Bill Would Stop Prohibition on Prayers at North Dakota High School Athletic Events


Back in 2015 there was a controversy over prayer at high school sports events here in North Dakota.  At the time a Facebook posting of the Bismarck St. Mary’s and Kindred football teams praying after a playoff game on Saturday went viral. The post claimed that the North Dakota High School Activities Association has banned public prayer at games.

The association has since clarified that they only prohibit prayer done over the public address system during playoff games. Private schools are allowed to read a prayer over the public system during regular season games, and the players themselves can pray as they please. Why that distinction matters, I have no idea.

Fargo Shanley High School actually sought legal action over the matter initially, but ultimately agreed to abide by the restriction.

But before the 2017 legislative session is a bill, sponsored by Rep. Kim Koppelman, a Republican from West Fargo, which would make illegal any prohibition on prayers at games. It’s HB1275, here’s the relevant section:

Seems like a common sense fix to me.

I’m honestly not sure why the NDHSAA would have even instituted a ban on prayers at playoff games. I mean, those sort of events are already held at private and religious schools in the state. Schools that typically have religious imagery all over the place.

Are we to believe that there is some member of the public who would be shocked and dismayed to learn that religious schools engage in prayer before athletic events?

It’s just another example of the cockeyed notions about diversity and tolerance some hold. As if expunging from the public space any hint of religion is tolerant as opposed to just expecting people to deal with the fact that some Americans are religious and like to pray.

The entry fee for living in a free society is that sometimes you’re going to see and hear stuff you don’t like.

Here’s the full bill:

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