Pennsylvania Coaches Ordered to Stop Praying With Players

What would you say if you were told that a group of football players was praying together before a game? If I informed you that they were not led by their coaches. That it was not organized by these coaches either?

Most of us would remember that students praying on school grounds are not prohibited. In fact, it is actually this type of prayer is protected by law. If students can pray on school grounds, what about their teachers? Can a teacher join a student in prayer? What about a coach his players?

Apparently, if you hold the position of teacher/coach, you forfeit your right to pray on school grounds.

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Christian News reports

Football coaches at a school in north central Pennsylvania have been instructed to stop joining in pre-game prayers with players after a prominent professing atheist group recently contacted the school district to complaint about the practice.

According to reports, a resident of Danville contacted the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to advise that coaches and players at Danville High School had been praying and singing praise songs together prior to football games. A video had circulated on social media showing the team singing the Rich Mullins tune “Our God Is an Awesome God.”


Last month, FFRF had also convinced another Pennsylvania school district to stop a coach from praying with players prior to games. Dunmore High School Head Coach Jack Henzes, a Roman Catholic, was instructed to immediately discontinue the practice.

Now, this is beyond illogical. It is wholly inconsistent with our Constitution for a person to have to lay down their personal beliefs to hold a position of authority in our state. A teacher does not have to refrain from praying because she is a teacher.

Is this not the same as a policy requiring an atheist teacher to participate? If things were reversed and the students prayed, we would have to require the teacher to participate. If we did not, then this would be a person of authority in a government position advocating a religious preference.

This is inescapable. There is no neutral position.

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