Tennessee officials defended the pregame prayer ritual at Neyland Stadium, which has drawn protests from one group.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, in response to a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation urging Tennessee to stop its ritual of pregame prayer, University of Tennessee officials ruled there is no violation of the U.S. Constitution with the invocation.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation argues that it should be discontinued on the principle of separation of state and church.
"This is a public university, not a Christian club. It's open to all comers and should be welcoming," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation and author of the letter sent to Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, according to the News Sentinel. "When you're not religious or are of another faith and you get prayed at during events, it's really very grating. It's a sock in the gut for you to go for a sporting event and then be told to conform to someone else's religion."
Tennessee-Chattanooga replaced its pregame prayer with a moment of silence earlier this year.
According to the News Sentinel, university officials declined to elaborate on their stance until a formal response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation is completed.
H/T to Knoxville News Sentinel
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