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State Lawmakers want to bring back public prayer at high school playoff games…



That's a sound some Oklahoma lawmakers want you to hear before kickoff at high school playoff games.

On Monday, The OSSAA updated / clarified their policy on public prayer at playoff sporting events. The organization basically confirmed a policy decision made in 1992 that determined praising the almighty over an intercom at OSSAA-sanctioned playoff events is not allowed because it violates federal law and some 226-year-old document called the Constitution.

This, of course, irked members of our Legislature's Derplahoman Caucus. They want to go all OKC Thunder on us and have mass public prayer at playoff events, because you know, the almighty and powerful supernatural being who created this amazing universe really needs to worry about the outcome of a Jenks - Union title game.

Via a press release by state Rep. Bobby Cleveland.

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland said today that the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association should allow school prayer in playoff games.

The OSSAA this year again approved an existing policy that bans prayer during the organization’s playoffs.

Cleveland said it is a continuation of a policy that infringes on people’s right to prayer.

“How can an organization or even the government tell someone that they cannot pray,” Cleveland said. “It’s fine if OSSAA officials don’t want to take part. It’s fine if anyone present doesn’t want to take part. Why is it okay to tell people they can’t pray?”

Cleveland said that the policies reflect a movement by the left to protect “made-up rights” while stepping on clearly-defined constitutional rights.

“Freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion,” Cleveland said. “It takes an awful lot of twisting around to get the concept so backwards. It is amazingly clear cut when you break it down, isn’t it?”

Cleveland plans to request an interim study to examine OSSAA rules.

First of all, what a nut. Keep your religion out of me and I'll keep my religion out of your mom.

Second, why stop with public prayer over the PA? If you want to indoctrinate our public schools with Christianity, you should go all out. For example, require the marching band to play Baptist hymnals, reenact the crucifixion for homecoming and baptize the head coach when he gets Gatorade dumped on him. That would be way more entertaining and fun than a boring prayer.

Anyway, if you're one of those heathens who doesn't enjoy having someone else's religion forced down your throat while watching teenagers play sports, don't worry. I doubt Rep. Cleveland's wishes will ever become a reality.

The OSSAA released this statement:

“OSSAA apologizes for any misconceptions or confusion that has developed over its recently revised policy on publicly recited prayer at OSSAA playoff and championship events.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992), OSSAA’s governing Board of Directors concluded that public prayers should not be offered over the public address system at OSSAA playoff and championship events, and approved a policy to that effect that referenced that court decision. This spring, as part of the regular process of reviewing and updating rules and policies, OSSAA checked to determine if the U.S. Supreme Court had changed or amended the law in this area.

OSSAA found that no substantive change in the law had occurred which would affect this policy. The U.S. Supreme Court, in fact, had specifically held in Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, 530 U.S. 290 (2000), that a public school district policy permitting student-led, student-initiated prayers to be recited over the public address system at high school football games violated the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Although we will probably have to waste a couple million bucks in taxpayer money challenging this law, it looks like we're safe for now. That's cool. Amen.

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