A return to prayer?

Associated Press

WAXAHACHIE, Texas – A hush fell over the stadium as football players, cheerleaders and band members from both teams made their way to the end zone. Then, although people in the stands could not actually hear it, the students on the Waxahachie High School field recited the Lord’s Prayer.

“If we want to pray, we ought to be able to pray,” said Martha Howell, whose son is a football coach here. “And we sure do need it.”

Since the terrorist attacks, school districts and local governments seem to be blurring, some say crossing, the line between church and state.

Lawmakers have urged Americans to pray, and some students are doing so openly in class. Many schools have had clergy-led assemblies. Some communities have voted to post the Ten Commandments at courthouses.

“I think you’re going to see more Americans not putting up with those secularists trying to make the public square a religion-free zone,” said Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the Nashville, Tenn.-based Southern Baptist Convention.

Some groups say such displays violate the Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition against government establishment of religion.

“The constitutional rights of the religious minority cannot be shoved aside in a time of national crisis,” said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, based in Washington, D.C. “I hope these efforts to cross constitutional boundaries stop.”

Some worry that the wave of patriotic and religious fervor washing over the country might discourage people from speaking out against such actions.

In fact, last week in Fargo, N.D., a group called the Red River Freethinkers announced it was postponing a campaign to remove a Ten Commandments marker from the City Hall plaza.

“Our pursuit of the monument issue irritates that fraction of the community that equates Christianity and patriotism, that regards un-Christian as un-American,” group secretary Davis Cope wrote in a letter to the newspaper.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A semi-truck rolled over blocking all traffic lanes Thursday morning on I-5 north just south of Arlington on Sept. 21, 2023. (Washington State Patrol)
Overturned trailer spills fish onto I-5 near Arlington, closing lanes

The crash blocked all lanes, forcing drivers going north during rush hour to use the left shoulder.

The Marysville Municipal Jail is pictured Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Marysville weighs mandatory jail time for repeated ‘public disorder’

The “three strikes” proposal sets a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail for crimes like public drug use and trespassing.

Everett police on patrol heard gunshots near 26th Street and Lombard Avenue and closed off multiple roads as they investigated on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Everett Police Department)
3 teens arrested after gunfire in downtown Everett

No one was injured. Police heard gunfire in the area of 26th Street and Lombard Avenue.

It’s time to celebrate and say thanks

Local journalism — and community support — will be the stars of Behind the News Stories on Oct. 24 in Edmonds.

Most Read