An attorney for a conservative legal firm asserts that the
Constitution does not give the Freedom From Religion Foundation
(FFRF) permission to target public schools for their pregame
prayers at sporting events.
Jeremy Tedesco of the Alliance Defending
Freedom reports that FFRF has sent threatening letters to
151 school superintendents in Mississippi, warning them of lawsuits
if there are public prayers at high school football games. Too many
schools, he says, give in to the atheist organization's
"The unfortunate thing is that a lot of school districts get
those letters and think that they actually contain solid legal
advice," Tedesco accounts. "And because there's no other response,
they make the wrong choice and shut down whatever is going on at
Some schools are opting for moments of silence in place of
prayers -- a move the ADF attorney says is unnecessary.
"The bottom line is the Constitution doesn't allow Freedom From
Religion Foundation to try to shut down prayer simply because a few
people in that community may object to it," he insists. "The
religious expression does not cater to the whims of a few people in
a school district who may find it offensive. That's not a
constitutionally sound reason to shut down prayer at school."
The Mississippi House passed the "Religious Viewpoints
Anti-discrimination Act / Schoolchildren's Religious Liberties Act"
after the FFRF challenged the use of prayer at school-sponsored
events in Jackson County last year. The measure ensures that school
districts do not discriminate against students based on their
expressed religious viewpoints.