football player kneeling in prayer on field
Does Jesus belong on the football field?

It might be time to start calling them the "Friday Night Heavenly Lights."

A new Florida bill just signed into law explicitly allows prayers to be played uninterrupted over the loudspeakers before high school sporting events. 

Now, some Florida schools say they are eager to take advantage of this new policy to spread the Good Word at public school football games this fall.

How exactly did this come to pass, and what could it mean for the future of religion in public schools? 

Can We Have Your Attention Please…

Florida House Bill 225 is, on its head, a bill designed to restructure the Florida High School Athletic Association and allow homeschooled students participation in high school athletics.

But squirreled away in the bill is a provision allowing any schools participating in an athletics championship – playoffs, tournaments, etc. – “the opportunity to make brief opening remarks, if requested by the school, using the public address system at the event.”

These could take the form of run-of-the-mill good sportsmanship announcements like “have a good game” or “may the best team win,” and those undoubtedly will be heard.

But the governor’s office also explicitly clarified that this extends to prayer. 

“You have a right to free expression of religion,” said Governor Ron DeSantis during his signing of the bill. “If government is denying your right to say a prayer before the game, they are infringing your speech.”

God Takes the Field

At least one school is already anticipating their first public prayer to Jesus once the bill goes into effect on July 1st. 

“The next time Cambridge Christian returns to play for a state championship—and we will return—we will pray over the loudspeaker before kickoff,” said the head of Cambridge Christian School, Sean Minks. 

There are a couple of additional rules:

  • The pre-game remarks cannot be “derogatory, rude or threatening"
  • The school must make an announcement that the remarks do not necessarily reflect the school’s opinions

But other than that, the pregame loudspeaker remarks will be unregulated – meaning schools or members of the team are free to engage in any sort of prayer they like. 

Too Much Church In the State?

Not only is the bill a violation of separation of church and state, opponents say, but it’s also a thinly veiled attempt to further inject Christianity in public schools.

While there’s nothing in the bill specifically saying the prayers must be from a particular religion, critics argue that Christian prayer will undoubtedly dominate these events; Christianity is far and away the most popular religion in Florida, with over 70% of Floridians identifying as Christian.

What are the odds, critics ask, that a Florida school picks a Muslim prayer? A Jewish prayer? A Satanic invocation? It would seem unlikely. 

However, bill sponsor Fred Hawkins rebuffs the belief that this is a means to insert Christianity into schools, pointing out that prayer is just one of many uses the opening remarks could have.

“It could be recognition. It can be retirement of a coach. A lot of things can be used in these opening remarks,” he said.

Jesus Inches Further Toward the Classroom

This is hardly the first controversy over prayer in public schools, nor will it be the last. But it seems the football field has become one popular arena for this fight. 

The Florida law comes on the heels of the Supreme Court vindication of Joseph Kennedy, a Washington state high school football coach who was let go from his coaching position after refusing to stop publicly praying on the 50-yard line during and after games.

Lower courts repeatedly ruled against Kennedy, but he appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, where the nation’s highest court ruled that he was unjustly let go. Their reasoning: a public school coach leading his team in prayer did not amount to coercion or endorsement of the Christian faith.

It would appear a similar justification is being used in Florida. Prayer is allowed from all religions, so the law doesn't promote one over another. But what type of prayers will actually be heard? Critics have a good guess. 

What is your reaction?


  1. Kenneth Eagle Spirit's Avatar Kenneth Eagle Spirit

    And of course all faiths will be granted equal time. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc. and etc. will all be included. After all, we wouldn't want to force ONE religion on a group without allowing ALL faiths to participate. And the guy who signed the bill into law stands a chance of being the next president of the United States. How cool is this? And in case you missed my point get a dictionary and look up the definition of sarcasm.

    1. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

      I think only one, even if it’s xtianoturdity, is infinitely preferable to all of them spouting their nonsense through loud speakers!💩👎

  1. Michael Holland's Avatar Michael Holland

    What happened to separation of church and state ? Are the churches going to start funding schools? Are other religions going to be able to say their prayers? Not all who attend school are Christian, why should they be subjected to this?

    1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      Separation is nowhere in the Constitution, explicitly. That document expressly prohibits the establishment of a State Religion, like the Church of England.

      The separation verbiage was in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802 expressing his opinion that the 1st Amendment does, in effect, work like that. As I recall from American History class, he was mostly opposed to government declaring days of prayer and thanksgiving.

  1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

    SHAME ON DeSatan. SHAME on FLORIDIANS who put this Christofascist autocrat wannabe dictator in power.

  1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

    “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men … but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father who is unseen.” Matthew 6

    This sort of public prayer outside of the corporate worship of a church of likeminded believers strikes me as pure spectacle. A show so everyone can see how righteous and holy everyone else is.

    It can also have the opposite effect of what some people think it will do. They want to "spread the word" in a country already saturated with "the word". In Florida you can sit on any corner and toss a stone in any direction and hit a church. My smallish city literally has an entire street of massive megachurches. If someone wants to join a church and be preached at, it is super easy to find a place for that. But the streets are still packed with people who speed and drive like crazy people. The shops are still filled with rude, obnoxious people. Clearly "the word" hasn't had any real affect. And trying to subjugate others to one's personal beliefs when they are not there for that particular slice of life can turn them farther away from wanting to hear any more of "the word".

    I'm betting some students in FL are members of TST. Time to get the local chapters to sign up for sports prayer night. 😈😁

    1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      Rev Kev Let's hope TST does exactly that! Ave Satana

  1. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

    Horida is fast becoming the most obnoxious, never want to live in or go there state in this country, which seems to want to be a theoturdocracy!💩👎

    1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      I’ve been an American expat for over 30 years bc it’s not just Florida.

  1. Pamela Kay Waters's Avatar Pamela Kay Waters

    Prayer should NOT be in public schools. If there are those that want to pray before an athletic event then they can do it on their own behalf and leave the others alone.

  1. Mary Haviland's Avatar Mary Haviland

    Good. More people need to pray. You idiots accept this behavior from the Muslim people but you won't accept prayers from christians, that's hypocritical. Esp since the Muslims are evil.

    1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

      Your comment begs some questions:

      1) To whom do you refer when you say "You idiots"? How do you know what they accept or don't accept?

      2) Do you assert that ALL Muslims are evil? Every single one on the entire planet? How would you know this? Have you been gifted with omniscience to know the minds and intent of every Muslim ever?

      3) Your post does not reflect well on you as a human being. Can one draw the conclusion this was the result of your fervent prayers? If so, why would anyone of sound mind want that? Not exactly a rousing advertisement for prayer.

    2. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

      Prayers nowadays are as useless as religion has been to human society. Over the millennia, religion has had its filthy fingers in everything related to human scientific and progressive development! Imagine how advanced the world would be in space travel, medicine, and everything else if men in frocks hadn’t been able to get their own greedy ways!

      1. James C Riggle's Avatar James C Riggle

        Yep... the dark ages set up back centuries in developing technology and medical advances.

      2. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Here's some things religion did not have a hand in: Gunpowder, mustard gas, thermonuclear warheads, napalm, ak47, sarin gas, shock treatment, heroin, cigarettes, STD testing on black Americans, concentration death camps, on and on and on and on.
        Let's give credit where credit is due. Mankind is willing to commit horrific evil, with or without religion. True, some religions are inherently evil while some are not. The humans within or without any given religion is capable of the terrible evil, they're the actual problem.

        1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

          With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.

          -- Steven Weinberg

    3. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      @ Haviland Do you have your Blazing Bigot membership card laminated in holy plastic?

    4. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      The efficacy of prayer has been studied since at least 1872, and has shown to be completely ineffective. Prayer has been determined to be just as effective as crossing ones fingers, touching wood, or carrying around a lump of coal.


      1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

        George Carlin covered this (praying) beautifully, as did Christopher Hichens. Both insightful and well versed smart guys. Miss them.

    5. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      Mary H...there's that good crz chn attitude we've come to know an like...thank you for being a consistent and predictable crx chn

    6. Daniel-David's Avatar Daniel-David

      Mary H.,

      How did you learn Muslims were evil? Who taught you that?

      What they taught you and what you learned is how to fear and hate, a group, a person, religious people. Fear can be a terrifying emotion. Fear of the ‘other’ can become all consuming.

      Do not be discouraged, turn to the God of your understanding and listen to the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. Be a blessing to someone today. Be at peace. Daniel.

  1. David Richard Procter's Avatar David Richard Procter

    It will not pass U.S. Constitutional scrutiny. Praying to the Lord through Jesus Christ at a public school sporting event? The Washington state case has totally different circumstances. Has something untoward happened to the drinking water in Florida?

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Yes something has happened in Florida, but it's not the water, it's hot air (T-Rump and De-Whatsis).

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      And that otherwise-Walmart assistant manager who inherited 350 million of his daddy's money and pays 17 year olds for sex by check).

  1. Rev. Elizabeth's Avatar Rev. Elizabeth

    AWESOME! We are moving towards the correct direction. Be patient, more will follow. PATIENCE cannot be expressed enough here. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 💖

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Yayyy! Let's all talk to a wall, floor, sky, or ceiling, to our imaginary friend, that no one has yet been able to prove exists.


      1. Daniel-David's Avatar Daniel-David

        Prayer does comfort my soul. I pray for others, and give thanks for them being in my life. What you think, feel, or express an opinion about is between you and your dog. 🐶

        If none of this ‘God stuff’ can be proven to your satisfaction then the answer must be the mumbling of deranged me and women trying to make sense of this world.

        You telling me, it’s random, and not provable, doesn’t move the needle. It just keeps you playing that one-stringed instrument.

      2. Daniel-David's Avatar Daniel-David

        Prayer does comfort my soul. I pray for others, and give thanks for them being in my life. What you think, feel, or express an opinion about is between you and your dog. 🐶

        If none of this ‘God stuff’ can be proven to your satisfaction then the answer must be the mumbling of deranged me and women trying to make sense of this world.

        You telling me, it’s random, and not provable, doesn’t move the needle. It just keeps you playing that one-stringed instrument.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Thank you, David, It’s not really a question of what can be proven to “my” satisfaction to be true, it’s more of “what can be proven to everyone”. The same goes for Odin, Thor, Vishnu, et al. Perhaps you can tell me what logic, and reason you used to discount the reality of those deities, in favor of the one you want to believe is real.

          By the way, a one-stringed instrument can actually play a very nice tune, depending on how the tension of the string is changed, and on how it’s length is played.

          Thank you so much for your comment, David. 🤗


    2. Joy 's Avatar Joy

      You are fooling yourself if you think any of this is good. And you sound like one of the people Jesus spoke about to stay clear of. Control is all DeSantis wants. And those who think this is great will support it. But what you don’t realize is all of this is about removing our guaranteed rights under our constitutional republic country.

      Yes. Patience is needed. For this who are slowly stripping away the very fabric on which we live.

  1. Najah P Tamargo's Avatar Najah P Tamargo

    Minister Najah Tamargo USA (sadly, FL) SBNR

    This does not surprise me in the slightest. don't think a "moment" of silence would be a bad idea instead of a full blown megaphone prayer. Religions or spiritual matters should stay with the family, NOT the school system. And FL has one of the worst ratings in the country in public school ratings. (I am soooo glad none of my kids are not still in school, and my grandkids and great-grandson live in different states. Remember when everybody had a hissy fit when the NFL (and others) "took a knee" at the National Anthem? You would think the world was coming to an end!!!! But remember.....Florida is run by a DeDouchebag that wrote a law just so he could still be governor while running for President, banning books, criminalizing drag shows, not allowing "critical race theory", etc. Florida has become a real life Fahrenheit 451!!!! I am one of those 30% that's NOT a bible-thumping Christian, but do not criticize them for their beliefs. I just don't feel it is appropriate to try and jam it down others throats. I am also one of the folks that plan on moving out of this hell hole state!!!!

    1. Joy 's Avatar Joy

      I love here too and DeNutso is like a crazed child on sugar running around in his own hubris at what “he can do”, eg,

      “Look at me! Look what I have done! I have my Republican state congress signing everything I want because I hate people and I hate Florida!”

      He has issues. His dictator mindset will backfire one day. And I hope soon because he has done so much harm just this year alone.

      1. Joy 's Avatar Joy

        ^^^live here. LOL

  1. James Mounts's Avatar James Mounts

    I personally am not a Jesus Christer, but I think most people who participate in and watch high-school sports in America are. No one is requiring non-Christians to recite the prayers--only to be respectful while others pray. In Muslim communities I would not object to the prayers be theirs or if they chose to have none. Same for Hindus, et al. In recent years we have interpreted "freedom of religion" to mean "freedom from religion.. Just look where it has taken us. Time to try the other tac.

    1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

      Freedom of religion also doesn't mean the right to subject others to one's chosen faith at any occasion. People go to sports events for the sports. Support the school and the team. Socialize. Eat bad food and drink. I doubt anyone goes to a school sports event to have to listen to someone pray. I think if people want to pray for their team, they can pray in silence as much as they like. God supposedly knows what they are praying. Broadcasting it on the field's sound system won't make God pay more attention to it.

      Freedom from religion isn't necessarily a bad thing. Our nation isn't floundering from some curse of less religion. Shootings and violence aren't because of less religion. In fact, a LOT of folks toting guns and wrapped in flags also wear crosses. The folks who attacked the Capitol on Jan 6th had several pre-insurrection rallies by popular preachers firing them up. I saw at least a couple large, wooden crosses that day.

      Religion is clearly not the cure for what ails us. It can often be the source of dehumanizing "other". Instead of hoping one or another religion or god will magically save us, we should start teaching people to stop being rude and abusive, as seems to be the way these days. Teach simple compassion. Caring. Understanding. Teach kids that other people are exactly that: people. Fellow human beings. Who feel love and pain. Who have needs and wants. Who are basically the same as other humans. All sane humans want to live a life of peace and happiness. Have time with friends and family. Enjoy what pleasures life has to offer and work together to overcome the tragedies. Putting ourselves in the other person's shoes transcends any particular religion. People across the ages have taught the idea of treating others as you'd like to be treated in the same circumstances. We don't need a religion to raise kids to just be decent humans and treat other life and the world well.

      1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

        Rev You just described the teachings of Jesus the Christ. I agree with you partly if not mostly. Consider this: Education requires a standard. Like it or not, the Bible teaches good behavior for family and governments even if the characters in it didn't follow its teachings and did evil anyway. Also the Bible is realitively constant, which a standard should be. When that standard was removed from the classroom or a more accurate account, when the classroom was removed from the standard, it was replaced with nothing. And now we have a society that has matured without that ethics standard being taught. Should be expected for society to drop the standard and replace it with the fad and feelings of the moment.

        Should bibles be in public school? No, not as a policy. Finding a suitable replacement standard would be nice but I fear we would never agree on one, we haven't so far anyway.

        1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

          My point was we can have a standard without the necessity of invoking any particular religion or deities.

          We live in a multicultural society. Kids in schools adhere to a variety of religions, or none at all. Even within Christianity there are differences. For example, Evangelical parents could be angered by a Catholic priest offering a prayer over the loudspeaker, thus exposing their children to what they may see as a "Satanic" or heretical faith.

          And let's be honest here. We can cherry pick certain teachings in the Bible as constructive. But there are also a lot of things in the Bible not so constructive. Genocides. Slavery. Induced miscarriage. Kidnapping women to make brides of them. Human sacrifice. And so on.

          I've seen a lot of people raised as Christians who are hateful, bigoted, violent, and self-centered. I've seen street preachers scream and yell at people. I've even been accosted by the occasional wannabe evangelist while just doing my own thing and minding my own business. One lady saw I was reading a book by the Dalai Lama and told me I needed to read a better book. I thanked her for her suggestion and hoped that would be that. Before I knew it she was going off on how evolution was from Satan and how awful I was unless I repented. She began getting visibly upset and started yelling at me. I backed away and split for the nearest store to get away.

          Clearly, Christianity as a whole lacks any particular standard, and is open to many interpretations and beliefs.

          I say avoid the conflicts and stick with a more secular, reasonable standard. The things I mentioned can all be logically reasoned. But it needs to start with the developing minds of children so they can become the sane, reasonable adults of tomorrow. Such that no matter how far they climb in their education, they will never see a conflict between those ideals and reality.

        2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          We actually don't know what the real teachings were, being as he never wrote them down anywhere, assuming he was a real person.

          As for the Bible teaching good behavior, try explaining that to all the children your god was supposed to have killed, plus those in slavery that he condoned, and those he ordered to be stoned to death, and those he drowned. 🤷🏼


    2. Geoffrey C. Olive's Avatar Geoffrey C. Olive

      As a devout atheist, why should I respect any religion, particularly xtianturdity, that disrespects my lack of belief in their ridiculous nonsense and the damage they’ve caused to humanity?

    3. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      so what you're suggesting is we should all relax and let cristofascists pray anywhere they want under any circumstance because....christofascism?

  1. Michael Holland's Avatar Michael Holland

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Carol M. Anaski-Figurski's Avatar Carol M. Anaski-Figurski

    Great news! Keep growing in the kingdom of God. All faiths are welcome. Paint scripture on the walls. It's heaven sent.

    1. Mike Eggleston's Avatar Mike Eggleston

      All faiths? That's great, I look forward to hearing the prayers to Our Lord Satan. !nemA

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Well I don't really see Muslims asking for a football victory, it's not exactly how Allah is to be used. Cities and state government open with a prayer, generally either from a Christian religion or generically... The military provides for chaplains, and now Texas school districts look like they're going to be providing for chaplains (including I'm sure in lieu of counselors) what?

  1. Mike Eggleston's Avatar Mike Eggleston

    I presumes all religions will be represented equally.

  1. Jimmy Moon's Avatar Jimmy Moon

    Sounds good to me. We need JESUS more than ever before. There is one thing for certain. There are two places where everyone believes in JESUS, Heaven and Hell.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Do you have any demonstrable evidence to your claim, or did you just read that in a book?

      Thank you for your comment, Jimmy.


  1. NLilly's Avatar NLilly

    GOD Bless To The Post. ♥ Smiling.

  1. Daniel Todd Kamm's Avatar Daniel Todd Kamm

    Florida's electorate is responsible for allowing that mess and only they can correct it. The right wing courts in Florida aren't gonna touch it until after the next big election and they know where their money is coming from.

    If they wait long enough the GOP's extreme wing might start eating their own, like the mess in Texas this week. Lots of gnashing of teeth and chewing on the teething ring down there.

    A lot of species eat their own...spiders, praying mantises, rodents, rabbits, all the way up to the Donner party, celebrities and then some.

    To the point, it's political over reach and religious over reach and even the Supreme Court will not take up a case this volatile, though this or that Justice" will need to work it out under cover. Send it back down, refure to hear, etc.

    This one is definitely headed to the courts.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    The GOP won't stop until we have a theocracy.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      And also a Republic 🤗


  1. Austin B Beamer's Avatar Austin B Beamer

    Young people need this kind of an influence to encourage goodness in their lives.

  1. Timothy Newell's Avatar Timothy Newell

    It's time to inject prayer back into public schools anyway, should have never been taken out. I was in the first grade back in 1962 when the teacher read from the Bible and we stood up for the Pledge of Allegiance--"One nation UNDER GOD" I think we've become so saturated with ungodliness in this country now. So I don't have to shop at Target anymore and spectators can take their seat in the football stadium after God and His Only Begotten Son--my Savior--has been praised. God can only love you folks in this community with your comments a million times more than I ever could. So continue with the Apostasy that Jesus warned us all about in the Bible--that wonderful Bible from which my first-grade teacher read back in 1962 before O'Hair's mistake. You all marginalizing Christians isn't surprising God at all, so keep on doing it. He's in control anyway.

    In Jesus' name. Amen

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