Kingston, TN principal detours prayer reg

Thanks, Mom, for sending this to me… BTW, it’s true!

This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school Principal, Jody McLeod on September 1, 2000.

"It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country."

Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that’s OK.

I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that’s OK.

I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem…

I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology."

I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depicts people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as "simple-minded"  and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment."

However, if anyone uses this facility to honor God and to ask Him to Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated.

This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except God and His Commandments.

Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical… I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression.

For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s," and refrain from praying at this time.

"However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank God and ask Him in the name of Jesus to Bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that’s not against the law—-yet."

"One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the announcer’s box…

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion." (sourced from the forwarded email)

On this day...


  1. brandy files says:
    first off, let me just say “wow” to that post. and then second, in response to the comment you left for me. . .you also need to read angela’s comment on the previous post, and lou’s post after just about every sunday. . .the fact is, god uses you EVERY sunday. there aren’t many sundays at all that i haven’t left feeling as though i had a ton of thoughts to sort through and new ways of living to apply. i’m amazed by god’s ability to speak to me so intently and purposefully. . .and by your willingness to be the vessel.
    you’re right, singing is appropriate. . .”every high and every low, oh, no, you never let go, oh you never let go of me”. . .
    the turtle is sticking her head out! 🙂
  2. A.J. says:
    That was too cool. What a way to stand up for the Lord.
  3. Susan Polanski says:
  5. Ian says:
    I sat and stewed over this email for the past three days wondering how and if I should reply. Those of you on this email list that know me, understand me to be a liberal and a radical in terms of changes needed in this country. I will warn you not to read further in this email if you find the verbiage of the principal to be accurate.

    I am offended, not because it promotes Christianity, I have no beef with the Christian ideals, but because it fails to recognize the need for tolerance of others’ beliefs and cultures. This is the “land of the free”…”Give us your tired, your poor, your broken-hearted”…and if I may elaborate in my own words, “We will give them freedom, liberty and the opportunity for happiness”. For years, this country was fueled by ignorance, promoting and supporting slavery, racism and intolerance, both of races, cultures AND RELIGIONS. A man might be persecuted for believing in an alternate God or was ridiculed because of his sexuality. Langston Hughes, one of America’s best and brightest poets of the 20th century, was black, gay and Christian, yet he had to fight to go to school and could not get a grade in English better than a “B”, all because he was “colored”. So he pushed back against the grain to change intolerable laws and regulations. He asked people through poetry to tolerate different ideals. This mentality has been hard earned by many through the years. Hmmmm….

    I love the sentence about “Sexual Perversion being an alternate lifestyle”. Wow, talk about judgemental. In other words, being homosexual is a “sexual perversion”. Interesting? My sister had several friends at her wedding, who follow this alternate lifestyle, and come to think of it, they were some of the nicest people I have ever met. They took the time to ask me about my wife and child and to support my sister’s marriage to a man without hesitation, judgement or degradation. They believed whole-heartedly in the sanctity of marriage, yet unless they can go to California, Oregon or Mass, they’re unable to follow the same path. To me, homosexuality is the new racism in our country. Do people honestly believe that someone would “choose to be gay”, knowing full well what trials and tribulations will ensue? I have taught 7th and 8th graders, who have come out of the closet to me…you don’t make that decision if it isn’t in your gene makeup in the seventh grade. Most people who pass judgement on homosexuality have never befriended a homosexual or spoken to them at length about the subject, because it is so taboo. Make it a point to communicate with someone who “follows the lifestyle”, and before you judge them, listen to them. Perhaps, you may feel enlightened.

    Being an educator, I get to see kids in school on a regular basis, so I see kids in their academic confines. Allow me to reiterate some current data: teen pregnancy rates are at on the rise again; studies show that one in four teenage kids have an STD; and kids are not being taught about sexual “issues” at home. Schools are expected to act as “parents” in many facets of life. National studies show that parents expect teachers to be an extension of them in terms of educating their offspring, so why wouldn’t schools talk about sex? If you don’t think kids see it on a daily basis, hear about it regularly, and are pressured by their peers to experiment, it’s time to wake up. I don’t care how Christian the kid is, how well schooled they are by their parents, and what the expectations are levied at home, you are not around your child 24-7 and they WILL be exposed to opportunities for sex. Why can’t schools help educate them on safety? It’s not encouraging the act to pass out condoms; in fact schools spend more time preaching abstinence and awareness, and NEVER promote having sex. However, we are realists and understand that one can’t take the “real” out of “reality”.

    Abortion is a topic used for debate practice, as is gun control, euthanasia, and animal testing. I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT WHERE ABORTION HAS BEEN PROMOTED! Students are allowed to share their views on said issues for both sides. Some people will have a difference of opinion, and that’s okay. Personally, as a male, I don’t think I have the right to tell a woman what she has to do with her body for nine months, nor do I have a right to tell her she must maintain her pregnancy after she has been raped by a man with HIV. I know a woman, who faced this very dilemma. She was advised by a physician to abort for fear of health related issues. I don’t blame her and how can you? It’s easy for us to pass judgement as most of us have never been in her shoes.

    Problem with Earth Day? Seriously? A day where everyone tries to make a conscious effort to save our planet and people have a problem with that. I love that the term worship is used to describe Earth Day in this email. Again, I am in a school setting daily, and every earth day, school’s just ask their kids to be aware of the destruction of the earth, so we can prevent its annihilation. I have never heard the word worship used on earth day in a school setting, nor have I seen a prayer sent mother earth’s way. Hmmm…the holiday seems sensible to me. Let’s see, focusing on saving the earth, so that it will still be here to allow prayer hundreds of years from now. That’s doesn’t seem so bad.

    And lastly, “ignorant and simple minded” videos and books that basically degrade Christianity in school settings? Seriously, that’s ignorance at its height and that’s assinine. Take a look at American public school curriculums. Eighty percent of all literature in American public schools uses references to the Bible in a positive light. We read The Crucible, Old Man and the Sea (which praises the life of Christ), The Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird. So what if we read, Siddhartha, Bless Me Ultima, Night and The Stranger. It’s called experiencing other cultures and religious views in the hopes that it will make one ask some questions to soldify one’s understanding of one’s own faith or perhaps learn what another global citizen might believe. Half of coexisting stems from understanding one’s brothers. I find that people who balk at texts that question religion, usually are too insecure in their own beliefs to find the value in the read. I tried to get a school board to pass a creative writing text called Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. She is a Buddhist writer, but the book is about finding inspiration to write creatively. The book is used in nearly every college setting across the country and hundreds of high school classes that promote a rigorous curriculum. My conservative school district turned it down because it was written by a Buddhist writer….I was floored as I thought I was in an “intelligent community”. Let’s nix a great learning tool, because we find fault in the writer’s philosophical beliefs. Maybe that’s why the Middle East hates us so much. It’s our way or the highway.

    For the record, I am an American and a patriot. I love the freedoms this country affords me and my family. My father is a retired Colonel in the army. I tried to enlist in the US Coast Guard when I was 22, so that I might fly search and rescue helicopters in the support of our freedoms and liberties, but I was told by a recruiter that since I was white and a male, not to bother. You see it was in 1992 at the height of affirmative action, so I was “not needed”. I could of been truly upset, but I elected “to serve” my country in another capacity. I joined Teach for America and went to Los Angeles after the LA Riots to teach the underpriviledged, and to give them the same opportunity afforded to me. I took great pride in that and to this day believe I am serving America as an educator.

    So, my request: the next time you get an email, and send it off to your entire address book, be sure to take out those who might be offended by its ignorance, its arrogance and its narrowmindedness as I believe in the freedom of thought and expression.

  6. ellen hargrave says:
    a friend of mine sent me this speech from the principal and i had to google it to see of it’s authenticity…finding that he really gave it back in 2000 was inaccurate in the email i received…as to it’s content…

    i have been brought up in the presbyterian church in upstate new york, my brother has been a pastor for 35 years in new jersey, my octogenarian parents are still serving God in every capacity they can and they would also disagree about the content of that speech as being accurate…i concur with the writer ian as of 7/5/09 that the measure of a spiritual believer and true follower of christ is to love all men regardless of their culture or form of worship as they all love the same God…more outlooks like ian’s could be the saving grace for our world…understanding, tolerance and love…

    regards to you, jeff, and your family

  7. Jeff says:
    Ellen and Ian,
    I deeply appeciate your thoughtful interaction. I don’t believe that the prayer that was the subject of this post reflects intolerance. While it’s true that Christ modeled and taught the sacrificial love of God, let us not forget that He will also be the Ultimate Judge.

    Even while we live in obedience to Him and sensitivity to others, we are still called to be discerning and not to approve of others sin in the name of tolerance. At the same time, we are not to adopt a judgementail stance. Rather, we are to seek that every person, every nation comes to the soul-regenerating knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord.

    Even the apostle Paul could be construed as intolerant by many standards when he said, “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” (Philippians 3.18-19)

  8. Ian, you are a complete idiot!
    Our founders setup our Government from the beginning with the intent to ‘free’ the slaves. You Moron! They originally did not want the slaves to be counted so that the South which had the most slaves would have less representatives thus allowing the new country to be able to deal with Slavery at an earlier date, freeing them. Even though slaves were in the North, a lot of people were against slavery. The compromise was to count slaves as 3/5th rather than 0. This prolonged the situation. Also, note that our Founders intended on the CHruch to ‘help’ protect our Constitition by instilling ‘righteous’ behaviour in its citizens. Of course, there were times when exteme situations occurred, but often less that that of the progressives which got their hook in our society in 1913.

    The Democrats historical supported slavery. It was an Republican president that freed the slaves. Martin Luther King was a Republican.

    The great Kennedys made their living off of prohibition (progressive Democrats). Our Income Tax , progressive democrats, our failed social agends, progressives.

    As far as Gays go, you can have sex with whoever, whatever you want to…. I don’t know, I guess we have become really progressive when say a man and 3 sheep can get married.

    Oh yeah, our Government was founded on the protection of those God Given rights, not the oppression as instituted by progressives. You have the right to take your sorry ass and leave this country. May I suggest Afghanistan. I here they love Gays!

    You idiot!

    Actually, when you look at History, the Democrats
    Ian says:
    July 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm
    I sat and stewed over this email for the past three days wondering how and if I should reply. Those of you on this email list that know me, understand me to be a liberal and a radical in terms of changes needed in this country. I will warn you not to read further in this email if you find the verbiage of the principal to be accurate.
    .-= Everett Bennett Jr´s last blog ..luke2261: Please have Sheriff Joe on soon to talk about imigration. He is on twitter. =-.

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