A group of high school cheerleaders in Tennessee were recently told that a longstanding tradition of praying before football games over the loudspeaker would be prohibited. Oneida High School had been pressured by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union to drop the public prayer, and the stadium observed a moment of silence in its place.
People would still be permitted to say a prayer aloud during the moment of silence The BLAZE reports.
At a recent game, Oneida cheerleader Asia Canada began reciting the Lord’s Prayer. The rest of the cheerleading squad soon joined in reciting the prayer, along with the opposing team’s cheerleaders and all of the fans.
“He called for the moment of silence and I started off, ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ and everyone joined in,” Canada said.
The school has now decided that it will continue the practice of a student-led spoken prayer, though not over the loudspeaker.
“Where you had one person saying a prayer over the PA, now you’ve got hundreds, maybe a thousand people saying it together,” said Kevin Acres, Oneida football announcer.
Publication date: September 19, 2014