- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Throngs of citizens in Beloit, Ohio, have banded together in a “Prayer Matters” protest in response to legal threats regarding a local high school tradition.

Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation riled up a members of the Buckeye State after its legal director sent a cease-and-desist letter to West Branch High School in late January. The nonprofit organization charges that nonconstitutional prayers take place before sporting events.

The school district soon acquiesced to the group’s demands, although parents say that prayers were nondenominational in nature.

“They don’t know us, have never attended a West Branch sporting event or even stepped foot in our community,” parent Marcie Curry told Fox News on Tuesday. “Yet they believe they can tell us to stop one of our cherished, long-standing community traditions. That just doesn’t seem right.”

Parents Brooke and Brandy Pidgeon recently allied with volunteers who sold more than 4,000 “Prayer Matters” shirts to support their silent protest at games.

“The only opposition [to prayer] that I have had anyone voice to me is through this letter,” West Branch Superintendent Timothy Saxton told the network. “If anything we’ve had a strong positive show of support.”

FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor, however, lauded the school district’s decision.

“We’re pleased the public school district took quick action to halt the practice of inflicting coercive Christian prayers before what is essentially a captive audience,” she said. “Public school students should not be expected to pray to play.”

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