As I read the ongoing chitchat opinions regarding prayer in city council meetings, prayer in the Ridgeland High School locker room, prayer at Finley Stadium during UTC football games, students at UTK being afraid it will happen in Knoxville next; I have some questions that come to mind.
First, why Chattanooga? How did the FFRF group select Chattanooga as it’s prey?
Second, why not UTK? As I read the opinion piece by Roy Exum and the response to his piece it becomes clearly apparent that someone or some group, locally, is in contact with FFRF; maybe has them on speed dial so when they find an opportunity they contact them and incite these attacks on our community.
I ask again, how does a group from Wisconsin choose UTC football with 5-6,000 fans on its best day, over UTK with over 100,000 fans to make a spectacle out of? I know if I was some narrow minded organization with the intent to save the world from Christians I would tackle the Goliaths and not waste those resources on the “small guy.” It just leads me to believe that there is possibly one person, perhaps a clique, with contacts at FFRF that is reporting all of our local activities to them in an effort to convert us all to non-believers (that would be non-believers of any religion or matters of spirituality).
Who are they? Why do we not know how FFRF came to learn that Ridgeland High School’s coach was offering voluntary prayer in the locker room. How did they learn that prayer was being offered over the PA system at Finley? Is FFRF going to travel with UTC on it’s road trips to ensure the host school does not violate UTC’s new policy of holding a moment of silence before a game and accidentally offer public prayer for the players?
Who’s next, Red Bank’s annual Jubilee, Soddy Daisy’s basketball locker rooms, Signal Mountain’s town meetings, all community festivals held near public roads that are paved by tax monies, community sports activities such as Dizzy Dean and Dixie Youth baseball programs, our churches when they hold outdoor activities in public parks such as Stuart Heights Baptist and Easter at Coolidge? It has to stop somewhere but where is that and when?
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I would also like to know who the "complainers" are because they are getting on my nerves. My family and I do not attend church... not because we don't believe in God (we do), not because we look down on those that do attend church (we don't) but because we don't feel the need to attend church. If we want to pray to God, or praise God, or talk to God we can do that as easily at our home or in our front yard... and we've yet to find a church that is the true meaning of a church and not a buisness/or social club where the members think it doesn't matter if they sin all week long... as long as they attend church they're off the hook. But there are many people who do look down on us, because Heaven Forbid, we don't attend church.
Pray, don't pray, it's your choice. However, no one's right to pray, or right not to pray, trumps the rights of others. If a football team wants to lead a prayer before the game, why must people raise cain about it? If you don't want to join in the prayer, then don't. That doesn't mean you have the right to stop other people who want to pray from joining in the prayer. If you don't want to listen to the prayer, then don't. If the city council meetings want to start or end each meeting with a prayer - is the world going to explode if that happens? People continue to make mountains out of molehills... why not focus on a real issue, like improving the public schools in Hamilton County... instead of trying to force prayer out of situations. That is not an issue, that is a group of people trying to force their views on everyone else.
United We Stand is the motto of this country... and yet we are as far from united as can be. Everyone wants their rights to be respected, their voices to be heard... yet hardly anyone is willing to respect the rights of others, or listen to the voices of others. Is it going to take another tragic event like 9/11 to unite this country once again? I sincerely hope it doesn't take that to unite us as Americans.
The FFRF seems less like a group concerned with the rights of the people, and more like a group on a witchhunt. If you're going to fight for the rights of people, then you must fight for the rights of everyone... not just certain groups of people.