I can't hate young, brainwashed cheerleaders for doing what they believe is the right thing. But I can despise the adults who keep spooning this kind of belligerent, anti-American nonsense into their heads. Why, I can just see the movie version now, how these God-loving teens stood up to "the people what killed our Lord," as Loretta Hagers used to call Jews on "Fernwood Tonight." "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman."

You want to pray before a game? Go to a religious school, no one's stopping you! But if you claim you're being a Christian, you might want to check out Matthew 6:5-6 -- you know, the verses right before the Lord's Prayer?


And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

ONEIDA (WATE) - For many on the Oneida High School cheerleading squad, faith has always gone hand and hand with Friday night football.

“We need prayer for so many reasons especially in our community now and the troubles we face every day,” said junior Kayla King.

The Oneida Special School district has decided to do away with prayer before athletic events in an effort to avoid national legal action. The district, like dozens of others in the state of Tennessee, has received pressure from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Freedom From Religion Foundation to end prayer at public schools.

Oneida's director of school's Ann Sexton says they received a letter last fall from the ACLU reminding them it is unconstitutional to hold school sanctioned prayer at football games.

“We were advised to stop the practice,” Sexton said. Instead, they instated a moment of silence before games.


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But that didn't sit well with many students and community members in Oneida.

“During the moment of silence all the cheerleaders came together and recited the Lord's Prayer,” King explained.

On Friday night's game against Watertown, the cheerleaders from both teams joined hands and recited the prayer, and they weren't alone.

“In that moment the atmosphere was kind of great because it was nothing but heads bowed, and you heard the Lord's Prayer ring over the football field,” said King.

Kevin Acres has been announcing football games for Oneida for more than a decade, and he said he's been getting lots of questions about the discontinued prayers. That's why on Friday night he explained the change.

“First off, I wanted to let everyone know on both sides of the field, this wasn't our decision or the school board, it was pressure from outside groups,” said Acres.

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