Religious groups respond to Supreme Court prayer ruling

Posted: Friday, June 23, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) -- A leading Islamic advocacy group joined Christian conservatives in objecting to this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that student-led prayers at football games are unconstitutional. ''As demonstrated by the increase in violence, sexual promiscuity and drug use at schools throughout the country, there is clearly a need for more student-sponsored spiritual guidance, not less,'' said a statement by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes called the decision a ''bizarre and ironic intrusion in the religious life and expression of American student athletes.''

The National Council of Churches, on the other hand, said, ''The court wisely recognized that participation in these prayers might not be voluntary for all students.''

The American Jewish Congress called the decision ''an important victory because it firmly dispels any notion that schools can evade the constitutional mandate of religious neutrality in the schools.'

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