The separation of church and state is a judicially supported tenet of our legal system which is based on the "Establishment Clause" of the 1st Amendment. But those who seek to turn this country into a Christian theocracy deny that this separation exists and see any attempt to maintain it as an egregious affront to religious liberty. Elisabeth Hasselbeck is one of those folks who just can't wrap her little head around the fact that the government can't endorse a religion and continues to support public school prayer despite SCOTUS decisions which have ruled against it. This morning, she continued to display her woeful ignorance of the law while advancing the Fox/right wing view that Jesus belongs in public schools. The very Christian Hasselbeck heaped praise upon brave Christian public school cheerleaders who, in defiance of a school order, led the football team and the fans in a solemn version of the Lord's Prayer. Praise Jesus - or is it Roger Ailes?!
Hasselbeck, who has said that atheists are "imposing" their "anti-god religion" on good Christian Americans, introduced the topic as part of their patented "Fight for Faith" series: "For so many, faith and football go hand in hand and our next guests, two high school cheerleaders are helping keep prayer on the field." She enthusiastically reported that "when school officials caved to atheist groups pull the Lord's Prayer from the PA system before football games, these girls took it upon themselves to lead the crowd." The chyron, "God and football, cheerleaders defy pre-game prayer ban." She introduced the very Christian captains of the cheerleading squad.
Hasselbeck described the girls' "message" as "strong." She spoke about how the broadcast of the Lord's Prayer, over the stadium's PA system, was a "tradition." In response to her question of why this was "important to you," Asia Canada just couldn't find the words to say how important prayer is to her and her community. Hasselbeck provided the requisite validation despite the legal reality that it doesn't matter how important prayer is to the community because the Constitution prohibits government sponsored endorsement of a religion which, in this case is Christianity: "Sure and the community at large enjoyed it."
She read comments, from a school administrator (probably getting Christian death threats as we speak) who said that the school has received complaints about this practice. She asked the girls what their reaction was. The chyron stated, as Fox Fact: "Keeping Faith on the Field, Cheerleaders lead prayer in pre-game prayer." Alley Myers said that she "felt emotional" because the community "needs God in it." Hasselbeck: "Sure." She urged the girls to talk about their moment of protest. More Fox validation in the chyron: "Faith Unites, opposing team and crowd join school prayer." Canada said that the cheerleaders started a public recitation of the Lord's Prayer and the crowd joined in. Hasselbeck just gushed over how the crowd's participation could be considered "a victory." In concluding, Hasselbeck gave the girls the Fox metaphorical high-five: "Way to Fight for Freedom, there, we wish you well."
What you didn't learn on Fox & Friends: In the "Santa Fe Independent School District V Jane Doe case, the Supreme Court ruled that "a Texas public school district's practice of opening high school football games with a prayer is unconstitutional." There have been other cases in which the high court has ruled against public school prayer.
The Protestant and Catholic versions of the Lord's Prayer are different. Wonder which version Hasselbeck would approve of? Also wonder what Hasselbeck would think if a group of public school Muslim cheerleaders led a predominately Muslim crowd in the Shahada?
The author inserted a link to the trend (a movement that started in Texas) of “No Pray, No Play” where the game participants/cheerleaders and crowd cite the Lord’s Prayer on their own without the use of the public address system. The article dates back to 2000 so the Lord’s Prayer recitation being glorified by Lizzie/FOX “news” in this segment isn’t exactly an original idea. And for Lizzie to not even tell the folks that there was a Supreme Court ruling that came down against the way the school had been doing the prayer is as dishonest as it gets.
As to her suggestion that it was a “victory” for them, I disagree. A victory for them would have been them to say the Lord’s Prayer over the PA system like they always have. In my opinion, the students and crowd choosing to say the Lord’s Prayer on their own without the PA system is more a victory for the Constitution. ALL who attended that game or may choose to attend games in the future have their rights better guaranteed because of the more individual way the prayer is now being done. It is no longer being done as an official, school sanctioned prayer.
This link makes many excellent points…
“Football Without A Prayer: Why Pre-Football Piety Is A Bad Idea”
And this is one I’ve linked to before but it’s probably the only decent thing I’ve ever read over at WND.
“Why I’m Against Pre-Game Prayers”