Lord's Prayer recited at Friday's football game

Published: Oct. 11, 2011 at 2:05 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 9, 2017 at 12:08 AM CST
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SUMMIT, MS (Mississippi News Now) - A movement is underway to allow open prayer in schools and school related events.

Some Mississippi schools, including one in Pike County, have continued prayer at sporting events and want to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

A Wisconsin based organization against prayer is trying to stop their efforts.

Prior to the start of the North Pike-Purvis football game Friday night in Summit, people in the stands recited the Lord's Prayer following an announcement that prayer was prohibited.

"Listen To The Eagle" radio show host, Paul Ott, recorded the activities and is leading the effort to return prayer to schools and school sponsored events.

"They're trying to take God out of this country and we don't like the way the country's going, a lot of folks don't, God fearing people. So we hope we can get prayer back at football games an all public functions," said Ott.

"We're not trying to just be greater than anybody. We're praying to a God who loves us and asking his protection over this football game and over these people. I see nothing wrong with that," said Pig Terrell who supports school prayer.

"I think its Satan involved in it. I think that we just all need to get together and show our Lord how much we love them and appreciate him for dying on that cross for us," said school prayer supporter Debbie Welch.

On September 23rd, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent letters to Mississippi school districts discouraging prayer at school sponsored events after they reported receiving complaints from Mississippi residents.

The non-profit Wisconsin based organization represents atheists, agnostics and skeptics.

Before the game a North Pike school official read a letter from the school system attorney.

"We got a letter saying that we had to stop prayer, but I'm going to tell you, you're not going to stop prayer at North Pike because individuals are always gonna have the right to pray," said North Pike School District Superintendent Dr. Ben Cox.

"We are pleased if we have stopped official school sanctioned prayer at sporting events because it is totally illegal and against the Supreme Court decision. But it is always so discouraging when parents are leading protests knowing they are offending others if they are Jewish or Non-Christian," said Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-President, Annie Laurie Gaylor.

"We're going to be promoting that any time or place that the National Anthem is played that the Lord's Prayer be recited," added Ott.

The Mississippi Attorney General's Office released this statement in response to WLBT's call for comment.

"We received a request for an opinion from the school district over the weekend on this matter. As with all opinions, we will need some time to research the law and respond. Our response will be a matter of public record once complete," said Attorney General Spokesperson Jan Schaefer.

Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.