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Opinion: Football prayer may be unconstitutional
On Sept. 17, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek issued a statement that UT will not discontinue prayer before home football games. Cheek's letter was issued in response to charges that UT's practice of prayer before games is unconstitutional. Did Cheek and his counsel make the right call?
Earlier this month, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) delivered a complaint to UTK regarding prayer before games. The complaint noted that FFRF had been approached by a UT alumnus, and it provided a series of separate but related arguments regarding the unconstitutionality of prayer before games at public universities. The most pivotal argument put forth by FFRF hinged on the Chaudhuri v. State of Tenn. decision from the Sixth Circuit. To quote the letter directly: " ... Prayers at public university events that are sectarian in nature violate the Establishment Clause. Sectarian prayers at public universities have been struck down as unconstitutional in the Sixth Circuit. ..."
The most important relevant case, however, is the 2000 Sante Fe Independent School District v. Doe Supreme Court decision, which handled prayer before the football games of a public high school in Texas. The school had sponsored a majority vote among students to determine whether to have a nonsectarian prayer before games, and the court held that "in (another case), the school district made the related argument that its policy of endorsing only 'civic or nonsectarian' prayer was acceptable because it minimized the intrusion on the audience as a whole. We rejected that claim by explaining that such a majoritarian policy 'does not lessen the offense or isolation to the objectors ...' Similarly, while Santa Fe's majoritarian election might ensure that most of the students are represented, it does nothing to protect the minority; indeed, it likely serves to intensify their offense." So, Sante Fe is a big kicker here not only because it is a more recent decision than Chaudhuri and opposes Chaudhuri in its conclusion, but it was also delivered from a higher court.
Madison group fights prayer before U. of Tennessee football games
The complaint letter from the Madison, Wis., atheist group arrived last week. An invocation was offered Saturday night before UT's game against Florida.The letter from the group points that UT-Chattanooga decided last week to stop its use of pregame prayer. Chattanooga officials decided to observe a moment of silence instead of having a spoken prayer before its home football games.
UT will keep prayer before football games; foundation won't sue
KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee will continue allowing clergy members to offer a prayer before home football games, Chancellor Jimmy Cheek told the Freedom From Religion Foundation in a letter today.
The chancellor's letter is a partial victory, she said, since alumni and students who complained to her organization said previous prayers had invoked Jesus Christ, rather than remaining nonsectarian.
Still, the organization will continue to encourage students who are uncomfortable with even nonsectarian prayer to speak out.
"That's a lot of people to offend and exclude, and we'd encourage students to keep working on it," Gaylor said. "I feel that if people who truly are offended speak out, and there are a lot of them, then eventually we will be able to stop this through persuasion."
Now, the days of sectarian prayer before UT games have come to an end, but some people, like professor in constitutional law Ted Brown, think the situation isn't as black-and-white as simply referencing the Chaudhuri decision. A larger question looms: is prayer, even of the nonsectarian type, before football games a violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause?
Ted Brown is a lecturer in the University of Tennessee’s Department of Political Science, where he teaches Constitutional Law, Judicial Process, and Law in American Society. He is also an adjunct professor of Law in American Legal History at the University of Tennessee’s College of Law.
Originally posted by billy197300
reply to post by MagnumOpus
My opinion is that you are right. Religion has no right to be involved at these events. That being said, my daughter and I go to football games as often as possible. Love it. Fun times. Before every game they do have a little prayer, but, honestly I could care less. I am just there to see some footbaaaaalllllllll. It doesn't bother me in the slightest. I just assume it is for the players really, if saying a little prayer before hand makes them feel better about getting their heads knocked in for my amusement.......more power to them.
Like Catholic Church, Penn State kept abuse secret
The phenomenon at work in both the church's global response to pedophile priests and Penn State's response to a single molester in the ranks of its athletic staff has been a factor in the downfall of institutions and governments throughout history, said the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer who has testified in clergy abuse trials in North America and Europe.
"Institutions at a certain point in their existence become greater than the sum total of the people who make them up," Doyle said. "The institution … becomes more sacred than the people it's supposed to serve."
At Penn State, the institution was largely defined by football, Doyle said.
Responsible for Penn State's prestige and position on the national stage, the football program and its leader for more than 40 years, Joe Paterno, are often credited with building the university from a small agricultural college to an internationally respected research institution by drawing in millions in donations.
UT student hospitalized after alcohol enema
The potential suspension stems from an incident over the weekend that landed a student in the hospital with a potentially deadly blood alcohol level.
Alexander Broughton, 20, was dropped off at UT Medical Center around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Knoxville Police said.
Hospital staff told Knoxville Police investigators that Broughton was in critical condition and unresponsive when he arrived, with a blood alcohol content level greater than 0.4, which is considered toxic and potentially deadly.
KPD investigators went to campus Saturday morning and found several other people, including three men, passed out at the PIKE house.
After conducting several interviews, investigators determined the fraternity members had used rubber tubing to give each other alcohol enemas. Police said the practice heightens and speeds up the process of alcohol entering the blood stream because it bypasses the liver's filters.
12 cited with underage drinking at UT frat house after 'butt chugging' incident
Broughton registered 4.0 when his blood-alcohol level was checked early Saturday at UT Hospital. Campus police are investigating reports that the student had ingested alcohol rectally. Police said when they arrived at the fraternity house, they found several people passed out.
Originally posted by billy197300
reply to post by MagnumOpus
I think if you are sticking tubes in your ass and filling it with alcohol it isn't due to pregame parties or anything like that. It is because your a stupid idiot, and you just can't fix stupid. There is no therapy or cure for that.
Father of UT student says 'alcohol enema' never happened
The father of the 20-year-old University of Tennessee student who went to the hospital with a dangerously high blood alcohol level after an alleged 'alcohol enema', told 10News the incident never happened and that Knoxville police officers originated the idea.
Photos reveal trash, blood in aftermath of UT 'alcohol enema' incident
Newly released photos from the University of Tennessee Police Department show a fraternity house littered with boxes of wine, trash and blood in the aftermath of an alleged 'alcohol enema' incident at the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity over the weekend,
His injuries led officials to believe he may have been sexually assaulted, so Knoxville police officers specializing in sexual assault were brought in to investigate, according to the report.
The mother of a Pike freshman called to anonymously report that, while a pledge was being forced to do push-ups, a fraternity member "mashed" the pledge's face into the floor, causing injuries that sent him to the hospital. She reported he was diagnosed with a concussion.