ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Thousands of churchgoers from across western North Carolina filled a high school football stadium to protest U.S. Supreme Court decisions prohibiting organized prayer in public schools.
Organizers urged the Christians in the stands of A.C. Reynolds High School's stadium to promote spontaneous prayer at football games this fall.
"We're trying to take a stand, because we believe prayer in school is going to make a difference," said Carrie Wyatt, who came to last week's rally with about 30 other members of Sunrise Baptist Church in Morganton.
Organizers of the group called We Still Pray want those attending football games this fall to break into the Lord's Prayer immediately following the singing of the national anthem.
The group also has organized a petition drive urging Congress to pass legislation seeking a constitutional amendment overturning court decisions disallowing organized prayer in public schools.
The Supreme Court in June reaffirmed that any prayer in public schools must be done privately by individual students. By a 6-3 vote, the court barred school officials from letting students lead stadium crowds in prayer before football games.
The case originated in Texas, where a Catholic and a Mormon family objected to a policy of elected student representatives delivering public invocations.