirts, the Christians of Idalou are prepared for battle and confidant in their game plan. "The Lord's way always wins," said James Sherman.

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