ICC Note: As previously reported, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) denied the request of Cambridge Christian School’s football team regarding the right to pray before their game. Despite the fact that the Cambridge Christian would be facing off against another Christian school, they were told that a pre-game prayer would be seen as an endorsement of religion because the game would be held on public government property. The Liberty Institute has since sent a letter demanding an apology from the FHSAA and threatened to pursue a lawsuit.
By Todd Starnes
01/26/2016 United States (Fox News) – Prayer is important at Florida’s Cambridge Christian School.
“We train our students that prayer is foundational to their walk with Christ,” Head of School Tim Euler told me. “Our faith is founded in prayer.”
So when Cambridge Christian faced off against University Christian School last December in the 2A state championship football game, they asked the Florida High School Athletic Association if they could begin with a word of prayer.
The FHSAA said no.
They told both Christian schools that offering a pre-game prayer was against the law – that it could be viewed as an endorsement of religion since the schools would be praying on government property.
“This is ridiculous,” said Jeremy Dys, an attorney with Liberty Institute. “We’ve got two Christian schools being told they can’t pray.”
Liberty Institute, a law firm that specializes in religious liberty issues, is representing Cambridge Christian.
Dys said the FHSAA broke the law when they forbade the Christian schools from praying last December at the Citrus Bowl.
“We have the state trying to impose strictures upon the church,” he told me. “I think we’ve gone a long way away from who we are as a country when the state starts telling Christian schools they can no longer pray in public.”
Liberty Institute sent a demand letter to the FHSAA demanding a written apology for what they call a “gross violation” of the law. Should they fail to do so, the law firm has threatened to file a federal lawsuit.