Leesburg (FL) School Takes Action to End Prayer Led By Baseball Coach

In early, February, American Atheists received information that Leesburg High School head baseball coach Rich Billings and assistant coach John Meier were initiating and leading students and other coaches in prayer every day following baseball practice.

Bill Miller, Principal of Leesburg High School

Bill Miller, Principal of Leesburg High School

On February 10, American Atheists’ in-house counsel Amanda Knief sent an advisory letter to Leesburg High School principal Bill Miller regarding this unconstitutional endorsement of religion by school staff. In the letter, Knief requested:

that you investigate the prayers taking place at the end of baseball practice and end the practice of the coach- and/or student-led prayers. We further request that all coaching staff be trained about the restrictions of religious activities at a public school. All staff should be informed that any religious activity sponsored by the school or themselves in their roles as school employees violates the U.S. Constitution as well as the rights of conscience of their students and parents.

On February 23, American Atheists received a letter, dated February 18, from Principal Miller. In the letter, Miller stated, “I am in agreement with your expectations and will take immediate action to cease the practice of prayer.”

Miller outlined steps taken to rectify the situation, including a meeting with baseball coaching staff in which our advisory letter was shared and the elimination of the prayer was ordered. Miller also indicated the Leesburg High School staff would be reminded of their legal obligations and expectations at the next general faculty meeting.

American Atheists wishes to thank Principal Miller for his expeditious handling of this issue and for articulating our shared expectations of the Constitutional requirements of public schools employees to the staff of Leesburg High School.

Both the letter from American Atheists and the response from Principal Miller are attached below.

Letter from American Atheists

Leesburg Response

  • Alexia Richardson

    Good on the principal. Keep your unfounded religious beliefs to yourself stop violating the students right to freedom of and from religion.

    • Pat

      Alexia Read PSALM 14: 1 53:1 THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART THERE IS NO GOD….THERE WILL BE NO ATHEIST IN HELL>>>ONLY ex-ATHEIST WILL BE THERE….Are you going to be of them ??????

      • Alexia Richardson

        There is no god there is no hell

        • grannygator

          OK ,YOU WILL SEE.There is a God .his son died for your sins ….

          • Kyle Schlosser

            Solid argument.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Prove it

          • Debbie Rhodes

            There are books written that He did.

          • Alexia Richardson

            There are books about harry potter…..

          • Lea Lewis

            The difference is that the Bible, which books from the old testament are actually also in the Holy books from the Muslim and Jewish religions ( go look it up) are from scrolls from thousands of years ago by people recording true events, whereas the books about Harry Potter were written by an author around fifteen to twenty years ago. This is the difference between the two.

          • wordup’yo

            The people writing those books were also drastically misinformed on how our world works. No religion or belief can prove theirs right. Just keep doing what you do, and let Alexia blow off some steam.

          • Debbie Rhodes

            You can’t fix stupid.

          • lmright

            Alexia, can you prove there is no god? You cannot. I pray someday, God will open your Hard Core heart and mind.

          • Lea Lewis

            The proof is in the Bible! Where is your proof on the sad things you have been trying to terrorize people with? Why must you call people names? Why must you act so childish to try and get an invalid point across?

          • Freedom

            Prove there isn’t! That’s the issue others may be having with your comments.
            It is wrong for one type of believer to put down, or show hatred towards, another’s belief. That is what’s wrong with this country. This country was build around religion freedom. Hatred toward another due to race, gender or religion needs to stop. We were all created equal whether you believe in God or not.
            Alexia, it seems as though you are very angry. I am sorry for that. I am also very sorry others have verbally attracted you. That’s not right either.
            You are entitled to your beliefs just as those who believe in God are entitled to theirs.
            School staff and faculty are not supposed to lead students in prayer, under the law, but that does not mean students cannot lead their teammates in prayer. Students can participate or not. That’s where our freedom, unlike other countries, comes into play. We have free choice.
            Please try to keep an open mind and heart. Show tolerance instead of intolerance. If more people did that, this world would be a much better place.
            I wish you peace and happiness in your life.

          • Alexia Richardson

            The whole article is focused soley on the staff breaking the law.
            you can be as immoral and crazy as you want just stay out of trying to force your bs into law

          • lmg8019

            Copy cat

        • Lea Lewis

          Prove it!

      • Kyle Schlosser

        … which Hell are you referring to?

      • Emily Ann Allen

        You are ignorant,everyone has a right to different religious freedom, it shouldn’t be shoved down high school students throats,as a wiccan who went to high school being judged at LHS I fully support this

        • Bexbrun

          Of course you were judged for being Wiccan

          • Emily Ann Allen

            What exactly is wrong with being wiccan?

          • Bexbrun

            I didn’t state anything is wrong with it, but in a society where everyone and everything is judged (and being that leesburg has to be the central location of the most closed minded people ever) it’s likely that you were judged for believing in something that most people don’t understand or consider to be “satanic” or what have you because they aren’t educated on the matter. I personally grew up Mormon and received a lot of unsolicited opinions about that because people still ignorantly believe that my dad must have 30 wives, so what I meant was, of course you were judged because why wouldn’t you have been?

        • Debbie Rhodes

          Nor should non-belief be shoved down our throats.

        • Jeff

          They are not shoving it down there throat. If they don’t believe just don’t participate. Not that big of a deal. Worry about our Americans get there heads chopped off not about prayers

          • Fellow Christian

            In a public school setting, students should not have to make that decision. It’s against the law.

            As long as the coaches stop being involved, then there is no problem. The kids can pray as much as they want.

      • Alexia Richardson

        Your right even your bible agrees there is no god. Grow up child

        • Lea Lewis

          Where does it agree that there is no God? Why don’t you grow up and show some evidence of this? If you can’t then stop saying such childish comments.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Public officials are not allowed to join in prayer because it promotes the religion just as teachers cant join in class prayer because it promotes stupidity

          • Lea Lewis

            Public officials have the same rights as all of the citizens of the United States of America. As long as they do not lead the prayer, they are not in the wrong. The only one that promotes stupidity is the one that continually lashes out at others instead of providing proof in which she speaks.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Psalms 14 THERE IS NO GOD.
            see I can quote mine like a Christian

          • Lea Lewis

            Actually it says in Palm 14:1 Only fools Say “There is no God” They are corrupt and their actions evil; not one of them does good!

            And that is word for word in my Bible.

          • Alexia Richardson

            So you honestly belive athiests never do any good???
            Wow tell that to my local homeless coalition

          • Lea Lewis

            Just writing from the verse you chose. You tried to say something to make a point, but in doing so you failed to mention what it says entirely. And not all of them plainly point out anything trying to day there is no God. Those aren’t bad people because they aren’t forcing themselves on anyone where as you have been calling people’s families morons. You have called people retards, as if you know the meaning of the word, and everything you have been Saint is to belittle people for having the beliefs that they do. Your homeless coalition sounds like a good thing, but do you know how many people have different religions and you may never know their religion. I believe you aren’t trying to do good because if you specifically bully everyone that believes something different than you and just be down right ugly then you specifically are the one that meets the definition of this verse. It is sad to say but only you can open yourself up and accept that other people have different beliefs than you. I have friends that are good people with all different religions and I don’t judge their decisions for them. I also think that if I can be friends with those from other religions, people can put their differences down and be kind to one another. That is something you should work on yourself about.

          • Alexia Richardson

            I ridicule people for believing false things then claiming them as fact

          • Lea Lewis

            Yes because trying to force people to believe the way you do, and if not you treat them like garbage is a smart thing. No that shows nothing but a disregard for people, who all think differently. What you may believe isn’t fact someone may take as fact. And really you may believe there isn’t a Good but someone else feels a spiritual closeness with that Good or gods depending on the religion. Ridiculing others for what they believe is saying that they don’t have the right to have any beliefs. Just accept others for who they are. You have reason for your beliefs and why you believe what you do. Don’t hurt others because they believe something different.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Would you sit quietly by if everyday for 27 years I told you zeus was going to murder you your friends and family unless you worship him and live your life the way I say he wants you to?

          • Lea Lewis

            That is what you believe then who am I to start an argument and tell you that you are wrong. I would simply listen and let you tell me your reason. To me different religions are interesting anyways so whether I believe it or not I like to hear about them.

          • Alexia Richardson

            you’re a bad liar if every single day for 27 years I told you zeus was going to kill you your family and friends when asked why I thought that I said read the book. Then when you said you dont belive I will cry out you are attacking my religion.
            oh and I would try to force laws like a day of zues worship and claim christians are terrorist that need kicked out. Then I say zeus is for abortion and members of the zeus cult go bombing anti abortion clinics……you know damn well you would speak out after seeing this every day for 27 years

          • Lea Lewis

            I smile at your attempt to upset me or make me feel bad. I am telling you how I feel and you try to day I am a liar? Do you know me? No you don’t so you personally don’t know how I would feel or how I would act. I would believe it wasn’t true and ignore it. Good was put into our country by our founding fathers. it was to worship God how they wanted to. I am sorry that the country had changed to hold millions of fascinating people with fascinating beliefs that are not the same. Trying to call me names won’t work. You may try but you can’t belittle me.

          • Alexia Richardson

            You are a pathological liar and I find it hilarious. May zeus smile apon you.

          • Lea Lewis

            I find it hilarious that you think you know me. I have nothing to prove to you alexia. I will pray for you to get your sanity. Have a good day sweet child.

          • chuck johnson

            Sorry that I missed all of you that are so concerned about Leesburg Baseball at the game last night. Your absence speaks volumes.

    • Leesburg Baseball Pitcher

      I am I member of the Leesburg Baseball Team and help lead our team in prayer. Each and every one of my teammates at Leesburg voluntarily enter our daily prayer. Without the coaches involved we have taken action to praise the most high God and this right shall not be infringed. We will without question continue in our beliefs as you can continue in yours but I don’t appreciate the comments saying that this action of prayer isn’t allowed. We will never stop loving the lord and for that we will be given eternal life. If you have time read Romans 15:13, one of my favorite bible quotes. #praytoplay

      • Momof2

        As a mom who’s son is a baseball player in the same district as you, you have your communities support! Stay true to yourself NO ONE has the right to infringe their beliefs or non beliefs on you and your team mates. Go Jackets!!!

      • God is Awesome

        Praise the Lord son!

        • computernerd12

          Who are you, some homeless person?

          • Lea Lewis

            Who are you to lash out at others for no reason. Who are you, a bully?

      • Chris Holda

        Praise God for kids like you. Stand up for constitutional rights. They may be able to stop your coach but they can’t stop you. Our constitution says Freedom of religion. Not freedom from religion. As a student you have that right to initiate those prayers. Keep doing what your doing.

        • lmg8019

          Absolutely.

          • computernerd12

            REALLY? Is that all you can say? If so, go back to the sewer you came from.

          • Lea Lewis

            Well you may have rights but because someone ages with you, you are going to harass them. Maybe you should take your own advice.

          • lmg8019

            Thank you Lea Lewis. Some people are just so ignorant. Resorting to telling someone to back to the sewer they came from because they have an opinion. I still think the craziness comes from the water they drink. I personally only drink bottled. lmao

          • Lea Lewis

            I drink bottled as well. I can’t stand watching people try to belittle someone like that. So ignorant. Agreed?

          • lmg8019

            Shut up fool……your ignorance is showing

        • computernerd12

          You do know that athiests have rights too, right?!?!?!?

          • Lea Lewis

            and how Does that have anything to do with her post. She was taking to a Christian student.

          • Rob

            We all have the same rights…atheists aren’t a special club that get to dictate to others that their objections trump others’ rights.

      • Lea Lewis

        Also you have the freedom in the Bill of Rights to pray to whom you want, whenever you want. Stay strong and continue to pray. It is your right

        • computernerd12

          It also says you shouldn’t force the rest of the world to hear your stupid religious crap!!!!!

          • Lea Lewis

            I wasn’t. The fellow Christian I was talking to is who I replied that to. They Peau in a huddle so how could it be forcing it on other people. Oh computer nerd do you not realize that your comment makes no sense.

          • Rob

            No it doesn’t! Freedom of speech allows us to express ourselves how we want to. Freedom of religion backs them up for praying how and when they want.

      • Alexia Richardson

        So your a retard. Got it you still belive in santa clause while in high school or above……lol

        • Coach

          If anyone is a crazy it’s you Alexia, feel sorry for you, and you should not make fun of people. We have not used the “R” word for many years, grow up. God Bless

        • lmright

          Alexia, too bad you couldn’t have an opinion without calling names. It shows you’re not educated and something caused you to have so much hate. I feel sorry for you, you certainly need prayers.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Grow up child. I hate retards like yourself who cant keep thier bullshit out of publicly funded events. You sure as hell would speak agianst a muslim or a flying spaghetti monster prayer…learn critical thinking and you to can be free of the stupidity of all 3 Abrahamic religions

          • Lea Lewis

            Actually, my dear child ( adults don’t talk the way you do, thus making you a child), I actually wouldn’t speak against a Muslim, a Jew, a Wiccan, a Pagan, and the list goes on and on as far as religions I wouldn’t bluntly state that I was against. I believe what I believe, but that doesn’t mean I will hate the person who believes something else. You on the other hand can’t stop cursing and calling people names. You know bullying people doesn’t get you what you want. It only makes you seem unintelligent and childish. Why don’t you go back to school, if you aren’t in school still, and learn a few things like the way to speak in a debate to make you sound educated. Also, realize that proof to back up your responses solidifies them. You should act more mature on a public site and stop breeding hate and negativity that only shows that you do not truly know yourself. If you knew yourself you would be able to find the words to speak to one another without lashing out at them.

          • Alexia Richardson

            So speaking against people spreading unfounded lies is hate? Wow……just wow

          • Lea Lewis

            Did you read the way you talked to those people? Calling them morons and retards and such. It is saddening to see such immaturity with no proof on what you are saying.

          • Alexia Richardson

            I call it like I see it. You were raised by moronic parents who value thier pedophile priests word over truth and reason. You are the reason america is no longer a top country in the world and countrys where religion is almost non existing like china are thriving

          • Lea Lewis

            Apparently you don’t know how to call it. Not all priests are pedophiles. My parents definitely aren’t morons. And really, it is your inability to speak on an intellectual level that is the reason why America is no longer a top country in the world, among other reasons like the fact that we have exported all different kinds of labor overseas instead of keeping it here to support our economy because it was cheaper over there. Actually they do have a religion over there, have you ever seen Mulan? They based the culture off of actual culture that they practice. They pray too. Only they pray to their ancestors, or Buddha. They are thriving because we gave them our labor because they would do it cheaper in China. Reasons why I can tell you are a child, well this comment I am replying to is one.

          • Lea Lewis

            No, cursing and calling people retard among other names is what you are spreading hate with. You are so angry toward these people because their opinions differ from yours, you tried to say that a fictional book was the same as a book that was created from different scrolls put together as records of history. You try to say that they are not true when not one, but three different religions have books from the old testament of the Bible. I really wish you would research what you are saying instead of trying to use this as an outlet for your emotions. You sound like a bully in all that you have said.

          • John Blake

            I personally don’t believe in Atheists.

          • Lea Lewis

            : )

          • Lea Lewis

            Do you realize you specifically said you hated the person above?

          • Laureno25

            This is what the first ammendment really says as opposed to the ridiculous translation people seem to want to believe: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I will continue to pray wherever and whenever i want to because that is my constitutional right. This country was founded on God and the Founding Fathers are propably looking down on us trying to figure out what happened to their country. It is truely sad. I will continue to pray for these issues. This country was founded by people who believed in freedom. Telling someone where they can and cannot pray is appauling. You do not have to participate in the prayer. Also I will pray for those who agree with this article because sadly enough they are probably the same people who wont let their children partake in saying the pledge at school because of four important words “In God We Trust”.

          • Lea Lewis

            Was this really to Alexia? Because this is in agreement with what I have said. I agree with you and I will continue to pray wherever and whenever I want as well.

          • Alexia Richardson

            This country was in no way founded on your death cult. The words in god we trust was not added to the pledge untill the 1950s.
            A teacher at a government funded school Is acting as a speaker for the goverment as they are employed by the government.
            would you be okay if the money and pledge said in allah we trust. Perhaps in shiiva??? No? How about in zeus?????

          • Mike

            Inarticulate child. You could use some critical spelling.

          • Alexia Richardson

            When you attack someones spelling rather than the message you admit defeat

          • Randy Harris

            I just want to know why do you hate something you don’t believe in? I wasn’t raised in a christian home and therefore was not brain washed. I read the bible and many other books to include world religions. Muslims do not worship the same God of the bible. Further more Jesus Christ did live 2000 years ago. The bible that we use today is not the only recorded manuscripts that talk of His life. I’m not responding to condemn you just to give you some insight of the truth. One day we will have our chance to see who was or is right due to we all will die one day. For me to live as I do and believe I have nothing to loose if I die and it is all a fairytale. But not believe and die and find out it is true well that my friend will be a sad ending.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Because christians try to force it into law and they dont even know thier own book.
            there also is no first hand evidence of a jesus nor his miricles in recorded history.
            there is no proof for a god and never will be.
            the bible is full of immoral shit like genocide infantcide human sacrifices abortion incest rape murder pillaging cannibalism and many more.
            as I said none posting here as a Christian have read thier bible because they would be insanly immoral to remain christians after reading it and thinking it is good

          • Donna Fletcher

            Obviously you have SOME knowledge of the Bible… “Incest, rape murder,” etc. these things did happen in the Bible, but guess what.. They still happen today. Pretty sure that was the point… To show us that God can forgive ANYONE… Even Hitler if he chose to ask for forgiveness and believe… So, you are correct in pointing out the bad parts… The part you are not correct about is when you say God commanded us to hate… In fact, it’s just the opposite. He commands us to LOVE our neighbors. So, with your name calling and all… We ❤️ you!!

        • Lea Lewis

          Alexia he never once mentioned Santa Clause and you are the one who sounds very immature in how you sound. Calling people names because they don’t believe in the same thing as you is also ridiculous. Your opinion will always differ from others’ opinions but that does not make you a retard or anyone else. You should not lash out because someone is different from you.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Wrong when you belive in something with absolutely no evidence for it all because you were raised into it you are stupid and incapable of critical thinking.

          • Lea Lewis

            Actually attacking someone instead of providing evidence for which you speak shows that you are stupid and incapable of critical thinking, I on the other hand think that there is a complicated and intricate amount of layers for the reasons that you attack those that are in a belief against your own.

        • Tim Troy

          Love it how atheists are always offended by others beliefs. No one is forcing you to believe but why deny others the right? I know a few atheists who don’t care if they do it and don’t get bent out of shape when are where they do it.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Public officials can not promote your or anyones fairy tales

          • Randy Wanat

            If a Muslim teacher was leading children at your child’s public school in Muslim prayers, would you do something to stop it, or would you just accept it? Why is it wrong for atheists to demand that the law be followed? Why aren’t YOU demanding that the law be followed? Why do you support the law being ignored? Is that the example you want set for your kids? That you don’t have to follow the law if you are in the majority?

        • Former Eustis High Schooler

          You’re *

          Just because someone doesn’t have the same beliefs as you, doesn’t make them wrong .

        • St. Nick

          Claus

        • D Matthews

          What!?! There’s no Santa Claus? Praying for you Alexia, that the Lord will bless you with peace and the joy of the the Holy Spirit. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

          • Alexia Richardson

            Do not put your death worship cult blessings on me

        • Hannah Fort

          If you don’t believe, then okay. I am not going to force my beliefs on you. And yes, I do go to a public school. Not a Christian school. There are many different types of people that I see every day. And yes, it does make me feel good. I love to see the group of young men that walk on my campus every day, praying to the One who gives them their strength. As Americans, we have freedom of religion. Nobody is forcing anyone to pray. If you don’t like it, don’t participate. I don’t see why it is necessary to be rude because a member of this baseball team made a comment. I’m not saying that you have to believe as we do, but please be respectful.

          • Alexia Richardson

            So you see no problem with people praying and praising say Hitler?
            Im just wondering because the Christian god is a mega Hitler. You find peace and solace in that you are a sick individual and your lucky as am I that we do not share a school because I would speak out aginst your terrorist attacks

          • Hannah Fort

            How am I a terrorist because I believe in Jesus?

          • Alexia Richardson

            Have you read the bible the god you worship is a mega hitler

          • Hannah Fort

            Yes ma’am, I do read my Bible. Just got home from church in fact. Hitler was a sinful human being. I am also. Meaning we do wrong. But Jesus was sent to this Earth, and He was perfect. He died for Hitler, you, and I. He died so that we could have a relationship with Him. So that when our time comes, and we die, we may go to live with Him. If you do not believe that we go somewhere after we die, okay. As I said before, I will not force that upon you. But in that case, this life we are living is meaningless. I do not wish to debate with you, I only made a comment to the young man on the Leeseburg baseball team to encourage him-encouage him to do as he and the rest of the boys arw doing. Praying to God in whom they CHOOSE to believe. I hope you have a great day Alexia.

          • Alexia Richardson

            You dont read your binle then
            jesus demanded you to hate your family even yourself to follow it
            not a loving god more like a asshole.
            do not pray for me asshole I do not want your death cults worship

          • Hannah Fort

            I would like to know where in the Bible you are referring to. Even more so, what Bible you are reading.

            “For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall NOT perish, but have eternal life.”~John 3:16
            “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”~Mark 10:45
            “It is because the Lord LOVES his people that he has made you their king!”~2 Chronicles 2:11
            “Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your UNFAILING LOVE, for you are merciful, O Lord.”~Psalm 25:7
            “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE.”~1 John 4:8

            You see, the God I love…the God I worship-He IS love. What Jesus did on that cross was the DEFINITION of love. It makes my heart ache that someone who gave their life for all of us is being questioned so harshly. And as for me praying for you…if you believe the God I pray to is non-existant, then it shouldn’t matter to any athiest whether I pray for them or not.

          • Donna Fletcher

            Sweet child I’m beginning to see why you may not be a believer. I’m afraid you’ve been terribly mislead. We worship only ONE God not many . Therefore, no, we would not pray to or worship Hitler or anyone else, other than Jesus Christ.

          • Alexia Richardson

            So you think hitler is evil?
            But not your god who murdered 99.99999999% of the entire earth…wake up

        • Delaney Rose

          EXCUSE ME. please do not discriminate against your lack of belief. Even if it not your same ideology, everyone is entitled to their belief, and you are no one to take that away from them

          • Alexia Richardson

            Got it your retarded

          • Delaney Rose

            Got it your being a number of absurd words right now, but I understand you probably don’t have the brain capacity to understand. Enjoy eternity in hell

          • Proper Grammar

            Apparently “you’re” retarded. If you want to have a debate, at least use proper grammar.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Apparently you’re a tough guy on the internet who is also a troll.

          • computernerd12

            So why do muslims do that to us athiests? So why do christians do that to us? why does EVERY SINGLE ____ING RELIGION CONCIEVABLE DO IT TO US???????

          • lmg8019

            No one is doing anything TO YOU. You can believe if you want to or you can choose not to. No one is forcing you to pray or not to pray. You are a whiney ignorant fool. Ohhhh poor me. Grow the hell up you freakin moron. bahahahaha

      • Hannah Fort

        Y’all keep on doing what you’re doing! At my school, which is not far from yours, it always does my heart good to see our football team take a knee and pray at the end of every game. Even if the coaches can’t participate, they can not tell y’all that you can not pray. I will be praying that y’all have a GREAT season!!

        • Alexia Richardson

          It makes you feel good people stupidly pray to a non existing deity? Well you are in the public education system…

          • Paula

            Why criticize her for her beliefs?

          • computernerd12

            Wow. what a waste of words. USE MORE THAN 2 BRAIN CELLS SOMETIMES, PEOPLE!

          • Elijah Terry

            Hey, leave her alone. I know her and she’s not stupid. If you want to talk badly about anyone, do it in your mind. Leave out your ideals about atheism and don’t force that on her.

          • Alexia Richardson

            Athiest isnt an idea. Its a answer to a question nothing more

          • computernerd12

            our ideals are that people should stop being such idiots and start listening to facts and figures instead of your so-called “holy books” for once.

          • Chris Hale

            Why do you hate something that doesn’t exist?

          • Alexia Richardson

            Learn to read. I understood it goes aginst christians belief to read but please try

          • computernerd12

            why do believe in something that doesn’t exist? (again, retarded christians!)

          • Chris Hale

            I think it’s hilarious that y’all atheist’s believe that us humans came from monkeys that pick their buttholes to later becoming humans with PHDs

          • Alexia Richardson

            I think its hilarious that you christians think we came from 6000 years of biblical incest

          • computernerd12

            (Retarded christians!)

          • computernerd12

            retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians

          • Randy Wanat

            Humans don’t pick their buttholes?

          • Chris Hale

            You can call us Christians retarded all you want, we couldn’t care less, our true king Jesus Christ suffered way worse then we do. So what you say to us doesn’t bother us. Deuteronomy 23:5-But The Lord your God refuses to listen to Balaam. He turned the intended curse into a blessing because The Lord your God loves you. Alexia Richardson, God loves you no matter how much you hate him. Us Christians love you too, love the sinners, hate the sin.

          • computernerd12

            Okay then. retarded christians retarded christians (I have this amazing ability to annoy people until they’re foaming at the mouth) retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians retarded christians

          • Mark

            Your not annoying, Some people just enjoy instigating and be demeaning rather than having an intelligent debate. Which it doesnt look like you have the ability to do. The 12 at the end of your title must be your age!! Typically people who insult and degrade are afraid of something.

          • computernerd12

            THANK YOU!!!!!! SOMEONE WITH SOME SENSE!!! FINALLY!!!

          • Lea Lewis

            So you are just as crazy as this one, with the only sense to lash out and belittle others?

        • computernerd12

          **rolls eyes**

      • D Matthews

        Prayer is a God given right that can never be taken away from you. Stay strong and keep the faith. Praying for you, your coach and team. God bless you!

        • computernerd12

          Tell that to the psychos in the middle east who murder christians for a living.

          • Lea Lewis

            Those people are now in heaven, according to their belief. With their distorted sense of reality, they are killing the people they feel threatened by.

          • lmg8019

            To computernerd 12.
            You can’t help it…..you’re just a retard. I think you are the one being driven to foaming at the mouth over this. bahahahahaahhhah Freakin moron. Your opinion means NOTHING to us because we know you are IGNORANT.

          • Randy Wanat

            Only True Christians call people retards, because Jesus.

      • Donna Fletcher

        There is a special place in Heaven for those like you who aren’t afraid to stand up for God! You will surly be blessed with greater things than you can ever imagined. Proud Christian moment!

        • computernerd12

          What is this now, christian international?

          • Lea Lewis

            There you go bullying again. What do you think you are? The person to Dane everyone else?

      • Tricia Smith

        I am so proud of you Alexia!. Voluntary prayer is certainly Constitutional and protected by our First Amendment. No one has a right to prevent you from praying, praising and obeying the Lord your God. One of the battle cries of the American Revolution was, “Stand Strong. Let your intrepid courage show to the world you are Christians!” I encourage you in your battle with these words. God bless you for your courage.

        • computernerd12

          It wasn’t voluntary, so get the ____ out of here.

      • infantryguru

        Leesburg pitcher, much respect for your stand and speaking out, we need more young men like you. Thank you for taking a stand and being an example to other young people. Many people are informed, the constitution was not to keep church out of government but completely opposite, it was penned to keep government out of church…keep praying!!!

        • computernerd12

          You do know that keeping the government out of church and keeping the church out of the government are the same thing, right?

          • Lea Lewis

            Not necessarily but they are similar

          • Randy Wanat

            Mix poop into a pie or a pie into poop and either way it’s not something anybody would want to swallow.

      • computernerd12

        Go back to your own religious website, you ____er.

      • Randy Wanat

        What about Matthew 6:5?

    • Mariane

      thats an oxymoron, you say to stop violating the rights to freedom OF or FROM religion. No one is being forced to participate. So therefore the only ones who are being given their Constitutional Rights, are those who choose FROM religion. And those who choose Freedom OF religion are having their rights violated.

      • Alexia Richardson

        Wrong it is based on a seperation of church and state. A government funded institution can not promote any religion.
        lack of a religion is not a religion.

        • Lea Lewis

          But the Bill of Rights also states the Freedom of Religion. The students are allowed to pray whenever they want. The coaches are allowed to participate if the students start it. I think not allowing people to practice their religion in school is a step back, not that innovative. What would be more innovative and adaptive of this country would be to revoke that law and make a law where people can’t act hatefully toward one another for practicing different religions. Groups of people should practice compassion and love toward one another because everyone is different and differences make life interesting. I think that you should reconsider the possibilities that could make this country a better place. Breeding hate is only going to cause more pain. I stand by these coaches and these children that should be allowed to pray whenever.

        • Dan

          This country and our government was founded on religion….”one nation, under God.” So the founding fathers probably couldn’t read very well either. If you don’t like a country that prays, go find another one.

          • Alexia Richardson

            One nation under god was not added untill the cold war. Because of assholes like yourself you want our secular government to be a theocracy. You are the reason this country is failing. Billions apon billions are spent each year to give the pastors and clergy easy rich lives while you pray to feed the hungry…..
            keep praying im sure some day itll work as for me I will be out there acctually doing things

    • lmg8019

      Simply put, you’re a moron. lmao

    • Donna Fletcher

      STUDENTS can lead any religious prayer, talk, lesson, etc. that they want! The word “atheist ” continues to show me more and more ignorance. How can you NOT believe in something that you don’t believe in…? Shame on that principal ! I’m sure he doesn’t sleep well at night!

      • Alexia Richardson

        Like most christians you are not very good at reading.

    • Chris Hale

      Why would hate something that doesn’t exist?

      • Alexia Richardson

        I do believe you exist. I dont hate your fairy tale I hate liars..which you are.

    • Chris Hale

      You*

    • Jacqueline James

      It does not say freedom FROM religion, it says freedom OF religion.

      It also says freedom of speech!

      • Alexia Richardson

        Cant tell if your serious or a poe.

  • David Ginn

    BRAVO!

  • Richard Still

    That IS very impressive, the principal probably had to take some heat over his decision to follow the law.

  • David Cass

    I, personally, am fearful of what may be in the cards on this religious intrusion into tax-supported programs. We’ve already seen (Hobby Lobby vs. Burleson, the town of Greece, NY) how convoluted a decision can come out of the Supreme Court, seemingly in a determined effort from the Catholic [majority] side of the Court. Those dudes had to really set aside whatever tenets of jurisprudence they’ve learned to justify those decisions. And their twisted “logic” in the explanations of their decision is laughable. And I mean “dudes.” The female justices were seemingly locked in a room somewhere. They were appalled by this travesty.

  • Baseball Supporter

    Guess what, those boys still all pray on there own AFTER EVERY SINGLE GAME! It wasn’t led by staff! the children led the prayer! So what was accomplished by this? short answer NOTHING but media attenion! You can not stop them from praying! That’s the law! It’s called religious freedom! Even the dollar bill says “IN GOD WE TRUST” and that has been around long before any of us! Bottom line is you cant stop a person from praying just as we cant stop you from believing what you will! You all violate law every time you go crying there PRAYING! Why does praying scare you all so much? it’s obvious it does or there would be no grief given to people whom are minding there own business praying at baseball. It’s sad really what this world has come to people should learn to respect others and there beliefs not fight them becasue they want to pray! who was it hurting? they all wanted to pray they ALL go to church by choice! you cant stop that either =) WE will continue to pray at every single game! before and after! We do not need a school official to pray 😉

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Given the religiosity of Leesburg, the players were likely raised in a religious household and therefore had no alternative choices.

      Also, the dollar bill originally stated “e pluribus unum.” Look that up.

      You’re free to be religious, and the rest of us have the right to be free from religion. Even if there were a baseball player who wasn’t a believer, peer pressure and fear of alienation would likely keep them from speaking up.

      Also, atheists aren’t scared of prayers, just like we aren’t scared of monsters under the bed or demons feeding us lies, because none of those things have any tangible effect on us. So, pray away. Privately.

      • Lea Lewis

        “One from many”, or “One issue from many issues”. How does this solve anything? It also has stated one many currencies until Obama came into play and took it away,”In God We Trust”. No one would be bullying that baseball player into praying or into the religion and no one would alienate him because of religion. We will pray to our God whenever we want, however we want. In the Bible around where your verse, since you are misinterpreting it, it states that those that should pray in public, should pray in private as well. This is because there are people who say they are something they are not, and those people are what that group of verses are for. It does not say in the whole chapter of that scripture that all Christians should only pray privately just because you chose one verse. Go read it academically and you shall see the truth of what that verse means.

  • Baseball Player

    The baseball coach did not lead prayer as stated in this artical! read the instagram profiles of the players at leesburg! They have and always have prayed on there own becasue it’s there choice! Don’t be mad because they pray becasue thats the real problem here, it wasnt because of any other reason but to stop prayer in general. You stopped nothing! #westillpray #theloveforthegame #pray #webelieve

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Maybe you all wouldn’t pray if you lived in a town that was less ignorant.#DSchool #LHSstudentsAreGenerallyFuckingMorons

      • hellllll

        I’m sorry but what school do you go to? Check Lhs again. It’s not a #dschool and students at Lhs arnt fucking morons

        • Kyle Schlosser

          I have the misfortune of having gone to LHS, a school with 38% reading proficiency and 26% math proficiency. Having come from Mariner High School in Cape Coral (one of the best schools in Florida) and transferring to LHS, I can assure you, the kids there are dumb.

          • helllllll

            Oh did you happen to go back to “one of the best schools”??

          • Kyle Schlosser

            No, because I was 16 and had no choice regarding where I went to school…?

          • Lea Lewis

            Some of the kids may not pay attention in class, but I can assure you the entire school is not at fault for the people who choose to not learn. Maybe you should have tried to go to Charter or Tavares High School. Or if you hated it that much you could have talked to your parents about virtual school, which I know was available when you went there because it sounds like you went to the school the same time I was there. Either way you sound like all you want to do is express your hate for the school and for Christians. It is saddening to see how much you hate and how rude you sound. I am glad I no longer live in Florida because I would never want to run into you.

          • Jayankee0211

            I’m a student at LHS and I’m in 9th grade and I’m algebra 2 and chemistry that’s two years ahead of where I’m suppose to be.

      • Lea Lewis

        It is our legal right to pray due to the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Leesburg isn’t an ignorant town, but you are the one who is showing how ignorant and how much hate you have toward Christians by this statement. You say you don’t hate them but these idiotic comments about calling people morons because they choose to practice their religion that they chose to believe.

  • love of the game

    #westillpray

    • Kyle Schlosser

      #noonecares

      • Praytoplay

        #ObviouslyUcare

        • Kyle Schlosser

          I care that you’re incapable of adding two letters to “u” in order to spell the word out. As for your praying, it doesn’t do anything, so feel free to continue. Just, you know, privately, as the Bible says you should.

          • #praytoplay

            As far as your concerned praying doesn’t do anything. As far as they are concerned it does. And their praying is “private”. It’s at their baseball games. Where you do not have to go to.

          • Kyle Schlosser

            So the public games are private? Do you know what the word private means?

          • #praytoplay

            Do you know what it means when they huddle together to pray?
            Also the last I knew they wernt forcing Christianity down your throat so why force them to stop praying and stop believing. Especially at a game that wouldn’t happen if they wernt on that team and had the bond that they do?
            Ever heard of the word respect? If not look it up. Let them do what they want where ever they want. Just because you don’t practice it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be allowed.

          • Kyle Schlosser

            Yes… on the field.

            No one is forcing them to stop praying or stop believing. They are, however, being forced to respect the Constitution, which states that public schools cannot endorse a specific religion. They can pray and believe all they want – privately.

            “Let them do what they want wherever they want.” That’s how religious wars start.

          • Lea Lewis

            Praying isn’t endorsing a religion. That sounds ridiculous.

          • Fellow Christian

            When a public school employee is performing official duties for which they were hired, and they pray to God at an official school event, then yes, that is endorsing a religion in the eyes of the law.

          • Rob

            What law is that exactly?

          • Rob

            The constitution does not limit prayer. It calls for the separation of church and state to keep state out of church, not the other way around. Study it out…our nation was born from a Christian foundation. We were formed to get away from tyrannical government. Everyone wants to tolerate everything except the beliefs of the majority of our republic. Somehow the minority is now creating the rules and that must change!

          • NavinJay

            At one time the majority in this country wanted slavery. Did that make it right? The problem is it’s the state’s
            sanctioning a particular religion. The message is if you are not this religion you are not really part of this country. The state should be neutral to religion and allow each individual to decide for themselves. This is a PUBLIC school. I am sure if he was having Muslim prayers you would think very differently. Think about others besides your own view point for once. Thank you.

          • Momof2

            Actually it states it takes place after practice or after games. they are not taking the field and kneeling around home plate prior to the game. They are not asking all in attendance to participate..

          • Fellow Christian

            The issue isn’t when the praying is occurring. The problem is that the coaches are involved. They work for the public school system. They aren’t supposed to be promoting one religion over an other, and by participating, that’s exactly what they are doing.

          • Lea Lewis

            When they huddle together that does in fact make it private. Do you think that because their are people around that doesn’t make it private? Are all these people that are watching on the field. No they are in the seats watching the event and not in the field with the team, thus making the huddle a private matter.

          • Fellow Christian

            The kids are allowed to pray, but just because they huddle together, doesn’t mean it’s private. Everyone can see them doing it. And that still does not change the fact that the coaches should not be involved. That’s the main issue.

          • Lea Lewis

            Can you hear them talking from the stadium? Do you know what they are saying? then it is private.

          • Fellow Christian

            Yes, what they are saying is private, but the event itself is a public high school event. It’s organized by the school. That makes anything that takes is said, or happens at the event, the school approves it. That’s what I mean by it not being private. If the event was private, or held by a private organization, like a travel team, then these rules would not apply.

          • Veritasnon

            I’m sorry but what if one of the players isn’t Christian? I think that’s what people are missing. No one cares who prays or doesn’t pray. But in the instance that a student is forced to comply and go along with a prayer or otherwise be excluded from his or her peers based on religious grounds (the prayer itself) then it’s an issue. Thus, a school official cannot lead a prayer. It’s NOT private for anyone IN the huddle.

          • Lea Lewis

            Considering that Asians have been commenting on here saying that they start the prayer and it is in a huddle after the event or before the event begins behind closed doors then I don’t see a problem with it. If the coach was forcing children who didn’t believe in it then it would be a different story. Why don’t you read all of their comments before commenting something that has already been tasked about.

          • Veritasnon

            Oh okay. If the team excludes a child based on religious practices it’s okay as long as it’s after the game. An employee of the public school can help foster an exclusionary environment, as long as it’s before the event. See, here I thought it was wrong to do that at any time but then again, I’m not Christian.

          • Lea Lewis

            I said students and my phone auto corrected the wrong word. So I have no idea what you are talking about. If it is shining children because they don’t want to pray, I think the Christian kids could pay if they want but they still could do a team chant or something to make the kids so feel wanted . My comment makes a lot more sense now that I fixed the error

          • Veritasnon

            The coach doesn’t have to force someone to participate for this to be wrong. If the religious angle was not present in the first place then no one would be excluded or feel separated or however you want to describe it. Neutral team chants are fine. Why wouldn’t they be? They foster a sense of belonging to a TEAM. Having religion divide players into “Us” or “Them” based on whether they participate in a PRAYER rather than in the GAME is a ridiculous thing for all of you to be arguing for. It’s like saying “I don’t care who it excludes or singles out as long as my belief system gets to interfere with baseball.”

            Like I said elsewhere on this topic, why not say a prayer for every Christian sect in the U.S. at every game. Then another for each non-Christian religion and each of their subsects too? After those we can meditate for a while to reach a Zen state and subsequently discuss the origins of the universe with each other. We can turn it into a huge event to discuss how Noah fit all those animals AND their food AND their waste on the Ark. We’ll cover Adam sharing his rib with Eve and the serpent and sin and death and God’s plan to screw his own plan up just to fix it later by out-loopholing himself. Why not?

            We’d never even have to bother with baseball. Why would anyone want to even play baseball anyway? In fact, since the real focus here is whose beliefs get to win over everyone else’s, why is there even a baseball involved in the first place?

          • DeWayne Williams

            If you do not believe, (in Jesus Christ) there should be no reason for these prayers to bother you. If you are atheists, you dont believe, therefore you shouldn’t be afraid or even bothered by something that you and your group don’t see as real. Live your own life as you will, we as Christians will continue to pray for you all.

          • Veritasnon

            I see that you don’t understand the actual problem and are arguing against something no one said. If you’d like to join the actual discussion or offer anything of actual value please feel free to do so.

          • Shawn Payne

            When you tell an atheist that you will “pray for him” that is as offensive as an atheist telling you that he will “think rationally for you.”

          • Lea Lewis

            So you are going to try to invalidate someone for not spelling you properly? Do you realize that it doesn’t matter the spelling but the meaning? No matter what you think, I have seen the power of prayer and it does do things. We can pray publically because it is our Religious Freedom!

          • Hannah Fort

            It says no where in the Bible that we are to only pray privately…

          • Randy Wanat

            Matthew 6:5

      • Momof2

        Apparently you do care. if not then why go after a small town baseball team.. Take ownership of your actions. You have by far the most comments on here, so your saying you do not care is just laughable..

      • Lea Lewis

        #Icare #powerinnumbers #thusdebunkingyourhashtag

  • Shelly Seeger Crawford

    We, as Christians are no more pushing our beliefs on you atheists than you are pushing your beliefs on us! EVERY INDIVIDUAL has the right to believe how we choose! So GET OVER yourselves and live your lives to your choice while it is the Christians right to live our lives to our choice! If these boys and the coaches at Leesburg High School CHOOSE to bow a knee in prayer before and after their games that is their PREROGATIVE (right or privilege) TO DO SO!!!

    • Kyle Schlosser

      It’s a public school. Endorsement of one religion is not allowed. In fairness, LHS must also allow prayers from Muslim and Satanist students before baseball games.

  • Girl from lhs

    I really hope this isn’t true. That mr.miller did not try to stop the prayers. It’s the boys choice to do as they please. It’s not being forced on the students. I don’t see why “atheists” have such a problem with it. Because to all the “atheists” saying talking about religion at school is wrong so is not talking about it. You want them to respect you then you have to respect them also. Let the boys do their thing. If their prayers scare you because they won so many games maybe you should change your belief

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Because God gives a flying fuck about baseball

      • Girl from lhs

        Just like the boys give “a flying fuck” about your atheists beliefs.

        • Kyle Schlosser

          I’m sure the boys were raised to not think about any alternate belief systems, so it wouldn’t be not caring so much as not knowing. Amazing!

          But I’ll pray for you.

          • Girl from Lhs

            Welcome to a world where people CHOOSE a religion. They know of other choices and have peace believing in God. Being I was raised Christian and fell off. Not believing in it to much, but I also have enough respect to let Christians and others pray and such in public. Why make them hide their beliefs when the U.S. Was founded by Christians and such others with religion?

          • Kyle Schlosser

            1. Have peace believing in which God? The majority of the world is NOT Christian.

            2. The Bible itself says not to pray in public. Read Matthew 6:5.

            3. … The United States was not founded by Christians. You can literally google that and figure out that you’re wrong in 2 seconds. The U.S. was founded by deists who were escaping religious persecution. Most of the founding fathers specifically condemned Christianity.

          • Girl at lhs

            If the majority of the world is not Christian then why do you care so much about the little bit of Christians left? I’m not talking about the world I’m talking about our baseball team.
            I could care less if “the bible says not to pray in public” it’s 2015. Times change. Freedom. And i know you talkin about it is freedom too. But trying to force the school not to allow praying? Don’t pray if it’s not for you. It’s their team. They can pray if they want

          • Kyle Schlosser

            Because they’re so militant in their ignorance that it gets pretty difficult to deal with on a day-to-day basis. Also, you are the one who specifically stated, “Welcome to a world…”

            I’m saying if you’re a Christian, then you follow the teachings of Jesus and his disciples in the Bible. One of those disciples says not to pray publicly. You’re actively saying to disregard the book that your religion is based on. If that’s the case, are you a Christian, or are you just making up shit as you go so it fits your personal belief system?

          • Girl at lhs

            For someone who is so atheists you sure know a lot about the Christian beliefs.?
            But if your supposed to pray in public why did they always pray at dinner? Why do people still to this day pray at dinner. Even if they are not home? Because God isn’t locked up in your house. He’s everywhere. Atleast to them.
            I feel like you hated your life so much at 16 that you became the ignorant asshole. That your so unhappy with your life you like to make others miserable too.

          • Kyle Schlosser

            Yeah, as a former Christian, I studied the Bible a lot, and I still read the Bible to this day. It’s amazing how someone who doesn’t follow a belief system understands it better than someone who does, isn’t it?

            Who is “they,” who “always” prayed at dinner? Was that in the Bible?

            People likely pray at dinner because of tradition, which has nothing to do with God being everywhere.

            I was a Christian when I was 16, actually, and remained so until the age of 20. I didn’t hate life then, and I certainly don’t hate life now that I can actually appreciate everything about it without feeling the need to insert a god’s existence into it.

            I also don’t think you know what the word ignorant means.

          • Lea Lewis

            And neither do you, for assuming that the way you are raised was the only way to be raised. You are ignorant that not all parents force a religion down a child’s throat. You sound angry and full of hate toward Christians that you don’t even realize you are doing it, isn’t that one of the different interpretations of ignorance?

          • Momof2

            BRAVO BEST RESPONSE OF THE FREAKING DAY!!

          • Lea Lewis

            And to further what Girl at lhs is saying, when someone is sitting at a retaurant at their table and they pray, the prayer is private because no one else is praying, and no one is actively staring at their praying ( except nosey people who are paying attention to other tables) because everyone has their own family or group they are with and eating. The same goes when the group huddles. Whether they are talking about strategy or praying that is their choice and that is their business. The people are their to watch the game in the seats surrounding the game, they are not knowing of the strategies planned or anything else they are talking about, making the huddle a private group event. So either way your trying to make it public is invalid.

          • Fellow Christian

            I agree that the huddles are done privately, but it doesn’t change the fact that the coaches should be involved if they start to pray. The event at which the prayer is being is public, hosted by the high school. That’s why the coaches can’t be involved.

            They are 2 very different scenarios – eating dinner in a restaurant versus a team praying at a game. Try to use events that are similar in nature.

          • Lea Lewis

            If you read to the whole conversation, I was going by the examples that were placed above in previous people’s posts. Try reading the whole conversation and not just my response. You seem like you don’t like me because a lot of what I have posted you have to respond to me, but read what was said before me before you go saying that my events are not similar. They are public places where things take place. Should I use my kids going to a public park, any other public place? Should I speak of other events than the ones that were talked about in the conversation? would that even make sense?

          • Fellow Christian

            I have no personal issues with you. Just trying to communicate. I enjoy chatting with you. you’re one of the few who seem genuinely intelligent and can understand the whole situation.

            Sorry if you feel that way. I was just trying to keep the conversation on topic in regards to the type of event that it was, an official public high school event. Not a “public” event, like something that’s open to the public, but an event that’s hosted by the public high school.

          • Lea Lewis

            I am glad you don’t. I like reading the logic in your posts. The conversation should have stayed to public high school event, but it strayed to public event. One of the people was talking about how we, as Christians, shouldn’t pray in public, but that isn’t what the verse means. To get the entire meaning they would have to read Matthew 6:1-5 instead of just 6:5. I am glad that I sound intelligent. I am getting my Bachelor’s Degree online and have learned a great deal. I just think that it is sad how some of the people on here are just bullying people or trying to be rude and hateful (no that is not referring to you in the least). I am sorry about thinking that you might be upset with me, it is just with all of the negativity of the post, it has bothered me a little. When someone feels upset, they might take the tone of reading a post different than what they would if they were experiencing another emotion. I think that you and I could have been friends if we were able to discuss things intellectually.

          • Jordan Jacobson

            public parks or recreation facilities have absolutely nothing to do with this scenario. a school is a place of education. Teachers are not allowed to sanction or endorse a specific religion in a place of education, the same way they are not technically allowed to teach their political bias. But a lot of teachers do both anyway.

          • Jordan Jacobson

            For someone to be ignorant of the beliefs of other, and still argue with them about it is the epitome of stupid. Of course he would take the time to educate himself about the topic of which he is arguing.

          • LHS Sub

            Kyle if you going to quote scripture you better quote it in context. Jesus was talking about people praying to draw attention to themselves in a hypocritical manner. You Atheists kill me you want to use words you don’t believe in to defend it?

          • Kyle Schlosser

            I chose that passage specifically because the context relates directly to its message. Pray privately. Prayer is about a relationship with God, which is something that should be deeply personal.

            Believe it or not, it’s possible for literature such as the Bible to be looked at purely academically, which is apparently an impossibility for the religious folks commenting here.

          • Lea Lewis

            If you read all of Mathew 6:1-5, it states that people who only pray in public to make it seem like they are Christians are the people that should pray in private. You are taking it out of context and posting misinterpreted information.

          • NB- LHS student.

            And for the second time, you just proved that you are consous that there is a God. Not just any God, but THE GOD. The one above heaven, who sent His Son to die for people like you & I. I really don’t care if you try to contradict this, nothing you say now will take back what you have stated previously. Let’ssss keep on praying LHS, the devil tries to get up, but God backs us up!

          • Googled in 2 seconds…

            “I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.”

            Benjamin Franklin, Request for Prayers at the Constitutional Convention (July 28, 1787)

            ^quick quote from one of those Deists opposed to public, official prayers…at the Constitutional Convention no less…

          • True American

            If you actually read the verses before and after Matthew 6:5, you would see that were talking about praying in public just to be seen praying in public. Yes it does say to pray privately behind closed door, because if you pray just to be heard by people but refuse to pray in private then how are you a true Christian if you can’t acknowledge GOD when you are alone.
            But privately does have to be in your your, it can be in your heart.

            (The verses before Matthew 6:5) (YOUR CHOICE to read or not)
            1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
            2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

          • Lea Lewis

            Actually the founding fathers were coming to this country for their freedom to worship God how they wanted to. England saw it as a good opportunity to make money and have colonies from it. Make sure the sites that you are looking information on are telling the truth. Not all people post truth on the internet, like wiki sites that anyone can post something on.

            They did not condemn Christianity, but Catholic practices and rituals they did not believe was of God. Go look it up on something like other than a wikipedia or any other similar website that anyone can post on.

          • Harden Thicke

            You mad bro?

          • Kyle Schlosser

            Not at all. Judging by the massive influx of Christians to this website, it would appear that Christians are mad.

          • Lea Lewis

            Projection.

          • Linda Witt

            To whom do you pray????

          • Lea Lewis

            You sound like these kids were brainwashed into something. There is no difference in your choice to believe than theirs….

      • Debbie Rhodes

        This isn’t about baseball. And you’re ignorant.

  • Gail Sloan

    You can say there is no Heaven but you better pray there is no Hell.
    A fact people that deny there is a God all there lives when dying say with there last breath God help me. When is the majority going to say to the atheists buzz off. ACLU bottom feeders

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Which Hell will us atheists be going to? There are simply so many to choose from!

      Also, I think you’ll find that a vast majority of atheists don’t have deathbed conversions. Maybe you shouldn’t let movies like “God is Not Dead” influence your arguments, because you’re saying some pretty uninformed shit right now.

  • Tc Goodman

    It was never ment to be freedom from religion it was always meet to be freedom of a religion I’ve never seen a group of people more upset about someone they don’t believe exists that atheists lol why are they upset they are mad we pray to something they don’t believe in we all have rights atheists are not the only people with rights. Christian’s have rights to.

    • Kyle Schlosser

      No, it is actually “freedom from” and “freedom of.”

      The reason atheists become upset is because even though we don’t believe in all of this crazy shit, our lives are influenced by the decisions of those who do.

      You can pray all you want, just pray the way the Bible tells you to – privately.

      Christians have rights, sure, but those rights don’t supersede the rights established by the Constitution.

      • Lea Lewis

        Still using that statement, why don’t you read the verses 1-5 instead of just 5 and you will see, if you can interpret anything, that you are taking things out of context and making a fool of yourself to anyone who knows the Bible.

  • Praying baseball mom

    Not sure what the problem is here….seems one sided. Our country was founded on “In God We Trust”, I guess if you do not agree with this that is your decision and perhaps you are in the wrong country. No one has forced you to stay here and no one is writing letters and complaints about the non believers not praying so why must we stop praying or believeing because you don’t? No one forces those boys to pray. They choose….each one chose on their own and continue to make that choice on their own. This is not hurting anyone so why consume your life in worring about what others want to participate in because you don’t like it. Lord forgive them for they know not what they do. …..praying baseball mom

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Our country was not founded on “In God We Trust.” That phrase was originally “E pluribus unum,” which meant, “one out of many.”

      And you have no way of knowing that everyone on that team is okay with the prayer. If one person isn’t, they likely wouldn’t speak up. Also, it’s against the law.

      • Lea Lewis

        Actually they would. They do not have to hide their feelings and are not forced to pray. You may have been forced to do things growing up, but that doesn’t mean everyone else has.

        • Fellow Christian

          Sorry, Lea, but research shows that an overwhelmingly majority of the time, students do not speak up if they do not agree with the prayer. Most kids just want to fit in, which is why the law was written at the public school level.

          Are these kids “forced” in the traditional sense to pray with the rest of the team? No. But, that’s too simplistic. The desire to fit in with your peers, especially in high school, is a very strong one. Most non-Christians learn how to fit in, and how to appear like they are Christians, and just never really appear to be religious. When in fact, they aren’t Christians at all, but they are too afraid of being an outcast if they speak up.

          Just because the prayer is “optional”, doesn’t mean that it really is. I’ve seen many kids over the years singled out because they did not have the same religious beliefs, even when they were teammates.

          The fear is very real.

  • LeesburgMom

    If it were any other religion, there wouldn’t have been any problem. In fact, it may have been praised that they were accepting of other religions. Christianity is under attack, plain and simple..

    • Kyle Schlosser

      If you want to see what it’s like for a religion to be under attack, feel free to move to the Middle East and experience it firsthand. Christianity isn’t under attack. Quit being melodramatic.

      • Matt T

        Don’t take biblical quotes out of context. This is what the statement about public prayer means.There are no winners in this arguments. Everyone has a right to their opinion and their beliefs.

        Question: “Is public prayer biblical? Is it okay to pray in public?”

        Answer:
        Public prayer is an issue that many Christians struggle with. Since many
        believers were known to pray in public in the Bible, as did Jesus
        Himself, there is nothing wrong with public prayer. Many Old Testament
        leaders prayed publicly for the nation. Solomon prayed in front of the
        entire nation for them and for himself. There is nothing to indicate
        that this prayer was not acceptable to the Lord (1 Kings 8:22-23).
        After the return of the Israelites from the Babylonian captivity, Ezra
        was so overwhelmed by the knowledge that the Israelites had left the
        worship of the true God that he prayed and wept bitterly before the
        house of the Lord. So fervent was his prayer that it prompted “a very
        large assembly of men, women, and children” to gather with him and weep
        bitterly (Ezra 10:1).

        However, the examples of Hannah and Daniel
        illustrate that it is possible to be misunderstood or even persecuted
        for praying publicly. As with all prayer, public prayer should be
        offered with the correct attitude and motive. From several scriptural
        examples comes a clear picture of acceptable and God-honoring public
        prayer.

        Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, was childless for years,
        enduring the shame and persecution that childlessness brought to women
        in Bible times (1 Samuel 1:1-6).
        She went regularly to the tabernacle to beseech God to provide her with
        a child, praying fervently out of “great anguish and grief.” So
        heartfelt was her prayer that Eli, the priest, perceived her as being
        drunk (1 Samuel 1:10-16).

        Here is an example of public prayer being misinterpreted. Hannah’s
        prayer was righteous, and her heart was in the right place. She was not
        trying to draw attention to herself but was simply distraught and
        overwhelmed with the need to pray. Eli thought she was drunk, but that
        was his mistake, not her sin.

        Daniel’s public prayer was an occasion for his enemies to persecute him
        and attempt to have him killed. Daniel excelled in his duties as one of
        the administrators under King Darius to such a degree that the king was
        contemplating making him head over all the kingdom (Daniel 6:1-3).
        This infuriated the other administrators, and they looked for a way to
        discredit or destroy Daniel. They encouraged Darius to issue a decree
        forbidding his subjects from praying to anyone other than the king for
        the next thirty days. The penalty for disobeying was to be thrown into a
        den of lions. Daniel, however, continued to pray so openly to God that
        he could be seen at his bedroom window doing so. Daniel prayed in a way
        that not only was visible to others, but exposed him to his enemies.
        However, he clearly knew that God was honored by his prayer, so he
        didn’t give up his custom. He didn’t put the opinions and even the
        threats of men above his desire to obey the Lord.

        In Matthew 6:5-7,
        Jesus gives two ways to ensure that our prayers are righteous. First,
        prayers should not be for the purpose of being seen by others as
        righteous or “spiritual.” Second, prayers should be authentic, as from
        the heart, and not just vain repetition or “empty phrases.” However,
        when compared with other Scriptures that show people praying in public,
        we know that this is not an exhortation to always pray alone. The issue
        is to avoid sin. Those who struggle with the desire to be seen as
        righteous and who notice that temptation creeping in during public
        prayer would do well to heed Jesus’ prescription to get alone and pray
        just to the Father who will reward in secret. Jesus knew that the
        Pharisees’ desire was to be seen by men as righteous, not really to talk
        to God. This statement about prayer was meant to convict and is
        instructive for all Christians, but it does not mean that all prayer
        must be secret.

        Public prayer should be God-honoring, selfless, and based in a true
        desire to speak to God and not to men. If we can pray publicly without
        violating these principles, we do well to pray publicly. If, however,
        our conscience forbids it, there is nothing less effective about a
        prayer offered in secret.

        Recommended Resources:
        Prayer, The Great Adventure by David Jeremiah and Logos Bible Software.

        Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/public-prayer.html#ixzz3XNka04sK

        • Matt T

          BTW-Christians make up 78.4% of Americans, unaffiliated makes up only 16.1% of Americans, of this group 1.6% consider themselves to be Atheist or Agnostic.

      • Lea Lewis

        Then why are people BEHEADING Christians in the Middle East, why are you constantly trying to say negative things to everyone that is trying to say something about Christianity? No one is being melodramatic but you sir don’t know a thing about which you are saying. It may not be be-headings here but why is it you have something hateful, rude, and negative to say to every single person who has talked about someone having the right to pray or be a Christian? Obviously there is something wrong with you.

  • LHS Sub

    You know God may not care about Baseball, but He loves the young men who play it. I am a Substitute Teacher, and God knows we need Him there on that campus. Atheists, I have no problem in your disbelief, but you become bullies and you want to talk about tolerance?

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Since when is expecting law to be followed bullying? I hope you don’t sub often.

      • Lea Lewis

        For one, your bullying is like your rude comment on this very post,”I hope you don’t sub often”, which is trying to make this person feel bad about what they have said. How is it you are expecting the law to be followed when you clearly stated to a Leesburg student how their praying was ignorant and how they shouldn’t do it in a previous comment? Then you called all LHS students morons when they are not morons. You sir are a bully.

        • Fellow Christian

          Just ignore him, Lea. It’s not worth effort. he’s more interested in making people mad instead of having an intellectual conversation.

          • Lea Lewis

            I actually commented on most of his posts. This guy went to the same high school around the time I was there at LHS. He seems to have too much pain regarding something he went through by a group of Christian that he doesn’t like us all.

          • Fellow Christian

            Yeah, he is certainly very angry, and not open to conversation. He appears only able to say hateful and mean things. If someone is not open to a discussion, I don’t waste my time. You would get more progress from speaking to a brick wall.

          • Lea Lewis

            True. very true. I haven’t had a response from him yet but Alexia keeps trying (key word is trying) to prove me wrong but it didn’t work. When she said prove that the Bible was made from scrolls thousands of years ago i did. There was even some scrolls recently found a few years ago called the Dead Sea Scrolls that further prove Jesus Christ lived. I sent her links to everything. Proof of the truth.

  • J

    Kyle Schlosser..who’s this guy?? lol

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Well, my name is right there.

      • Tim

        What happened to you at age 16?

        • Tim

          I can guess… You were once a Christian?

          • Tim

            Put your faith in people? Your Dad let you down? Wasn’t quite the dhole model you thought he was?

        • Kyle Schlosser

          Why do you ask?

      • Tim

        More often then not guys like you have a story of hurt, or were devastated by an event in your life.

        • Kyle Schlosser

          I became a Christian when I was 16. I had moved to Leesburg recently. My deconversion took about a year, and wasn’t emotionally influenced.

          • Tim

            It’s always emotionally influenced.

          • Tim

            Parents divorce? Your Dad cheated on your Mom? Took it out on God?

          • Kyle Schlosser

            And here I was beginning to think someone on this board might be capable of intelligent discussion.

          • Tim

            I notice you like to belittle people with your responses. It’s ok, feel free. I still want to get down to why the change? Don’t feed me a lie of it not being emotionally influenced. Something led to this passion of yours?

          • Kyle Schlosser

            I was reading the Bible more diligently than before and was part of a church book club. We were reading Tim Keller’s The Reason For God. When I had tough questions, they went unanswered, or were typically met with “because God.” I had already read Keller’s book, and decided to challenge myself by trying to refute his arguments. A lot of them came down to circular reasoning. Again, if this was brought up, I was told that that’s just the way it is.

            I also began to question verses, such as Abraham and Isaac, and Job. These things didn’t sit right with me. I prayed for answers and none were given. I asked my elders, and they informed me that the stories served as lessons of how we should devote ourselves to God unquestioningly. This was not logical.

            I would sometimes get into debates with fellow christians when I would point out their fallacious thinking, and this was nothing new.

            I began looking into various forums that were hot with religious debate, looking to bolster my faith and be able to shut down any argument opposing Christianity. Eventually, some of these arguments made less sense, while the arguments put forth by nonbelievers made more sense. I continued reading the Bible, and continued to have questions that my pastor and elders couldn’t answer. I became increasingly dissatisfied with the empty logic behind Christianity.

            One day, I was having a debate with a fellow Christian (as I was wont to do), and another friend asked, “Do you even believe in God anymore?”

            And I said, “You know what? I don’t think I do.” And that was that. I slowly stopped going to church, grew up, moved to a new city, and focused on bettering myself as a nonbeliever.

          • Tim

            Still think there was an emotional additive to this, but I can see that you aren’t going to let me in on it. Out of curiosity though, what were the arguments put forth by non believers that made more sense to you? Also, if their is no emotional influence why so much passion against Christians? Or do you share these thoughts passionately with other religions as well? From how you explain it, it sounds like you came across this decision rather peacefully, through your studies and argument with fellow Christians at the time, you never received the answers you needed to hear about questions you had .

          • Lea Lewis

            So now you are angry with Christians because they could not answer your questions? Were you alienated because you spoke up? Questions are logical to be answered, but if someone doesn’t know an answer that doesn’t mean no one does.

  • Bear

    What’s really sad is that if you read the facts of the situation, American Atheists aren’t trying to stop the team from praying. It’s the coaches’ involvement that is against the law.

    Yes, the coaches did lead (and maybe still do) participate and/or lead the prayer. I’m a senior at LHS and I saw the coaches bring the kids around in a group, talk to them, and then lead the prayer. Just because the coaches say “it’s optional” doesn’t give them the right to lead a prayer. And by the coaches participating in the prayer, they are creating an atmosphere where players feel obligated to be a part of it. If they don’t, they face being ridiculed and being an outcast.

    That’s the illegal part. American Atheists aren’t trying to stop the kids from praying. They are trying to keep the coaching staff out of it. By working for the school system, the gave up their rights to practice religion in front of the students in an organized manner, especially as a coach for a team.

    • Proud LHS Baseball player

      I’m a player and I led the prayer don’t know who you are and it doesn’t really matter but the coaches don’t lead or initiate the prayer we do and I said the prayer please don’t say stuff that’s not true

      • grannygator

        Wonderful for speaking up…This makes my day ..I went to LHS,in the 50 ,very proud to be a YELLOW JACKET….
        THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THIS POST …

        • Proud LHS Baseball player

          Yessmam GOJACKETS

      • You don’t get it

        They may not lead or initiate the prayer every time, but when I was in the stands, I did see the coach organize the prayer, and then they participated in the prayer.

        That’s the problem, that the coaches are involved. If you read what the American Atheists letter said, it has nothing to do with the students organizing and praying themselves. It’s the atmosphere that comes with the coaches being involved with the prayer. They aren’t allowed to do that. It promotes a specific religion over others, and creates separation and division with anyone who does not share the same religion.

        And, there must be a kid on the team who doesn’t agree with the coaches promoting their religion because it makes them feel uncomfortable. But, because every single other person on the team is acting like this, the kid must feel obligated to partake in the prayer, even though it’s not their religion. It’s not fair – and illegal – for the coaches to be involved, especially when the coaches at some point have encouraged the prayer.

        Can you honestly say that not a single LHS Baseball coach has led a team prayer this year?

        • Proud LHS Baseball player

          Prayers have always been player lead and initiated ! I’m not sure what stands you we sitting in but as far as our prayers go it’s the players that have the choice and we’ll keep on prayin everyday God blesses us with another day to play the game we love!!!!

          • You don’t get it

            The players can pray all they want. No one is trying to stop the kids from praying.

            See, I know for a fact that the head coach told the players on the team that praying is “what we do”. Yes, he “gave” the players the option to leave, but that’s the problem. And then he ended up leading the prayer. He may not have done it since then, but the fact is that praying is being reinforced and encouraged by the coaching staff. That’s the illegal part. All of those coaches work for the public school system. They aren’t allowed to do that.

            It has nothing to do with players praying. Not at all. As I read through comments and statements, everyone is missing the point. Everyone is acting like it’s an attack on Christianity, but it’s not. It’s the simple fact that the coaching staff encouraged, and participates in the prayer. They aren’t allowed to do that.

            For this to be corrected, the only thing that needs to happen is for the coaching staff to stop talking about “god”, and to remove themselves from the prayer.

            I repeat, the players can pray all they want. No one is trying to stop the kids from praying.

          • Momof2

            it is a an attack. No way around it. If you are going to do this kind of stuff at least own your actions. Shameful absolutely shameful..

          • Fellow Christian

            It’s not an attack. That’s part of the problem.

            The coaches simply need to remove themselves from the situation, and then there’s no more problem.

            The kids can pray all they want.

          • True American

            So you are saying that teenagers leading prayer is not illegal, but adults who CHOOSE to join in the voluntary prayer make the entire thing illegal?

            The American atheists organization is not in place to “Protect students,” their entire goal is to destroy Christianity and OUR freedom of Religion. Prayer, reading the Bible, Worshiping and believing in GOD has always been voluntary. We believe that the most HIGH does not want anyone to be forced into believing in him.

          • Fellow Christian

            If those adults are employees of the public school system, and it’s part of an official school function, such as a baseball game, then yes, it does make it illegal. They are promoting one religion over another.

            The American Atheists aren’t trying to destroy Christianity. They are simply trying to ensure the rights of everyone are equal.

            Just because we are Christians, doesn’t give us “more” rights than others. Atheists can’t stop our children from praying, but they can stop employees of the public school system from being involved.

          • True American

            I never said we have more rights. I know that we do not, but I am an American and I still believe in the first Amendment.

          • Fellow Christian

            And no one is trying to take that away. The kids can pray all they want.

            It’s the coaching staff who should not be involved.

  • Dennis

    What is this world coming to. Can’t pray at school. Can’t say the American anthem. We live in America were American anyone who doesn’t support that can go back where they came from.

    • Kyle Schlosser

      Maybe all of the Christians can go the fuck back to England

      • Dennis

        After reading all of your bull shit comments kyle I can say that I will gladly give you an American was kicking.

        • Kyle Schlosser

          Oh my, you’re so patriotic. Lmao.

      • Lea Lewis

        Considering not all the Christians are English and that we are all American, why even ask that? I will pray for you though Kyle. You must have a lot of pain and anger in your heart for your lashing out at others on a constant basis. Your life sounds so miserable in just the way that you talk to people.

  • Marvin Cory Reezy Caswell-Conn

    Why y’all in they business if they want to pray, let them. They not asking you to do a damn thing.

  • Rob

    Amazing for spme people whondo not believe sure work hard to remove something you dont believe in. Pathetic

  • Cassie Koonce

    If anyone there had a problem with the prayers they would have said something but adults not even associated with the school want to stop it?

  • Leesburg christian

    You are correct you can not force anyone to take part but you also have the right to practice your religion openly as an america. Am a graduate of Leesburg highschool as are many generations before me and leesburg has been praying before and after sporting events since the early 60s. You have the right to not take part just like we have the right to nothing has ever been forced on anyone. I find it Twiztid that atheists can talk down about religion and put an end to its practice yet we as Christians can’t make you stop degrading our religion and if you think about it how is it even right that you can blast your beliefs yet we can’t even mention our lords name.

  • Leesburg baseball pitcher

    I am a proud memeber and leader of prayer on the Leesburg Yellow Jacket baseball team. Each and every one of my teammates at Leesburg voluntarily enter our daily prayer. Without the coaches involved we have taken action to praise the most high God and this right shall not be infringed. We will without question continue in our beliefs as you can continue in yours but I don’t appreciate the comments saying that this action of prayer isn’t allowed. We will never stop loving the lord and for that we will be given eternal life. If you have time read Romans 15:13, one of my favorite bible quotes. #praytoplay

  • adolfo

    American atheists, just because you don’t believe in god and have faith in yourself doesn’t either give you the right to get involved and request where God believers can or cannot pray of their beliefs. People who believe in god do have the respect you don’t have for others, which is not getting involved in your believes. Anyone can freely join a prayer if they’d like to and if they don’t it’s OK they aren’t judged or forced to do what they don’t want to. So why are you American atheists getting involved and trying to force others to stop praying in the name of god. What is it to you if others believe in god and not in what you believe? You should have the same respect as to not make an opinion in others decisions or believes. You seem to be intimidated when you see a majority praying in the name of god, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid of seeing a bigger popularity that believe in god and not in your believe? You seem to be envious of those who follow god and not your believes. I’m not trying to judge you I’m just saying maybe you should also let others believe in what they want and don’t get involved trying to stop those who don’t tell you what to do or not to do with your believe.

  • Stacy

    Mr. Miller was one of my many principals in my childhood. He was by far, in my opinion, to be the fairest and kindest one I ever had. He really cares for his students. Good on him to rectifying this situation! I’m still a big fan! 🙂

  • Fellow Christian

    The players can pray all they want. No one is trying to stop the kids from praying.

    It has nothing to do with players praying. Not at all. As I read through comments and statements, everyone is missing the point. Everyone is acting like it’s an attack on Christianity, but it’s not. It’s the simple fact that the coaching staff encouraged, and participates in the prayer. They aren’t allowed to do that.

    For this to be corrected, the only thing that needs to happen is for the coaching staff to stop talking about “god”, and to remove themselves from the prayer.

    I repeat, the players can pray all they want. No one is trying to stop the kids from praying.

  • Momof2

    I would just like to ask why is it so important for you to come after small town athletics? Those athletes and their coaches were not hurting anyone, i highly doubt anyone was forced into prayer. this is why my son plays on a travel team. they pray and THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.. Your organization and the ACLU is why our country has fallen into a chaos.. P.S. I am not an overly religious person, I do not attend church on regular basis, but I do not believe it is my place to demand others not be able to pray. there is nothing wrong with what they did. But is something wrong with what you did and are continuing to do to student athletes.. I hope when you die you come back as tree and I hope that tree is cut down and I hope the paper they use from that tree is used to print the bible, or the Koran.. Good day you ignorant fools.

    • Fellow Christian

      You are misreading what they are asking for.

      They aren’t trying to stop the kids from praying. They simply asking that the coaches not be involved. They don’t have that right.

      When it comes to a travel team, of course, there is nothing any organization can do about a coach leading, or encouraging, a team prayer.

      But, this is a public institution. Coaches do NOT have the right to be involved. By coaches even participation, it promotes one religion over another.

      How do you know that there isn’t at least 1 kid on that team who feels obligated to participate because he doesn’t want to be an outcast? He’s simply joining in the prayer to “fit in”. That’s not right. That’s why public institutions are not allowed to promote one religion over another.

      If the coaches walk away from the prayer, then the issue goes away. The kids can pray all they want.

      • Momof2

        Quote from the article above “that you investigate the prayers taking place at the end of baseball practice and end the practice of the coach- and/or student-led prayers.”

        It clearly points out students as well..

        • Fellow Christian

          Yes, it says “investigate”, meaning find out how the prayer is being initiated. It doesn’t ask that if the prayers are being “student-led” that they stop. It’s just asking to find out how they started, and if coaches are involved, then the coaches stop, but the players don’t have to.

  • creek42

    Why is he even still a principal? He has no backbone and is a screw up! I know this first hand. He would rather be politically correct than morally correct. These kids and coaches have a Right to pray if the want to…as they have always done! The american atheist group has No Right to impose their beliefs on anyone!

    • Fellow Christian

      If the coaches walk away from the prayer, then the issue goes away. The kids can pray all they want.

  • God is Awesome

    I am a believer in God and have no issue with prayer in our schools.I also have no issue with the idea of evolution being tought in our schools. God created us with “Free Will” to make choices some of us will chose HIM and others will go other ways. We know this because the scriptures tell us. My question is this, If wee do not allow prayer then why are we allowing other beliefs (evolution) to be taught. I love how people throw the constitution around for the support of a single view. The constitution was written by men who believed and served God and if we are going to use that as a reason for this issue then we need to clean up our act concerning all things constitutional. We are a free country and teaching religion or praying will not make a person religious but instead give them a choice just like receiving information o abortion or hearing stories from the news. It is information and the we as intelligent humans make our own choices. Go Prayer Warriors!!

    • Fellow Christian

      Evolution is not a belief. It’s science.

      Those men who wrote the constitution, there were plenty of them who did not believe in god. And those who did, did not want “god” to influence their decisions.

    • Alexia Richardson

      How do you know gof has a penis

      • Lea Lewis

        No one said He did. In the Bible is says HE from the people who had written it from thousands of years ago so we use HE and HIM as well. Why must you ask such silly and immature questions?

        • Alexia Richardson

          Wow breaking another commandment give answers to those who ask

          • Lea Lewis

            And where is this commandment in the Bible?

  • Debbie

    Sad you people can’t let people pray. If you don’t want to, then don’t! Freedom of religion should be equally important to you who want equal rights.

    • Fellow Christian

      This has nothing to do with Freedom of Religion. It has everything to do with the coaching staff violating federal law. They simply aren’t allowed to be involved and to promote one religion over another.

  • Debbie Rhodes

    You who have no God should remain silent and RESPECT those who do.

    • Fellow Christian

      Not when we are using our God in public schools. We need to keep God separate. Why are our rights more important than those who disagree?

  • Joe Bob

    The same thing happened at my son’s high school in Texas. My son didn’t agree, but felt forced to join, as several others felt. Our “coach” went as far as to take a preacher’s son to Africa with him on a trip to “teach” the locals the game of baseball, paid for by the school system. The boy wasn’t religious at all, but got a free trip to Africa and no other player was considered. The coaches get away with it by saying the prayers are led by the players. Total BS. Let’s see what happens if the players don’t conduct a “volunteer” prayer. I guarantee laps would be on the next days practice afenda!

  • True American

    atheists!!! Why do you persecute Christians, and Try to force your non belief on us? Yet you allow schools in the west to teach muslim history, where they Make them listen to stuff out of the quron, and FORCE them to make muslim prayer blankets. Why are you not jumping down their throats for forcing that belief on the students? Those students Have NO choice because it is part of their class and school credits. The LHS Football Team has every right to Pray because they did NOT force anyone to pray with them. SO get off your so called high horses, and don’t fight AMERICA’s first Amendment

    Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    • Fellow Christian

      It has nothing to do with persecuting Christians.

      The only issue with this situation, is that the coaching staff promoted, encouraged, and/or led the prayer. They are not allowed to be involved. It’s public school.

      If the coaching staff stops joining in with the prayer, then the situation goes away. They aren’t trying to stop the kids from praying.

  • Jeff

    This world was built on prayers and now people are offended by it. Maybe we should worry more about the evil in the world and not things that are positive no matter what it is. God Is good!

    • Fellow Christian

      What about Allah? Is he good?

      People aren’t offended by prayer, they just don’t always agree with us when we choose to pray.

      And that’s the issue. The coaching staff should not be involved with the prayer. The kids can pray all they want.

  • Cindy Cole

    I think you need to rethink your position on this request. You are not founded where the Constitution of the United States is. According to the First Amendment of the Constitution, we have freedom of speech and religion. Therefore you are wrong about what we can do. You seem to have such a problem with Christians. I wonder, what happened to you…. And if you think about it. You must believe something to become an Atheist. Therefore, you do not want me to push my belief on you. Well, ok then, you must be aware that Muslims will push their belief on you. Then what you are going to do? And by the way, I am for the coach, and the players… really I am for everyone… but We are in a time when we cannot leave Christ out of anything….

    • Alexia Richardson

      Christ never existed keep your fairy tales to yourself and out of event funded by public tax dollars

      • Lea Lewis

        Haven’t you realized by now Alexia that they are not fairy tales. The Books of the Bible were written thousands of years ago by people recording actual occurrences. Your comparison to the fiction books of the Harry Potter series is completely considered hasty generalization to try to explain something that you can’t explain. The event that is funded by public tax dollars doesn’t make the students that choose to pray not allowed to pray. Another hasty generalization that you have created.

        • Alexia Richardson

          Prove it

          • Lea Lewis

            http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/biblehistorydaily/

            http://www.christnotes.org/bible.php?ver=kjv

            Websites to prove that they were scrolls and are of truth, including recent scrolls they found that further proved Jesus Christ’s life. They are called the Dead Sea Scrolls

            http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/

          • Alexia Richardson

            Post a reliable source please not a biased one thay spews lies

          • Lea Lewis

            Why do they spew lies? Is it because you don’t believe them? Why don’t you go look these things up, I did and found you proof. If you don’t like it then oh well. It is proof. All academic-type sites. None of them are sites that just anyone can make posts on. If you don’t like it then sorry but not liking something doesn’t make it false.

          • Lea Lewis

            Did you just delete my comment? Just because something is not your belief doesn’t mean it isn’t a reliable site. Each and every one of these sites are academically correct. This means I could use them in any of my college classes as a resource. It also means that this is accurate information that not everyone can post about what they want to say. So yes these are not spewing lies. These are proving that they are historical scrolls that make up the Bible. There is also Dead Sea scrolls that make up the Bible. Deleting the comment will only make it come back again.

  • Leesburg Native

    Wow! That’s okay. I believe God hears your prayers no matter when or where you are praying.Good for the Christians who keep their belief and keep praying.

    • Fellow Christian

      If the coaches stop partaking in the prayer, then all of this goes away. It becomes just a group of students praying, which happens all over the country, every single day.

      It’s the coaches who are refusing to take step back who are allowing this to get more attention. If they simply walked away from the prayer group, the attention would stop.

  • Sue Smith Squires

    It doesn’t sound like anyone is being forced to do anything. “If” we do have freedom of religion then what is the big deal about them praying if they want to do so. I have never understood why atheists (that do not believe in God) care if people pray to God. Why is it that a minority of people can oppose and stop what a majority of people believe? There is definitely something wrong with this picture, and it’s getting really old! Good for you Mr. Billings and Mr. Meier for standing up for what the majority of you believe!!!

    • Fellow Christian

      That’s just it. It has nothing to do with Freedom of Religion. It has everything to do with the fact that the coaches are public school employees. They are getting paid to coach, which means they are not allowed to promote one religion over another.

      The atheists don’t care who prays to God. They just don’t see the point.

      Just because the majority of people are “OK” with it, doesn’t mean it’s ok. Look at the history of Civil Rights. Slavery, Women’s right, etc. The majority didn’t want anything to change. It was the ideals of the few who saw the double standard and had the courage to stand up and make a change.

      The issue here is that the coaches are involved with the prayer. By working for the public school system, they gave up their right to pray at an official school event, i.e. a baseball game.

      If the coaches walked away, the atheists wouldn’t have a problem any more.

  • Lea Lewis

    It is freedom of religion for a reason. The school was not sponsoring anything. The children were praying and the coaches with them, practicing their freedom of religion. The school has no right to stop them and should be reminded of the legality of the situation. Legally anyone is allows to practice any religion. End of sorry. Shame on principal Miller for not saying this.

    • Fellow Christian

      It is a school sponsored event. That’s why the team(s) were there. To play high school baseball.

      The school is not trying to stop the baseball team from praying. They do not want the coaches involved because that violates the rules. Official school employees, such as coaches, are not allowed to promote one religion over another.

      If the coaches simply walk away, there’s no more story. The kids are allowed to pray all day. But the coaches aren’t – not in that setting.

      • Lea Lewis

        So the Christian coaches are not allowed their religious freedom? If the kids started it and the coaches want to join in, it doesn’t make the school sponsoring something religious. It is them practicing their faith. They are making a big deal over nothing. It is so ridiculous and it is a shame I graduated from that school. They should be allowed to.

        • Fellow Christian

          That’s correct. By the coaches joining in the prayer, they are promoting that specific religion, and that leads to a whole range of issues.

          The coaches aren’t allowed to practice their faith like that while they are in an official role for the school. That’s just the way it is. I don’t agree with it, but that’s how the law is written in Florida.

          The coaches are allowed their religious freedom when they are on their own time, and not actively working for the school in an official capacity. But when they have on an official school uniform, they need to walk away.

          • Lea Lewis

            Coaches have been praying with kids for at least 100 years, but because of the laws they are not allowed to do certain things. ….. glad I don’t love in Florida anymore because it all is compete bull

          • Fellow Christian

            Yeah, but things change. I know it’s been going on for a long time, but as our country becomes more diverse with multiple religions and non-religions, we are going to have to adapt.

          • Lea Lewis

            Coming from a Christian, that is sad. Yes but the freedom to worship how you want is already including any religion that can be anywhere. The problem is when people get judgemental about a religion praying to whom they believe, and another group getting upset and offended. Why get offended when it isn’t your life, it isn’t your job to judge these people. People don’t care and as a Christian I am surprised you don’t care about this. Taking freedoms away from people is not adapting and being willing to change. It is our country taking away freedoms that people should have. A good adaptation for our country would be to have laws against people that get offended over a certain practice of religion as long as it isn’t harming a person or animal physically, we should be good to go. But not many older people see things my way. Only young adults around my age will be open like this. It is God’s job to judge individuals, not man to make laws against people doing religious activities. As long as the children start praying, I don’t see the issue in the coaches standing their and allowing it instead of walking away as you,The fellow Christian, says. That is just my feelings on the matter. Everyone should live their lives with love and compassion for one another, embracing differences and not hating based on religion.

          • Fellow Christian

            Why is that sad? Because I embrace changing times instead of denying they are here?

            It’s that I don’t care about this issue, it’s just that in this case, I see the other side.

            Imagine if you woke up one day, and all of your friends were a different religion, such as Islam. And everyday, at public school, or at a baseball game, your teacher, coach, or principal, lead a prayer preaching to Allah. You don’t believe that, and you are afraid of the fall out that might happen if you choose to stand up for your rights, and walk away whenever someone is praying to Allah.

            That’s why the laws exist. It’s not fair for us to preach to God, at an official public high school event, when we are willingly alienating students and families who don’t share the same belief system.

            And that’s why the coaches are supposed to walk away when students/players lead a prayer to whichever God they choose, whether it’s ours or not. When you work for the public school system, you are not allowed to promote a specific religion, and by participating in the prayer, you are alienating other students who don’t share the same belief system.

            The atheists are not trying to prevent students from praying. They are simply trying to make sure no students are alienated, or single out because they don’t share the same beliefs.

            As a Christian, I wouldn’t want to knowingly, or unknowingly, cause a stress in a student’s life by creating an atmosphere that makes the feel uncomfortable.

          • Lea Lewis

            You act as if I do not have friends with other religions. If the team wanted to pray to Allah that is their choice, and not mine to judge. I would walk away because I believe something different, and I would not care what others thought of me because it isn’t my job to have you like me, it is my job as a human on this earth to embrace all of our differences. The coaches should be allowed to pray too, maybe if they allowed them to walk off but bow their head when the others prayed. Maybe that would help the situation. I wouldn’t want them to be stressed either. I also wouldn’t want someone to not be able to do what they believe because someone else is offending it isn’t their religion or because they don’t want to see others practicing their religion. People meddle in others affairs too much as it is and that is sad. Like you trying to go against anything I say because you feel I am wrong, and maybe in some ways I am, but I will stand by the students who posted on here talking about how they started praying, not the coaches.

          • Fellow Christian

            That wasn’t the implication. It was to give you an idea of what it would be like in a situation where you already know that you are the ONLY person on your team who does not go with the status quo.

            It’s easy to say that you would stand up for yourself in that situation, but what if you already saw a few students do that, and now they are shunned from group gatherings, and nobody really even talks to them anymore.

            They (the law) is not meddling in the coaches religion. It’s very clear cut that they are not allowed to do promote one religion while they are officially working.

            I’m not trying to go against everything you say. I’m simply trying to give you all the information.

            As for standing by the students who said they started the praying, and not the coaches, that is true to a certain degree. Over the last couple years, the coaching staff never participated, and it wasn’t a problem. But this year, the new head coach is very religious. I saw him, and one of the assistant coaches, lead and/or organize a team prayer on different and multiple occasions. I live in the same area. I go to every baseball game. Have been for the last few years.

            But, there were a few weeks where the coach took a step back, but now it appears he’s back in the middle of things (if you look at the pictures from prayers on the field).

            At the end of the day, this whole situation is not about personal beliefs and/or the students praying. It’s about the active role that the coaches have taken this year with the praying.

          • Lea Lewis

            My brother was on the baseball team…. I may not live in the state but that was this Feb when I moved. If others had been shunned, I would go to them and be friends with them. As a Christian, whether they were praying Muslims or praying Christians, I always have tried to be friends to those who are made fun of or are treated unfairly. I would be their friend and let them know that someone cares about them. I know the feeling of being alone and it is something I have gotten used to. I have been shunned by my friends and would not allow someone else to feel that way. I am stubborn and opinionated sometimes but I am a very open person and have had discussions on different religions with my friends.

          • Lea Lewis

            And their are ways for us to adapt. I may seem a little opinionated on here to some, but in person it doesn’t matter who you are, I get to know you, your feelings on things, your beliefs, and I accept them for who they are. I think that if more people were like this, the world would be a better place, if we could see the person for who they are and not their religion. If we could stop degrading people because they are Christian, Muslim, or whatever they believe. Just love people.

  • Kathy Spearman

    Alexia Richardson, I will say a pray for you

  • DCsFinest

    As long as this is student led, and voluntary, then I don’t see the issue. IF it was mandatory, and led by a school faculty member, then, there is an issue. A lot of atheists need to find something better to do with their time.

    • Fellow Christian

      Unfortunately, It was organized by the coaching staff, encouraged, and at least 2 times led by the coaching staff.

      For the last couple years, it hasn’t been an issue because the previous coaching staff stayed away from any type of team prayer, but this year, the new coach is very religious, and won’t walk away from the team prayer.

      I wish he would. That way it send a message that he’s ok with the law, and recognizes that when he is the coach, it’s not the time or place to talk about religion.

      • Jayankee0211

        Actually it was not organized by the coach the players lead it. I know because I’m a student at LHS and most of my friends are on the base ball team.

        • Fellow Christian

          Actually, it was organized by the coaching staff at the beginning of the season. The new head coach started praying after each practice, which has not been done the past few years. Then the letter was sent to Mr. Miller, and it appeared the coach took a step back. But, now it appears the coaching staff is back to participating in the team prayers.

          The coaching staff may not organize it now, but by participating in the prayer, they are promoting one religion over another, and that is against the law in Florida.

          It may not be what everyone is saying, but it is the truth.

          • Wendi Dilimone

            My son plays on the team and I have never seen any of the coaches participate in the prayer. They huddle together after the game and talk for a few minutes then the coaches leave the area and the boys stay and pray. My brother passed away recently and I let the coach know since my son was going to miss some practices. The coach asked if I needed anything and I replied “just prayers for my family”. His answer was he is not allowed to pray. That literally made me cry.

          • Fellow Christian

            I’m sorry to hear that your brother passed away. Prayers are being sent your way.

            That’s interesting that you say the coach said that because on Facebook, you can clearly see the coaching staff is participating in the prayers. In fact, you can see the 2 head coaches from Leesburg and Eustis standing in the center of the huddle, while all of the boys from both teams are surrounding them.

            Maybe the coaches only stopped participating for a little while, but if you look at the pictures, they are all involved now.

  • Mary Witsman

    It seems that no one is forcing anyone to participate so it seems to me that the rights of those who wish to participate in prayer. I feel it is the right of the majority and if the atheists are so worried about it, then they should move to a remote island. It seems to me that they are dictating to us (the majority). Religious Freedom means no one is forced to do (Participate in prayer in this case) if it is against their beliefs. It appears that no one was forced to do anything, however we (those wanting prayer are being forced to have no participation.). The atheists should not be allowed to take away our right to participate.

    • Fellow Christian

      The atheists are worried about prayer. They could actually care less.

      What they do care about is the fact that the coaches are a part of the prayer. When you are an official employee of the school district, you are not allowed to promote one religion over another. By the coaches participating, that is what is happening. Just because the coaches say that is is optional, doesn’t mean that’s how students feel. That’s why there is a law, in Florida, that prevents coaches from doing this.

      • Fellow Christian

        The atheists AREN’T worried about prayer. Typo in the first sentence.

  • Cheez it

    If you moved to different part of the country and the town was prodominitly Hindu. The majority of your baseball team is Hindu and prays before every game or event you’re going to feel obligated to join in or be judged in some way. As a minor you don’t control the public school you can go to. You want to play baseball so you don’t mind the rituals the kids do before every game. Over four years you’ve been forced to step out of the group or adopt someone else’s beliefs.
    Mr.Miller was strong enough to stand up for the kids that just bow they’re heads and day dream during student lead prayers.

  • U.S. Citizen

    People of this great country in which we live are free to believe or not as they see fit. I do not agree with everyone but I will defend to the death their right to state their opinions. That said I believe that when someone is infringing upon others’ rights, be it religion, marriage, education, etc., then they are wrong. Any one who wants to meet, talk, or pray with others of like minds voluntarily should be allowed to do so. Any one who does not desire to do this are not required participate. I have read many articulate and intelligent opinions and some not intelligent arguments that have resorted to name calling and juvenile remarks. Ignore the ignorant and do not engage. The conversations will be on a much higher level.

    • Fellow Christian

      When you say “Any one who wants to meet, talk, or pray with others of like minds voluntarily should be allowed to do so.” I completely agree. No one has the right to tell a person when they are on their own private time what they can or can not do.

      With that being said, that’s not really the issue here, although that’s what a lot people are focusing on.

      The real issue is that the coaches are official representatives of the public school district, and they are not allowed to promote one religion over another. By the coaches participating in the prayer, that is exactly what they are doing. Because the coaches are on official duty for the school district, they are not allowed to do that.

      If the coaches walked away, the issue be resolved.

      Nobody is telling the students to stop praying.

  • Theresa Domenica

    I will pray when and where I want

  • Chris Hale

    Ok, I have a question for you Alexia Richardson, why would you hate something that doesn’t exist?

  • Chris Hale

    A lot of atheists believe in evolution, it’s hilarious that they think that us humans came from monkey that picks it’s own butthole, to later becoming humans with PHDs

  • Just Saying…

    They pray in the band too, before competitions…

    • Fellow Christian

      As long as the prayer is not organize and/or led by the band director, then there’s nothing wrong with it. But, if the band director is the one leading, then there could be problems in the band as well.

  • Alexia Bigmouth

    Alexia. You are a dumbass. Take the big fat pitchfork out of your ass and worry about your own problems.

  • thomas wadkins

    this year at leesburg high school a kid was caught with a firearm and a bomb threat was made the school is a failing school and the atheists are worried about praying when the atheist kids were not made to participate they may be able to stop school employees from leading prayer but they cannot stop the kids the theory of evolution has not been scientifically proven due to the missing link that’s why they call it the theory of evolution but yet its taught in school so to all the kids who choose to pray before the game please exercise your right and openly pray and to those who do not wish to participate that’s ok too will pray for you besides if you live the life of a Christian and their turns out to be no heaven what have you lost by living a good life but if you are atheist and you were wrong guess what you lose

  • Melissa Powell

    I think it is absolutely ridiculous that we have to stop prayer at schools or to tell our younger generation that it’s wrong to pray to whomever they believe in. it doesn’t matter what religion or race you are as we all believe in someone or something and as Americans we have the freedom and the right to do so. Continue prayers and for those who don’t want to be apart of prayers walk away as simple as that no one is forcing anyone to believe in something or someone but who are you to try and force those not to believe all because you don’t? We honor more customs and beliefs of those but damned of our own American customs and beliefs or I’m sorry the rights to believe! I come from a long line of generation and followed on myself to fighting for those freedoms which gave everyone the freedom of speech and not the right to take such freedoms away and condemn someone if they don’t follow what you want! This is why society today is completely messed up! One day we will all meet our makers no matter how you believ!

    • wordup’yo

      Team sports are 95℅ participation. Imagine being singled out in the big game. Kinda sucks, no?

    • Fellow Christian

      They aren’t trying to stop the kids from praying. Not at all. They are trying to prevent the coaches from being involved. There are federal laws that prevent school officials (i.e. coaches) from promoting one religion over another. It has nothing to do with Religious Freedom.

      If the coaches stop participating in the team prayer, then there’s no more issue. The students can pray all they want.

  • Jat Lahaam

    I don’t believe it was ever said you can’t pray. The prayer cannot be initiated or lead by a school employee. The strength of your conviction allows you to find alternative paths to realize your constitutional rights. Atheist or Christian or Muslim or Jewish or any other form of belief is protected. The laws were created to prevent anyone from forcing their religion on you. The hate and criticism of each other and their religious beliefs strengthens my conviction that our race is one that looks to battle before peace. The personal attacks in this thread is disgusting. The rants against each others religious beliefs, or lack of religious beliefs is disappointing.
    Understand what is being asked by the letter written to the school and find a way to comply that works for everyone peacefully.

  • Paul Tolson

    Pray on prayer warriors

  • RNdiva

    Do not worry sir, God was looking for you a new job (if you need it) before you knew you needed a new job. Stand strong and God bless.

  • Veritasnon

    “I pray and nothing changes. God has a plan.”
    “I pray and my request seems to have been granted. God’s plan was irrelevant and he changed it just because I asked nicely.”
    “A black cat crossed my path and then I had bad luck all day long. Woe.”
    “A black cat crossed my path but then nothing happened. Maybe there was a white spot under its belly.”

    Despite there being some 2,000 denominations of Christianity, each of which disagrees with the next to some degree (otherwise why would the subsect exist?) but suddenly someone wants to not be subjected to a prayer and everyone’s a “Christian.” I guarantee that if it were a Muslim prayer at baseball then these people would suddenly want it to stop. But what if it’s a Christian prayer, just not YOUR brand of Christian? Would it matter? If not, then why join a particular sect or church in the first place? If it did matter, then would you want to make sure all sects were represented? Maybe that’s a good idea: a prayer for every type of Christian at every ballgame. Except then we’d have no time left for baseball WHICH IS THE ACTUAL REASON ANYONE IS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    If you people want superstition then go the your church and have at it.
    You want confirmation bias then go to your church and enjoy it. No one is taking away your right to believe whatever nonsense you want. They’re saying that not everyone is the same as you ( and your fellow “Christians”)

  • countylawlady

    Great job by Bill Miller. To those Christians who say atheist can move to another country or this country was founded by religious forefathers they are wrong try reading the Treaty of Tripoli. Religion has approximately zero business in any public school

    • Veritasnon

      Exactly. The claim that this is a “Christian Nation” and the idiocy of “Them atheist said we come from monkeys.” or even worse ” Why r der stil monkey?” are so simplistic and ignorant and only sound like “arguments” to others that have no idea what is even going on.

      Cognitive dissonance. I used to experience it strongly and sought to lessen it with apologetics and half-baked logical fallacies too. But in the end the only real way to reconcile the fact that the universe would look the same with or without “God” isn’t to make more excuses or warp logic into some crumpled heap; neither is talking to other believers just because they agree with you or seeking out confirmation from whatever apologetic author happens to be available. It’s realizing that God and other supernatural ideas are built up in our minds.

      Prayers aren’t answered OR ignored. Imagine that there was no God for a second. I know it’s tough because it’s ingrained to be blasphemous or denial and He knows your thoughts and all but it’s only for a moment. Now, prayers would either seem to be answered or seem to be ignored depending on how things turned out. The difference would be that no one would be attaching meaning to causal events after the fact. “Everything happens for a reason!” and “He works in mysterious ways!” are used to lessen the dissonance in a person’s mind from their prayer not being answered or from the scary thought that the universe doesn’t have a center, least of one built around you and the people that happened to be born geographically near enough to agree with you.

  • Mark

    It amazes me that some people think that the planet we live on and all the things in the universe that are properly aligned so that we may live are just a fluke of nature. If the Sun was just a few 100 miles closer we would all be toast, if the moon was a few 100 miles closer we would all drowned! That are bodies are so complex to believe that we “evolved” from a single cell (no way). To think that a higher power was not involved i just can’t see it.Whether you believe in a higher power or not is not the issue. It is everyones right to believe what they want and to practice that the way they want. Just because if offends you does not mean some one should stop (#freedom of speech). Just because someone prays on a field quietly and can not be heard, does not mean it is offensive. It is not being forced and if the players dont want to participate that is their right. We have taken prayer out of schools, people want to change the Constitution! America was founded on Godly principles!! Their will always be people that take religion or what ever else to the extreme, but dont punish everyone for a few.

    • Fellow Christian

      I agree with most of what you said. However, in this situation, the atheists are not trying to prevent the students from praying. The complaint letter has nothing to do with praying being offensive.

      It does have everything to do with the fact that the coaches are not allowed to participate in the team prayer because they are employees of the public school system, and they are not allowed to promote one religion over another. It’s not a Freedom on Speech issue. All coaches sign an agreement that is part of the school board policy. Because the coaches are in an official capacity for the school, they are not allowed to promote their religious beliefs.

      If the coaches stepped back and did not participate anymore, then there wouldn’t be an issue anymore. Nobody is trying to prevent the students from praying, which is a common misconception.

    • Not really

      America was not founded on godly principles. Look at the founding fathers. Some of them were atheists.

      And nobody is trying to change the Constitution. They are simply trying to separate Church from State. You know, how that’s in the Constitution, and one of the main concepts the founding fathers wanted to make sure was prevalent.

  • Dat BOI

    Mr. Miller should let these student pray to Satan maybe that would suit the athiests demands. Also he should let them drink blood and, bite the heads off of bats. That seems way more bad ass then worshipping jesus.

    • What?

      Actually, praying to any deity, it wouldn’t change the situation, which is the coaches should not be involved.

  • LHS Baseball WE Stand United

    No one has infringed on an atheist rights there isn’t groups who ban athiest from anything! The problem is is each and every one of you are scared of a Christian and or the beliefs of a Christian it’s obvious! Or praying wouldn’t bother you so much! I believe this is the USA and everyone has the right to choose what it is they want to believe! All this does is create problems and there will never be peace because of groups like this! Mind your own business let them pray, no one forced you to! so why does it bother you! It doesn’t bother me your an atheist! This is all truly sad! I feel sorry for all who are hateful because that’s what this is! You don’t like it so that makes it “not okay” so you become trouble makers and try to disrupt peace in world! We will all continue to hashtag Instagram Twitter and any other outlet #westillpray #wishforpeace #dountoothers #respect I pray for a world of peace where we can all respect others and there choices and not infringe on what they choose!

    • Fellow Christian

      This is not atheism rights, or Christian rights. This is about making sure that students are not influenced to pray from an official representative of the public school district.

      The atheists are not scared of Christians, or our beliefs. It’s also not about a person’s individual right to pray, or not to pray.

      This is about preventing the coaches from participating in the prayer. They are not allowed to promote their religious beliefs while they are in the active role of coaching, whether that be before or after the game.

      If you are on the baseball, nobody is trying to prevent you from praying. It’s about the coaches, and how they should not be involved, which includes them joining in the prayer, even if the students themselves organized it.

      • LHS United We Stand

        Oh it’s not about rights? the coach didn’t encourage anyone to pray! There all Christians and made a choice to lead a prayer, not the coach! I do not see the problem if a coach wanted to join in with his team to pray! “That law” was only put into play because of an atheist group! That’s the real problem, those types of laws shouldn’t be put in place because a group doesn’t like prayer or Christians! if it’s not about Christians or prayer, then why does the atheist groups constantly go after anything that includes it? Maybe not your beliefs, but the group as a whole yes that’s exactly what there after! If it’s not tell me what they go after then? They want it removed from government buildings and anywhere else they can get away with! That’s real talk! And it’s sad! they still pray, so if it was the coach then why didn’t it stop!? Bottom line is an atheist got offended by this act of prayer by our team and reported it! If they were not offended in some way! They would have let them be!

        • Fellow Christian

          It doesn’t matter if the coach didn’t verbally encourage you guys to pray. The very fact that the coaches are participating, is a form of non-verbal encouragement.

          The law was not put into place because someone doesn’t “like” prayer. Actually, atheists don’t care if if we pray or not. They only care about separating Church and State.

          That’s why it might always feel like atheists are “coming after us” because for such a long time, there weren’t any atheists, or really any other religions in the United States.

          They go after situations where religion over laps with State (government) issues, such as public education, which children are required to attend. Yes, they want religion removed from government buildings. That’s what “separation” means.

          The only thing that the atheists group is trying to stop is the coaches from participating in the team prayer. Even if the coaches don’t organize and/or lead the prayer, it’s a form of promoting religious beliefs. And official employee’s of the public school system are not allowed to promote their own religious beliefs at an organized school function.

          The atheists aren’t trying to stop you (the students) from praying, just the coaches.

          All the atheists are asking, is for the law to be enforced as it is written, which means the coaches stop participating in the team prayer. While I am a Christian, and don’t want anyone telling me or anyone else when and where I’m allowed to pray, when the coaches agreed to work for the public school system, they agreed not to promote their own religious beliefs at an organized school function, which includes baseball games.

          It sucks, and I feel your pain as a fellow Christian, but it’s the law.

  • LHS

    by/kyle_schlosser/ is a bully! That is what is wrong with our world today! People like you! It’s sad really

  • Hang Around Jason Wendell

    What a crock so The belief in nothing overwrites the belief in something? Both are religious in nature you have to allow both. Free will to participate or not it’s all about choice remember womens rights womens choice that is so sovereign? well a man should have the right to pray. Heck with the women in society today please don’t take away a mans right to pray 😉 jus sayin

    • Fellow Christian

      It has nothing to do with an individual’s right to pray. Nobody is trying to stop the kids from praying.

      Since the coaches work for the school district, they are not allowed to promote any religion over another, which means they aren’t allowed to participate in the team prayer, even if it’s led by the players.

      If the coaches stopped participating, then the problem goes away.

    • Veritasnon

      You know, when students gather at the flagpole and pray no one stops them. If a student says a blessing over his or her lunch no one stops them. If a student prays at any time that doesn’t disrupt school functions no one stops them. If the coach wants to say a prayer himself but without leading the students while on the capacity of public employee no one stops him.

      People always complain about prayer being “taken out of school” but that’s a fallacious argument. Anyone can pray at school. PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES CAN’T LEAD THE PRAYER BECAUSE IT, INTENTIONALLY OR NOT, PROMOTES A SPECIFIC BELIEF OVER ANOTHER.

      It’s very simple but people get emotional and irrational because having two conflicting ideas in ones head is stressful.

      • Fellow Christian

        Finally, someone else understands. it’s about the coaches, and not the students.

        Thank you.

  • Joyce Ede

    BILL MILLER, WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT YOU ARE ….TO “COW TOU” TO THE VERY PEOPLE WHO WILL BE “ANSWERING” TO OUR CREATOR FOR TRYING TO ERASE THE VERY NAME OF GOD OUT OF OUR YOUNG FOLKS LIVES ………MAY GOD HELP US….
    …AS WE WATCH OUR. LHS PRINCIPLE BILL MILLER AS HE AGREES WITH MADALINE MURRARY O”HAIR…….A SICKO WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING. PRAYER OUT OF OUR SCHOOLS YEARS AGO. MANY HAVE LOST RESPECT FOR YOU.

    • Veritasnon

      I try to be civil on these kinds of things but can you even realize how ignorant you sound? “Trying to erase the very name of God out of our young folks lives..” I’m sorry but it seems that you don’t even understand what’s happened here and are arguing like the follower that you clearly are very proud to be. Pay attention once in a while and maybe you’ll be capable of actually arguing against something that actually happened rather than some lame straw-man you yourself created from your own ignorance.

      And regarding Madalyn Murray: she didn’t “get prayer out of our schools.” This whole issue, like evolution, cosmology and even your own religion is misunderstood in a simplistic, childlike manner. You and others like you argue against your own specious claims as though your opponent had actually said them.

      Prayer exists in schools. Prayer isn’t condemned or barred from the school. Every time I hear the claim that prayer was “taken” it’s from some old bat that still thinks life is like it was in the 50’s and are so out of touch with reality that it’s no wonder that they can’t understand basic ideas or what a valid argument is.

      I know you will be incapable of understanding this issue and you won’t even try. That’s okay though because those of us that grew up with our constitutional rights intact in regards to school officials leading everyone in a prayer that only represents a fraction of them are also capable of reading and understanding WHY it’s fair for everyone the way it is NOW. This outmoded view that prayer by school leaders somehow made things better is dying out and that’s a good thing.

    • Fellow Christian

      It’s people like you who make us Christians look bad. There are others at play, you know, like Federal Laws, that Mr. Miller had to take into consideration. Oh, that whole separation of Church and State? Yeah, he had to make sure that was being followed.

      I pray that you stop judging, and let the only who can judge do the judging.

  • Fellow Christian

    It seems this whole situation has resolved itself. A few things were lost in translation, but the point of the letter from the American Atheists was to stop/prevent the coaches from participating in the team prayers.

    At the beginning of the season, the coaches were a part of the prayer, and even led the prayer on more than 1 occasion. That’s what the problem was. The coaches aren’t allowed to even participate. That’s not a personal opinion, that’s Federal Law.

    After Mr. Miller spoke to the baseball coach(es), they stopped participating (for the most part), and then the entire prayer became student organized. There were a few pictures posted online that clearly showed the coaching staff participating in the prayer, but those were from a few weeks ago. The most recent pictures, the coaches are not partaking in the team prayer.

    As long as the prayer is organized by the players on the team, and the coaches do NOT participate, the American Atheists will have no issue. Overall, they don’t see the point to praying, but that has nothing to do with this issue.

    The Atheists were “offended” by the prayer. They were simply trying to make sure the coaches kept their distance.

    After reading through, and responding to many of the comments below, I saw a lot of people who began arguing about something else. Many of those who are Christians, began to get defensive and spout very hateful speech, which is shame. They weren’t acting very “Christian like”.

    At the end of the day, I hope anyone reading this understands the Atheists were not trying to “remove” or “prevent” the students from praying. It was all about the coaches.

  • Ian

    If you believe as you claim that God doesn’t exist. Then what harm does praying do?

  • Pam Shepherd

    wow!!! Principal Miller … My son has played ball since he was 4… some in florida and later now in New Mexico. the best coaches pray at practice and it is a minute for the boys to stop and focus and be thankful. Let the coach pray with the boys. How in the world can anyone ever say, “prayer…its a bad idea!” GIVE ME A BREAK> Coach, I wish i was there to support you and prayer. anytime in this life if you can do something and no can say ,” oh, that’s gonna screw everything up….” then do it.. Prayer cannot hurt!!! and believe me I have seen families and coaches and coaches families and teams that do pray! those are winning teams!!!!

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