published Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

UTC prayer decision is just

UTC officials' decision to end the practice of offering a public prayer before football games and replace it with a moment of silence is correct, even if it angers some individuals and community groups who wrongly interpret the First Amendment. The new policy, announced Monday by Chancellor Roger Brown, is effective immediately. The moment of silence will be observed Thursday at the Mocs' home opener against Glenville State at Finley Stadium.

UTC and Brown no doubt have received calls complaining about the policy. The number of complaints and the volume at which they are delivered doesn't matter, though. Compliance with the law does.

UTC's ruling does not prevent an individual from praying or otherwise exercising his or her religious freedom, as many complainants argue. Rather, it upholds and honors constitutional principles and government neutrality toward religion.

Ending prayers at UTC football games neither undermines those principals nor encroaches on individual freedom. It does sustain well-established laws and legal precedents that say schools and school-sponsored groups cannot promote a religious message or officially endorse religious beliefs. That typically occurs at UTC and elsewhere when a prayer is offered, for example, "in Jesus' name."

Those who rail against the public prayer ban at UTC are shortsighted. They overlook the fact that a public university serves a diverse population -- predominantly Christian to be sure, but with Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic and atheist students as well. UTC is funded by all taxpayers and therefore should be free of any school-approved religious activity. Those opposed to the new policy conveniently overlook, as well, the fact that they can still pray as they choose at the game or anywhere else -- as long as it is not officially sanctioned prayer.

Brown's ruling was prompted by a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation asking that UTC halt the game-day, public prayer. Officials reacted properly to the request. Their reasoning is sound.

"We need to make sure there is never anybody that goes away from our campus, our stadium, our arena or classroom or work, that feels like the have been excluded or feel uncomfortable in any way," Brown said.

He added that an announcement prior to the moment of silence will ask those in attendance to "think about many of the things we all hold dear in our hearts and minds," including men and women in military service overseas and those less fortunate. Those who routinely pray and those who don't surely can agree to honor that request.

Brown's order to end the game-day prayer is appropriate. As established by the First Amendment, religion is private and should be free of government control or influence. Promotion or support of prayer at a public university usually favors the majority's religion, leaving those with other beliefs -- or none at all -- feeling left out. Putting an end to the practice at UTC is the right thing to do.

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I imagine that many Christians will feel their liberties are being violated.

You can be sure if some Muslim asked to pray, they'd be up in arms over the idea. And just imagine the reaction to a movie belittling Jesus.

September 12, 2012 at 12:32 a.m.
ChrisSteves said...

"Congress shall make no law" doesn't say squat about a state run university or the State of TN or the local community. This part of the First Amendment is due to the Church of England and the powers they derived from the government and in the government.

September 12, 2012 at 7:56 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Chris, You obviously haven't read any of the Supreme Court cases which extend the First Amendment to states, local governments, and the agencies established by states, counties and cities. Chancellor Brown and UTC made the right decision.

September 12, 2012 at 8:05 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Will fanatical Christians climb the walls at UTC to kill infidels and plant the cross on campus? No, not yet.

But don't be surprised when it does occur. Fanatical religious true believers are the world's greatest threat to peace and personal liberties.

September 12, 2012 at 8:39 a.m.

ChrisSteves, that would be the technicality approach to morality and laws.

Why don't you ask a Biblical scholar what Jesus thought of such a thing?

Besides, you're ignoring the state Constitution.

September 12, 2012 at 10:48 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

JonRoss, one can learn much, even from your enemies, if you listen and observe.

However in your case, I'm sure your baby rattle and bawling would have disrupted Ambassador Albright's comments.

Never let it be said that any enlightenment crossed your neural pathways.

September 12, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Easy there Rossy, time for your tranquilizers.

Did a witch cast a spell on you? Been sleeping with a succubus? Did the devil poo-poo in your pabulum this morning? Kind of cranky today, Rossy —did you wake up on the wrong side of a burning cross?

Poor Rossy, he's truly a man of the Dark Ages.

But he has that old-time religion that makes him happy!

September 12, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.
hotdiggity said...

Good call Chancellor Brown.

September 13, 2012 at 1:50 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Poor JonRoss. He's having a hard time since his oxy ran out. He's hallucinating again.

I'm glad you're sitting at home. Riding your trike in traffic is dangerous.

Thanks for your brilliance. Nothing like a good laugh to start my day.

Have a good one, Rossy. Don't be a stranger.

September 13, 2012 at 7:57 a.m.
Easy123 said...

So you're an Obamist, JonRoss?

"Maybe if some us had made legal threats we could have stopped her from spreading her Progressive Clintonian propaganda around like fertilizer spewing from some large beasty's rear."

"She is a Progressive ho that resembles in many ways a dancing pig."

"But she has the blood of 9/11 on her filthy hands."

LMAO! Keep it up, you hypocritical, Wingnut pscyhopath.

September 13, 2012 at 12:55 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Remember, Lil' Rossy, GW Bush didn't act on good intelligence, far more intelligence than Clinton had. Bush's war in Iraq has killed and wounded far more men, women, and children than Osama. Afghanistan is an astounding disaster yet US troops continue to die there for no legitimate reason.

Now Republicans and neo-cons can't wait to start another war in Syria, and are praying for Israel to bomb Iran.

At least so far, Obama has shown no intention of backing Israel on that stupid move.

Public money supported your bankruptcy; good people lost money over your actions. But that's OK with you.

I'd rather talk with Madeleine Albright, even though I might disagree with her and learn something than listen to your childish paranoid rantings and tantrums.

September 13, 2012 at 4:59 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

"UTC prayer decision is just"...NOT!

Our Great Nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, expressly, The Ten Commandments. Other individuals not from the U.S.A., or, with foreign based religions should respect our Great Moral Majority Society. Even 'Johnny Come Lately' Non-Believers should defer to the Majority Believers because of having the knowledge they make up many fringe groups of minorities. We, The Christian Citizens of The United States of America will, in-turn, respect their religious audible prayers when in their home nations, or, when at their cultural functions here. They should not, in any circumstances, interfere with Christian's 1st Amendment Constitutional Rights which forbid the INTERFERENCE with the free exercise of Christianity. We are Commanded by Jesus Christ of Nazareth to Love One Another!

Jesus said...John 13:34... "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

September 13, 2012 at 5:33 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

The "Majority" of Christians once burned women as witches, killed non-believers in Jesus, believed the world was flat, believed demons inhabited people, believed slavery was ordained by God, believed women were subservient to men, believed God caused disease, believed babies were guilty of the sins of their fathers, believed the sun stood still, believed that angels are real, believed that dinosaurs and man existed at the same time, believed that Noah's ark was real, believed that the earth was only 6000 years-old, believed that black cats were Satan's messengers, believed that the Pope was infallible, and the list of beliefs goes on.

So much for your Majority of Christians and the BS you continually spout.

Try exercising your Christianity on my property and you'll feel my wrath faster than a Calvinist damning everyone to hell.

September 13, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.

Ah, we should defer to the majority, why does that not seem congruent with the actual history of Christianity?

But seriously, you want a theocracy. Pass.

September 13, 2012 at 7 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Lil' Rossy, anytime you want to put a gun where your mouth is, go to Syria and Israel.

You're really brave to send other people to do your killing. What a man! Lil' Rossy, the armchair private. I'm surprised the Pentagon hasn't called you in for your vast military knowledge, but they already have people to clean latrines.

Here's a promotion. From now on, You're Captain Commode Rossy of the Blowhard 66th Latrines. Grab your brush Captain, the company had enchiladas last night and only you have the ability to lead the charge with Ajax and Scrubbing Bubbles as your weapons.

Attack, Captain Commode Rossy —Do your Dooty!

September 13, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.
dao1980 said...

So says an infallible example of potent "ammo"...

September 14, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

You know, i tell folks that nearly 100% of my heterosexual friends are gay. I continue by explaining, "Yes, and they are very comfortable with their happy and lighthearted mood." Now, the same way the homosexual community tries to hijack/steal words from America, the Non-Believers want to steal our Christian Nation. They want to distort our foundational values like the homosexual community want to distort our American language. I am completely aware this is not a string regarding homosexuality, yet, the analogy is brilliant (if i do say so myself). I would not come into Your home and begin rearranging Your furniture, so, why do the Non-Believers think they should be able to rearrange our Christian Nation. Get Real! Why can't they respect us, leave us alone, this is the Believer's nation, not theirs. Well, it is theirs too, but, not to rearrange according to their short sightedness! I rest my case. kwo

September 14, 2012 at 6:09 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Orr, you've been proven a liar time and again. Yesterday you finally admitted you want a theocracy. You lied when you said you supported the US Constitution. You lied about your credentials, You lied about quotes you made up. You've lied about copyrights you claimed.

The only truth you've told is you want a theocracy. I knew that eventually you'd be found out to be a Calvinist Christian Reconstructionist.

Your deceit is endless. Your pathological fanaticism is equal to Islamic fundamentalists of which you have much in common. Any lie for God, any deception for God.

Does the Chattanooga Tea Party of which you claim membership realize you're a theocratic lunatic?

You're not brilliant. You're a liar, deceiver, a dishonest wing-nut.

You're a disgrace to your church unless they're made up of idiots and prevaricators like yourself.

You have severe mental problems. I fully expect you to throw bombs and kill people and do it all in the name of your imaginary god.

We are not friends. I wouldn't have you for an acquaintance, much less a friend.

The good news is that everyone knows you're crazier than an outhouse rat. No one defends you or wishes to be associated with you because of your total stupidity and ignorance.

You're on the losing end of the stick. Fortunately, the belief in your God diminishes everyday. I have you to thank for that. Your postings only prove that theocracy doesn't work, and will never work because deranged theocratic whack-jobs for God always seek life and death power over others.

As science moves forward you regress into the Dark Ages, counting angels on the head of a pin in the few remaining neural pathways that exist in your demented mind.

You're a hemmoroid on the ass of the earth.

I rest my case, find you guilty of complete lunacy, and you have sentenced yourself to a life of ignorance.

September 14, 2012 at 6:35 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

daytonsdarwin, i forgive You for every bad thing You've said about me. Even any lies that You have told, or, in some way attempted to perpetuate. Jesus Christ of Nazareth, my Lord, God, and, Saviour said, even while shedding His life's blood on Calvary's cruel Cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". This is how i am. This is what i want to thoroughly learn from He who is described in the following manner:

3 "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

4 Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before Her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken.

9 And He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death; because He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.".......Isaiah 53 (King James Version)

kwo

September 14, 2012 at 9:27 p.m.
ORRMEANSLIGHT said...

And Yes, daytonsdarwin, in my Theocracy, You would be my Friend. Certainly, even now, i call You Friend. You have no power, no control over this fact. You, daytonsdarwin, are, indeed, my close Friend. Why? Because, like the great masses of the societies of the world, You are my Brother/Sister as a fellow human being! You are my Friend even if You do believe the UTC prayer decision is just. You are my Brother/Sister and Close Friend mostly because, as Jesus Christ has declared through His Servant: "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24...Holy Scripture. Only a Friend could bring me more genuine laughter than You have over the past several weeks. Only a Friend could invest time to try to impart knowledge to a Brother in the human Family,and, this is with the intent of building Character in this Friend. Only a True Friend would authentically try to direct a Brother Friend into a more perfect way of perceiving life. Yes, daytonsdarwin, it is out of Your hands, it is not up to You, it is beyond Your ability to change the fact that i am, without successful contradiction, or, valid disputation, Your Brother Friend! Ken ORR

September 14, 2012 at 9:49 p.m.
dao1980 said...

One sick puppy..

September 17, 2012 at 8:13 a.m.
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