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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 09:33 AM

My son was forced to pray at a school-sponsored event; sucks to be agnostic in a Christian culture [View all]

So, here is the good news: My son attends an amazingly good inner-city school. The even better news: The school this year started an incredible chess program. In its first-ever appearance at the state tournament, his school brought hone four trophies, including two first-place trophies. My son was undefeated in five matches and his team was one of those that won the state championship in its category.

So far so good, right? Well, it is and I am very proud of my son and his classmates. The chess coach is amazing at what he does. But there is a problem.

I have known all along that the chess coach - arguably one of the best chess instructors in the country - is a serious holy roller. It's obvious. But frankly, I never had a problem with that till now.

At the chess tournament, the coach insisted on ending each of several team meetings with a prayer. And we are not talking simple, non-specific requests for blessings from the Almighty.These were prayers of the "in the name of Jesus Christ" variety. My son, knowing how I feel about such things, kind of squirmed.

I did not want to disrupt the event, but I complained to the assistant coach, who said he would give the coach a head's up about by feelings. That should have been the end of it, but it wasn't. The coach continued. And not only did he continued, but it got worse. At one point, when a couple of boys were not paying adequate attention to the prayer, he warned them that "there would be consequences" if they did not bow their heads and participate the next time.

My wife was at home and, when she heard about this, she was not as discreet as I was. She called the coach on his cell phone and (in her diplomatic way) asked him to cut it out. But he didn't.

The weird part (to me, anyway) was we I appear to be the only parents who objected to this. And I am sure the other parents will look at us now as the "party poopers." And, oh yes... did I mention that we are the only white parents in the whole group? That's going to be a complicating factor - at least I fear it will.

So, this sucks. I am taking this up with the school principal. But I don't expect things to go well.



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Reply My son was forced to pray at a school-sponsored event; sucks to be agnostic in a Christian culture [View all]
LuckyTheDog Feb 2013 OP
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