The Freedom From Religion Foundation scored a touchdown against football prayer at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga this week.
The pre-game prayer, which typically included a reference to 'Jesus Christ,' was traditionally delivered by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and had been a home game staple since 2010.
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor initially wrote to UTC Chancellor Roger Brown on May 15, 2012: "While students, athletes, and athletic event attendees may choose to gather privately in prayer, a public university has no place in encouraging or endorsing religious ritual."
After several months of indecision, Brown announced on Sept. 10 that the university would make "the right decision for the university" and offer a moment of silence in lieu of prayer.
Brown told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that "we need to make sure there is never anybody that goes away from our campus, our stadium, our arena or classroom or work, that feels like they have been excluded or feel uncomfortable in any way."
Please phone Brown today and tell him that you support UTC's wise decision to end pre-game prayer. The religious community is making a loud fuss. To read more about it or watch TV coverage, scroll to the end. In order to sustain this recent victory, Brown's choice must be reaffirmed. Help FFRF keep religion out off the playing field by sharing some secular 'praise' with UTC.
If you are a resident of Chattanooga and/or Tennessee, please identify yourself as such. Include your address and other contact information when appropriate. Please take a moment to draft a short, but strong note of gratitude (or better yet, phone).
Office of the Chancellor
Phone: (423) 425-4141
Fax: (423) 756-5559
Email: (Please address your email to Deb, the chancellor's administrative specialist. Ask Deb to share your note with the chancellor.)
(One sentence is sufficient, your own words are best. But you may wish to copy this paragraph in your correspondence:)
I support UTC's wise decision to end unconstitutional prayer before football games. Not only was this choice in the best interest of all students, faculty and staff, but it shows that the university respects court precedent and the individual rights and freedoms of a diverse campus. I encourage the university to maintain this wise decision by dropping prayer at any other UTC functions. Thank you. (Sign name)
Chattanooga Times Free Press: "Diversity leads to UTC moment of silence instead of prayer at football games"
Thank you for your help!