The important point is that school administrators no longer use the PA system to openly pray at a football game. What the fans choose to do is another matter. The cheerleader who started the prayer commented that they had been doing this pre-game prayer traditionally for over 80 years. So? It's still a violation of church and state separation and the fact that it has a long history remains irrelevant. Indoctrination rears it's ugly head once again.
Is that more important than that some Christians now have an additional reason to see us as The Bad Guys?
The spokeswoman for the cheerleaders is: Asia Canada. I had to do a double check there. Same thing I once did when I saw a Tuesday North on my student list once :)
The alternative is to let them broadcast their prayer over the PA. I would rather appear as the Bad Guys than follow along in theistic traditions.
But it appears that this little "win" just turned it into a game for the other side. What is the next step once this tactic doesn't work? Bring in police to arrest anyone saying a prayer. I bet that the next time those who want to pray will bring in their own PA system.
I would think that a lot depends on how one interprets the word "permitting." Is it that wink-and-a-nod kind of permission or is it that they-didn't-send-in-the-National-Guard-to-stop-them-from-praying kind of permission?
It's a free society. We don't stop people from praying. In this case, I didn't think the school did anything other than allow a moment of silence, to be used as the public wanted. For prayer or for thinking about where to stop for a bite to eat after the game.
It's not mandated by the organization, and what fans decide to do is their own business. Supplicating themselves to their super-powered imaginary friends singly or in groups, silently or aloud, doesn't matter a bit to me. They are free to do their thing, and others are free to do their things.
I see them the same as I would a group of people in horned helmets asking Thor for victory; they should be able to indulge their superstition as long as they don't expect others to take them seriously or join in.
The best counter I can think of is to find the loudest and most obnoxious ritual and perform it while they pray, then call foul when they attempt to shut it down.
Something slow can be just as penetrating as loud. If a group of students spread out over the gym floor and very slowly prostrated themselves to Allah knocking their head gently against the ground ... I'm sure there would be horrified faces in the audience. Then ... (practiced in advance but seemingly spontaneous) a few students go up to them and curiously copy what they are doing. By the end of the moment of silence it appears the school had a few muslims and some new converts. And they will repeat this at the next moment of silence.
There would be no more moment of silence. Guaranteed.
Not too far from me in Knoxville, TN. I really have to wonder if peer pressure was why they all took part. Sad.