Post Game Prayer

North Dakota High School Football
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Post Game Prayer

Postby Big Blue » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:58 am

I was reading an article on praying after football games the other day. I have seen a couple North Dakota teams that participate in a post-game prayer circle the last few seasons and just wanted to see how everyone feels about this.
In the article, it said that there are some states that this has become an issue as public school coaches lead an organized prayer during a school activity. Do you think it should make a difference if post-game prayers are led by a coach?
Also, I have seen places where an independent group of players will find a spot, join hands and pray. While other prayers are done as a team on the field pretty much in the team huddle.
What does everyone think of this and is this unique to football? I haven't seen a post-game prayer in any other sport than I can think of. I think it's an interesting subject.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby vikingman » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:02 pm

Many Texas high schools would (or probably still do) put pre-game prayers over the PA system.

If you want to put an end to it, get some kid to pray 'there is but one God, and Mohammed is his messenger'. You'd have everyone demanding separation of church and state.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby HammerTime » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:12 pm

I normally don't like religion in public activities. But I do believe in balance. Religion is a big part of this state's culture. I mean, North Dakota has the highest church going percentage in the country. I don't like organized prayer, where they tell you what to say. I do notice a lot of coaches have their players do a silent prayer after the game. I like that. It's private, and no one knows what you're thinking. It seems like a nice compromise to me. If schools want a prayer, it should be done in reverence and in a moment of silence.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Hinsa » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:06 pm

I agree with the idea of "finding a spot" and whoever wants to join the gathering can do so. Players or coaches or whomever that don't want to gather, no problem. That way it is not forced upon anyone. No one leading a prayer, just silent reflection unless someone wants to speak up with a short phrase of praise, thank you, or a request, etc. That way the opportunity is there but it is not forced on anyone.

I can't see any straight thinking person having a gripe against such a gathering.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Big Blue » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:03 am

Totally agree Hinsa. My issue is that I have been to a number of games in the past several years where a team seamlessly transitions from the huddle to a circle for prayer where the coach leads the team and community members. At these games, not one player has left the "group."
While I know the players are not forced to be there, the way it is currently set up I'm sure kids feel weird about leaving their team.
I'm all for independent prayer. But I feel if it is led by a school staff member at a school activity, it is inappropriate and sets the school up for legal issues. Just my 1.73 cents.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby GoPack#2 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:48 pm

When I played Legion baseball after our games we would circle up in the outfield and coach would discuss his thoughts on the game, then we would all take a knee, join hands and say the Lord's prayer. I don't think anyone of our players had a problem with doing this.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Hinsa » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:15 pm

I don't think too many would object to the Lord's Prayer in a team group, but it only takes one to object and raise a fuss and now you've got a problem.

I'd like to think the conservative nature of the state and the relative calm of the state are reasons that people are moving here. (that and a whole bunch of jobs) People sometimes forget where that conservative nature and calmness come from - the freedom of religion that still exists in our state.

More liberal thinking areas of the country think that expressing religion in public violates the rights of individuals who choose not to express their beliefs or do not have any religious beliefs. Quite contrary to this idea that rights are violated by religious expressions, one of the founding principles of our country is the freedom to practice religion as we choose. ANYTHING that takes away this opportunity to express one's beliefs is unconstitutional.

You cannot force religion onto anyone, but the constitution guarantees the right to practice religion. Therefore, if a group wants to get together after a game and share a prayer, or thoughts, or respectful silence, what is to stop them? How can they legally be told they can't do that?
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby HammerTime » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:48 pm

Well, I don't think the host meant to bring the constitution into this. This could turn ugly pretty quick. I'm going to get some popcorn.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Hinsa » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:56 pm

HammerTime wrote:Well, I don't think the host meant to bring the constitution into this. This could turn ugly pretty quick. I'm going to get some popcorn.

Sorry HammerTime. I had no intent to start a fight about this. I'm just airing my thoughts on the topic; wondering how anyone can legally stop prayer on a field or in a gym. If a group gathering after the game for impromptu sharing bothers someone, who's really got the problem? They are not imposing any beliefs on anyone. They are not violating anyone's freedom.

Eat the popcorn while it's still warm. Don't wait for a fight from me on this one.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby HammerTime » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:46 pm

It's okay. I was just thinking there might be a long, drawn-out debate between two reasonable, passionate parties. But alas, no such luck.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Big Blue » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:39 am

In today's day-and-age, do you really need to wonder how a group can be told they can't pray? Here's a link from a South Dakota paper, another red state, about one school quitting coach-led prayers. And to me this is the issue at hand, there are a number of teams in the state that have coaches that lead prayers right off of a huddle. In my opinion that shouldn't fly!
http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2014/10/1 ... d-prayers/
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Hinsa » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:09 pm

Morally, I am sad, but legally I agree with you Big Blue. It can't be forced on anyone and I'm sure that when the prayer is right off of a team huddle some of the players feel pressured into taking part in the prayer.

The article indeed shows a good example of how outside groups bring pressure to bear on schools and coaches. I know that an all-inclusive team prayer cannot be forced on anyone. At the same time, I don't think a spontaneous gathering in an out of the way spot can be squashed either. When it's out of the way it is a personal choice and they have the right to make that personal choice to participate in the gathering.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby SEC » Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:12 pm

Big Blue wrote:Totally agree Hinsa. My issue is that I have been to a number of games in the past several years where a team seamlessly transitions from the huddle to a circle for prayer where the coach leads the team and community members. At these games, not one player has left the "group."
While I know the players are not forced to be there, the way it is currently set up I'm sure kids feel weird about leaving their team.
I'm all for independent prayer. But I feel if it is led by a school staff member at a school activity, it is inappropriate and sets the school up for legal issues. Just my 1.73 cents.

Please tell us your legal opinion on the matter. Is there any legal precedent that you care to share. You truly have no idea what you are talking about.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby HammerTime » Sun Nov 02, 2014 1:01 pm

SEC wrote:
Big Blue wrote:Totally agree Hinsa. My issue is that I have been to a number of games in the past several years where a team seamlessly transitions from the huddle to a circle for prayer where the coach leads the team and community members. At these games, not one player has left the "group."
While I know the players are not forced to be there, the way it is currently set up I'm sure kids feel weird about leaving their team.
I'm all for independent prayer. But I feel if it is led by a school staff member at a school activity, it is inappropriate and sets the school up for legal issues. Just my 1.73 cents.

Please tell us your legal opinion on the matter. Is there any legal precedent that you care to share. You truly have no idea what you are talking about.

If you're looking for a legal precedent, try the "under God" debate with the pledge of alliegence. While that may not have happened in North Dakota, there are a large number of people coming from the areas of the country where it did happen. New people may not know how things are done up here and be quite offended. I agree with Big Blue that it could set up schools for some legal issues.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby vikingman » Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:11 pm

http://www.firstamendmentschools.org/fr ... x?id=12811

The US Supreme Court has said that, in schools, 'voluntary' is not really voluntary. Young students would feel pressured to join in the prayer, or be ostracized if they did not. Since the school is a tax-supported institution and the coach and football field are provided by the school, I doubt they would stand up if anyone took the cases to court. If you don't think that being ostracized is that bad, read what happened after the SC originally ruled against the Jehovah's Witnesses -- things got so bad that they reversed their decision 3 years later:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minersvill ... v._Gobitis
(scroll down to 'Effects of the Decision')
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby SEC » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:26 pm

I'm glad the first amendment is going right out the window. If people want to pray after a football game let them. There are football teams across the country that pray after game.
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby Hinsa » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:45 pm

Hey SEC, I think you have been shown some examples of court cases involving expression of religion and the promotion or sqaushing thereof. Umm.....who did you say didn't know what they were talking about?
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Re: Post Game Prayer

Postby HammerTime » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:50 pm

SEC wrote:I'm glad the first amendment is going right out the window. If people want to pray after a football game let them. There are football teams across the country that pray after game.

The thing about the first amendment is its not just Christianity it protects. It protects freedom of speech and religion, to a point. If a school were to end up going to court over this, it would affect the entire state. You say the first amendment is going out the door? I don't know if it actually truly ever walked in the door. Could you imagine a post game prayer to Allah? Or Vishnu? All it would take is one person putting in a request to have a prayer to satan, and if there is a Christian prayer as well, since the constitution protects freedom of religion and it says that the government cannot be partial to any religion, the school would be required to do it. A similar thing happened in Oklahoma, I think with the 10 commandments in front of City Hall or the state Capitol building. Would you want that? I realize I may not present that in a clear way, but please understand there could be very bad unintended consequences for a post game prayer over the PA system.
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