Parents in California are reportedly shocked and appalled that a prayer is taking place before games run by the local Catholic Youth Organization! Some parents are fleeing the league with their children, horrified that their children saw or worse yet, took part in prayer.
The threat of second hand Jesus was too severe that they bolted, The Marin Independent Journal reports.
And now this is starting a big debate in San Fran over whether the controversial prayer should be allowed. Proving that San Francisco is populated by mostly idiots, Richard Sloan, a trustee of the Lagunitas School District, reportedly said “many parents — even longtime participants in the CYO athletic program — were not aware of its religious affiliation, and have been taken aback by the group’s decision.
“These parents should have known what they were signing up for, but they didn’t,” Sloan said.
What did they think CYO stood for? I guess they didn’t teach acronyms in public schools in California.
And then the charming Sloan went on to say that he believed it was maybe proper that the school district should refuse the CYO use of public facilities.
“I think we need to start a discussion about the increase of religion in our public discourse, and decide if we want to continue to rent our facilities to those who would use them to advance their religious views.”…
“I understand that if we rent to one religious group, we have to rent to them all. But I still don’t like it,” said Richard Sloan, a trustee of the Lagunitas School District, which co-owns the San Geronimo Valley Gym. “I’m going to put up a sign in front of the gym: ‘If you don’t pray in my school, I won’t think in your church.'”
I think his nomination for jerk of the year is being completed right now.
The funny thing is that if you saw this prayer, it’s the most non-offensive prayer in the history of prayers. Even unitarians wouldn’t be offended. Well maybe they would because Gaia isn’t mentioned and there’s no yoga but other than that it’s pretty darn inoffensive.
And officials from the San Fran CYO are insisting that children won’t be forced to pray against their will.
“The league accepts and enjoys the diversity of athletes from a number of different religions and nonreligions, and we want to be as minimally offensive to other religions as possible,” said Courtney Johnson Clendinen, director of CYO athletics. “If a player isn’t interested in standing at half court (for the prayer), he can stand quietly and respectfully, or sit on the bench and wait for his team to come back.”
Dave Cort, executive director of the San Geronimo Valley Community Center and a coach for more than 16 years seemed to think this prayer could lead to…I don’t know…some kind of religious war, I think.
Reportedly, Cort worries that the group’s decision will upset what the newspaper called :a long-standing” balance between the San Geronimo Valley’s various religious and spiritual organizations, including St. Cecilia’s Church, the Gan Halev Jewish congregation, the San Geronimo Valley Presbyterian Church, the Seven Circles Foundation and the Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
“People appreciate having their kids be part of local teams, and they appreciate the partnership that exists between our local church, St. Cecilia’s, and the CYO,” Cort said. “I think throwing in the prayer, however … it’s definitely sparked something.”
Sparks affecting the long standing balance? Oh my! Was there some kind of violence between the Spirit Rockers and the Presbyterians that I don’t know about?
I’ve got an idea. If the Spirit Rockers are offended, they can form their own sports league and dance around a maypole if they want. Call it the non denominational multi-cultural non-judgmental youth organization. They probably wouldn’t keep score of the game either.
But hold on. Thank goodness, here’s comes the local pastor to tell everyone to calm down and it’s just a prayer. But no. Come on, it’s California. What did you expect? The Rev. Cyril O’Sullivan, pastor at St. Cecilia’s Church, also told the newspaper that he’s worried about the consequences of the organization’s decision to pray before games. Must be that delicate balance thing, I guess.
“I’m told that the prayer is not being pushed on any families, that people have a choice,” said O’Sullivan, who added that he had only learned of the CYO’s decision on Friday. “But I don’t like anything that causes division. Prayer, if it becomes divisive, would be a very poor form of prayer.”
Jesus, who said, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” did not return phone calls to comment on Fr. Sullivan’s concerns.
January 9, 2012 at 9:58 pm
Atheism, if it becomes divisive, would be a very poor form of atheism."
January 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Prayer, reestablishes the freedom and the existence of the citizens' immortal soul and the exercise of their unalienable rights. I'll bet the atheists are upset.
January 9, 2012 at 10:47 pm
I want my kids to be free from religion. They aren't but in a perfect world, they would be. YMCA is pretty secular, I would be leary of any org that starts out with Christian.
January 9, 2012 at 11:42 pm
"I think we need to start a discussion about the increase of religion in our public discourse, and decide if we want to continue to rent our facilities to those who would use them to advance their religious views."…
What?? I thought he was surprised to find out that they were ALREADY praying, and have been praying, presumably, since CYO was founded. So religion isn't being increased at all. But you know what IS being increased in public discourse? Flat-out nasty, ignorant garbage — like this quote from Sloan.
January 10, 2012 at 12:38 am
A priest was upset that a Catholic team was having a pre-game prayer? Sheesh, I hope he doesn't go bonkers when he finds out the team doesn't have a token Protestant on it1
January 10, 2012 at 12:48 am
"I want my kids to be free from religion. "
Move to another country. This one guarantees that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
January 10, 2012 at 7:27 am
"YMCA is pretty secular, I would be leary of any org that starts out with Christian."
So "Christian" as the third word is okay, Rover?
January 10, 2012 at 11:30 am
Good for the CYO, I hope they hold their ground.
January 10, 2012 at 11:51 am
"I want my kids to be free from religion."
I want my kids to be free from bigots.
January 10, 2012 at 3:38 pm
That's the thing about us Catholics, we pray before stuff..I know I know…crazy huh? Or are people upset that they prayed and then lost because, ok, maybe people thought it was a bad omen or something…LOL
America= Freedom of Religion
CYO= Catholic Youth Organization
You joined and are confused people are exercising their freedom of religion?
I'm so confused…
January 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm
YMCA is pretty secular.
I coached Y-Ball and before every game both teams would say the YMCA PLDGE together.
WIN OR LOSE,
I PLEDGE BEFORE GOD
TO PLAY THE GAME
AS WELL AS I KNOW HOW;
TO OBEY THE RULES,
TO BE A GOOD SPORT AT ALL TIMES,
AND TO IMPROVE MYSELF
IN SPIRIT, MIND, AND BODY
January 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm
Not all of California is blinded by stupidity…there are plenty of us who are faithful and holding strong…maybe just not in the areas close to Frisco
January 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm
'If you don't pray in my school, I won't think in your church.'
Of course he won't. A) Because he won't enter the Church, and 2) because he can't think.
January 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm
Best comment at the Independent Journal is by Chris Kenton, who rightly said this:
"So, you want to limit a private organization's expression of free speech just so you can enjoy the services they're providing without being reminded it's a religious group? Geez. Just take your ball and go home."
January 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm
No surprise. How many 'Catholic' schools dropped their Catholic identity so as to not offend non-catholics who made the choice to come to a Catholic school?
January 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm
"I understand that if we rent to one religious group, we have to rent to them all. But I still don't like it…"
Translation: I'm not a lawyer (or I wouldn't think I had a "prayer" of winning that argument), and I've decided to act like a bratty toddler instead of an adult.