Should prayer be allowed before high school football games?


Say Yes

(1316 votes)



Say No

(1378 votes)


2694 total votes

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
wyldmon said...

If it worked, kids wouldn't get hurt.

August 23, 2012 at 5:59 a.m.
JustOneWoman said...

I am simply amazed at how many people in this area have been dumb downed. Civics in any school teaches facts about the constitution. At this post, 83% said yes, they would be willing to give up my freedom of religion, which means they don't understand that they give up their own freedom in the process. Very sad for our area that we have so many ignorant people. Thankfully, our forefathers put that freedom first, before the right to bare arms. Pray where you like, but keep it out of government and schools. If taxpayer money is involved, then no religion is to play a part. You can think your sky daddy will protect us all, but I choose not to, and refuse to have YOUR religion mandated on me.

Why is it that Christianity is the only religion that solicits?

August 23, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
u4icmusic said...

The constitution is clear on the speration of church and state. Every school that goes against the law is eventually stopped from public prayer. You can pray all you want, whenever you want, but not at public school games where not all players are Christians. Just because the school has been doing this forever and the local community agrees with it, doesn't make it right, or legal. It must be stopped now.

August 23, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
redbull247 said...

What shoddy reporting!! It appears all Ms. Haman wants to do during her time with the Free Press is ride around town finding stories that will stir up the miniscule liberal base in the Chattanooga area. No information/investigation on the basis of this claim? No background information on Coach Mariakis and how long this practice has been going on? You would think since the Times Free Press put two "reporters" on this story they would have a little more facts available. It's a sad day when this is the quality of story that comes from the Times Free Press building. This paper is heading downhill a lot faster than I thought....

August 23, 2012 at 11:03 a.m.
khelms2316 said...

I think this is absoulutely ridiculous. I graduated from Ridgeland. Coach Mariakis was an amazing football coach. I think people need to think long and hard of how they are the way they are and WHO they are in this world. I might not go to church, but I do believe in God, and I do pray everyday. This world is cruel and ridiculous. Who cares, don't like it, don't pray. But the students have a mind and mouth of their own and you know what, God is with them on that football field, he's with them at home, in class, with their friends, and when they get hurt.. HE is the one who heals them... So, this right here is by far one of the most ridiculous things I have heard!!!!

August 23, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.

What business does Freedom from Religion have in writing a letter to the Walker County school system regarding one complaint about a football team receiving pre-game meals at a church and being encouraged to attend an FCA camp? Please inform me of where in the US Constitution that the 'Freedom from Religion' clause is?

I must be mistaken, but Amendment 1 allows you to practice whatever religion you choose. No one is forcing anything down these kids and by the letter stirring up the liberal-minded minority, they're hurting the support system of one of our community's schools. Without willing volunteers, these players would not have a support structure or place to eat before games.

I don't see the Atheist organizations coming down here to provide pre-game meals. Perhaps they should re-read the Constitution and evaluate their 'intolerant' positions.

I'll be at my favorite restaurant today praying before my meal...and they're welcome to write a letter to me, or the business I'm in, or the county government that I'm in informing them that praying before my meal offends their organization. That's okay because their Freedom From Religion organization is offensive to me.

And in the end, what's in it for them anyways? Why stir up this trouble? Because when you die, what's the point right? Wouldn't it just be easier to ignore all of us 'simple-minded' religious folk?

August 23, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
Nemesis said...

khelms2316 would you support proselytizing by a Buddhist coach at Ridgeland? or a Wiccan coach? How about a Muslim coach? The schools have one job and that's to educate children not proselytize for any religion. Considering that Ridgeland only has a 57% graduation rate I suggest they spend their time attempting to educate and retain students instead of involving them in religious activities. Both of my sons attend Ridgeland and are atheists. They have to keep quiet about their about NOT having any religious beliefs for fear of persecution both by other students AND teachers.

August 23, 2012 at 11:57 a.m.
Nemesis said...

Logical_Thinking...a quote from the man who penned most of The Constitution "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions" - President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter Public schools are government institutions and have no business interfering in student's personal religion or lack thereof.

August 23, 2012 at 12:45 p.m.

You are correct Nemesis...this is Jefferson's interpretation of the Amendment 1 and by all accounts can be your interpretation as well.

Unfortunately for you the first amendment regards "freedom of religion" in which you can respond with a 'N/A'. Your kids are welcome to become atheist. It's there right. It's also the right of Christians to put into practice what they believe.

In your argument you say that your kids have to "keep quiet" about their beliefs (or lack of) in order to avoid persecution. Now your arguing for Christians to "keep quiet"...hmmm, something doesn't quite add up.

Are you helping to support your sons' extra curricular activities? If so, let's remove all that outside support (which mostly comes from faith-based organizations).

Why don't you work on your sons' "graduation rates" instead of worrying about Ridgeland's overall graduation rate? After all, parents have the most to do with how their children eventually turn out...its not the responsibility of the school system to teach/raise your sons.

August 23, 2012 at 1:09 p.m.
hiheelz said...

For the record, no one stopped Soddy Daisy from praying at the football games, the team and most of the fans on both sides made their way out onto the field and were lead in prayer by one of the players themself! It was the most awsome outpouring of support for prayer that I have ever seen at a public school. I am so proud of Soddy Daisy and am priviledged to be a part of it!

August 23, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
redbull247 said...

Nemesis - I think you've missed the point. This isn't a "religious activity". It's a football game. Before football games players must eat. The pre-game meal is a football event, not a religious activity. As a taxpaying resident of Walker County, would you prefer the coach use taxpayer dollars to feed his team before every game or get a free meal from a local church/religious group? Imho, the coach is doing Walker County residents a FAVOR by going to local churches/institutions and getting a free meal instead of using taxpayer dollars to feed the team. If the pastor/minister/leader of the organization wants to say a few words while the players are there, that's not an infringement of rights; it's common courtesy, something that's been long forgotten in our culture. I'd imagine if a player TRULY had a reason not to hear the message, the coach would allow him to excuse himself from rest of the team while the leader gave the message. Of course that goes against team unity, but who really cares about stuff like loyalty, camaraderie, and unity these days? That's so Southern. That's so old school. That's so not the 2010's....I got news for you - just as people like myself are learning how to respect and get along with people like you, you also need to learn how to respect and get along with people like me. Tell me how this coach REALLY violated any law, and I'll gladly listen to your argument. Until then, please, for the sake of the Ridgeland community, Walker County community, and greater Chattanooga community, keep your opinions to yourself!

August 23, 2012 at 2:17 p.m.
5v5 said...


August 23, 2012 at 9:57 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

5v5 said...


More of that paranoid/schizo god worshiping, Christ screaming, snake-handling christian love shines through.

Makes me proud to believe in the invisible Sky Daddy, his sonny-boy Bubba Ray Jesus, and his weird uncle, Roly-Poly Holy Spook!

August 27, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

If I had to say anything about this poll, which is long since old and likely abandoned, it would be that the question was phrased too loosely to apply to both private and public sponsored prayer. It should've been qualified as "Should school sponsored prayer be allowed at high school football games?"

The school has no business doing any praying as an official body before a game, but if a church group wants to lead a prayer before the game, they can do it, just not under the school's authority or sponsorship.

September 21, 2012 at 4:11 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.