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Cambridge Christian School Federal Lawsuit Challenges Prayer Censorship

Image: Cambridge Christian School Federal Lawsuit Challenges Prayer Censorship

Cambridge Chrisian School in Tampa, Florida, has filed a federal lawsuit over a pregame prayer that was not allowed over the stadium loudspeaker. (Suprijono Suharjoto/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 04:28 PM

Cambridge Christian School has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Florida High School Athletic Association violated football players’ religious freedoms when they refused to broadcast a pregame prayer over the loudspeaker.

Cambridge played a division 2A Orange Bowl game Dec. 4 against University Christian School of Jacksonville at Camping World Stadium. The teams planned to pray together before the start of the game and wanted to broadcast their prayer over the loudspeaker so spectators could hear it as well.

FHSAA officials refused to allow them access to the loudspeaker, saying that they were a state organization and didn’t have the legal right to grant them permission to broadcast the private religious speech, TBO.com reported.

The teams did pray on the field together, but spectators were not able to hear it or participate.

The suit alleges the actions of the FSHAA denied players and spectators their religious freedom to participate together in the prayer and seeks to change FHSAA’s official policies to allow religious freedom to be expressed.

Attorney for the school Adam Foslid said in a news release reported by TBO: “The Constitution requires a government policy of neutrality toward private religious speech — one that neither endorses nor censors such speech.” Foslid further said the policy discriminates against religious speech.

“To say a prayer of thanksgiving prior to an athletic event should not be any different than Congress opening up their meetings in prayer,” Head of School Tim Euler said, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Student-led prayer is permissible at public athletic events.

An attorney for First Liberty Institute, which is joining the lawsuit, told the Times, "You cannot banish religious speech to the broom closets."

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Cambridge Christian School has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Florida High School Athletic Association violated football players' religious freedoms when they refused to broadcast a pregame prayer over the loudspeaker.
cambridge christian school, federal, lawsuit, prayer
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2016-28-29
Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 04:28 PM
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