For two centuries, no one thought that the First Amendment prevented
children from praying in schools. Nevertheless, in the 1960’s, atheists
and “politicians in robes” started kicking God out of schools.

Now, instead of students praying together, they are beating and
shooting each other. Instead of students learning the meaning of right
and wrong by studying the Bible, they are learning how to put on
condoms. Instead of asking the Lord for wisdom and protection, metal
detectors and armed security guards are “protecting” our children from
each other. The evidence is in, my friends. When they kicked God out
of our schools, far too many of our schools became a living hell.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals banned student-led prayers or other “solemnizing” ceremonies
before high school football games. The judges said that to allow
athletes to pray before they strap on their football helmets would
violate our Constitution. These judges have ruled that the First
Amendment does not apply to those of us who believe in God. These
judges are dead wrong.

The good news is that in Texas, brave coaches will not prevent their
team from engaging in voluntary prayer because of some misguided judges
and petty atheists. The bad news is that school prayer is news at all.
Apparently, we are hell-bent at becoming a nation that worships at the
altar of the lowest common denominator. Apparently, we are hell-bent on
sacrificing the rights of the majority for every minuscule special
interest group that some lawyer can find or invent.

This is big news in my state. Listen to what the Austin
American-Statesman said about prayer and Texas football this week.

    Prayer typically opened a game, both in the locker room and in
    the stands. Players huddled and worshipped together, and spectators
    bowed their heads to a prayer recited over the loudspeaker. But
    beginning in the 1960s, court decisions banned organized prayers in
    public schools. Many districts scaled back prayer at athletic events,
    where it might be considered school-sanctioned.

The atheists and “civil libertarians” have promulgated a myth
that the
Founding Fathers wanted a complete separation between Church and State.
The reality is that all the founding fathers wanted to do is to prevent
government from creating a State Religion. To understand what they
feared, you have to understand the history of religion in Europe. Few
Americans know European religious history, however. As a result, they
have bought the lies and distortions of those who want to keep God out
of public life.

When I was in Switzerland recently, I talked with a Swiss official
about his government’s policy toward “recognized religions.” He said
that all religions were “welcome” in Switzerland, but that if they
wanted to be a “recognized religion,” they had to apply for government
approval. When I asked him why a religion would want government
approval, his answer chilled me to the bone.

He said, “If you are a state approved religion, the religion tax that
we charge citizens goes directly to your church. In fact, you get
direct access to computerized income tax records of each parishioner to
make sure that you are getting your fair share of their income.” That
is what state-sponsored religion is all about. Our Founding Fathers
wanted to prevent our government from selecting one religion and banning
all others; they did not want to stop prayer in schools.

Some say that allowing voluntary prayer puts pressure on those who do
not believe or who are members of non-Christian religions. The world is
filled with situations where one has to pay a price for one’s beliefs.
Learning how to deal with social pressure is a part of learning how to
grow up. I am sick and tired of those of us who believe in God losing
our right to pray in public places because someone doesn’t feel
comfortable saying, “thanks, I would rather not.”

U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jacques Wiener Jr. said that
football games are “hardly the sober type of annual event that can be
appropriately solemnized with prayer.” However, the football coach of
Georgetown High School, where a student leads spectators in prayer
before every home football game, disagrees. He said, “I’m usually
praying that nobody’s hurt. I’ve never seen anybody get hurt at
graduation.”

Here is the pre game prayer that Temple High School football coach
Bob McQueen gives to his players in the locker room before each game.
You tell me if these words are a clear and present danger to America’s
Constitution. You tell me if this is what the Founding Fathers wanted
to prevent:

    Let us pray. I would ask each of you to pray in your own way.
    Ask not for victory because if God’s willing, the Wildcats will win.
    Ask that no one’s hurt on either team. Ask that you can give 100
    percent of your mind and your body. Thank God you can play for Temple
    High School, Temple, Texas. We thank God he has allowed us to coach you
    old boys. (A moment of silence.) Amen. Good luck. God bless you. We
    love you.

May God have mercy on the souls of those who want to stop Coach
McQueen from giving this prayer at football games next season. May God
have mercy on the souls of those of us who do not fight for Coach
McQueen’s right to pray with his kids.

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