Opelika High School is scrapping student-led prayer before its football games.
Per The Associated Press, Opelika City Schools Superintendent Mark Neighbors announced this week that the high school will instead hold a moment of silence.
As reported by WTVM, members of the local community are not pleased with the decision.
“First of all, I don’t like it,” Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller told the TV station.
The mayor is certainly not alone. In a Facebook post and follow-up statement to Yellowhammer News, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville expressed his dismay that the local school district in Lee County backed down to “the politically correct crowd.”
“Bureaucrats are ruining our country,” Tuberville, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, emphasized. “Rather than stand up for the people they are appointed to represent, they give in to the politically correct crowd.”
“Left in control, the career politicians will ruin this country. Prayer is an important part of sports!” he concluded.
Locals seem to agree with students being able to voluntarily lead prayer at games — even non-Christians.
Brian Hawkins, the rabbi at an Opelika synagogue, told WTVM that having a Christian prayer before football games does not bother him.
“I’m a Messianic Jew, and I don’t oppose Christian praying at all,” Hawkins remarked. “I think everyone has a freedom in this country to be able to pray.”
However, the infamous out-of-state Freedom From Religion Foundation has gotten involved, which led to Neighbors’ decision.
The foundation claimed a parent complained about a pregame prayer delivered over a loudspeaker before Opelika’s game on August 22.
“I understand that Dr. Neighbors and the Opelika City School Board have no choice in the matter because of how the Supreme Court has ruled,” Fuller added.
A social media movement is reportedly underway encouraging fans to recite the Lord’s Prayer during Friday’s moment of silence when Opelika High School hosts Wetumpka at 7:00 p.m.
‘God and prayer are the cornerstone of our nation’
This is certainly not the first time recently that Tuberville has bashed political correctness or what he perceives as bias against Christians in modern America.
“One thing I will not be is be politically correct,” Tuberville has said. “I’m tired of that. They’ve lost their mind, folks.”
One humorous way he has been emphasizing this point on the campaign trail lately is mocking the newfound federal policy of miniature horses being allowed on commercial airline flights as service animals.
“God and prayer are the cornerstone of our nation,” Tuberville has stressed.
As someone who has been involved with education for 40 years, Tuberville previously advised that he has witnessed America’s public education system “slowly disintegrate.”
“We took prayer out of the schools in the mid-60s. [Since] we did that, it’s really gone down hill,” he lamented.
He has pointed to what he views as unfair treatment of Christians in public schools.
“Let me give y’all a little stat. There’s 10 states, Texas being one of them, that there’s another religion that can have five prayers a day in the school. If we say the Lord’s Prayer, our kids get sent home. Wrong,” Tuberville has said. “There’s a double standard in this country, and if we don’t stand up and start speaking out for God, prayer and the values that we need to get back, we’re not going to be a country anymore.”
On Friday, Tuberville also commended a newly enacted Alabama law passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Kay Ivey during this year’s regular session.
The law allows public schools to voluntarily offer history classes on the Bible as an elective to students in grades 6-12.
“I believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture,” Tuberville concluded. “I commend the legislature for putting the Bible back in schools. We’ve got to continue to fight back against the politically correct crowd!”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn