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UT defends ritual of prayer before football games

6:07 PM, Sep 18, 2012   |    comments
Tom Hauck /Allsport via Getty Images
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UT says it doesn't believe it's time-honored ritual of praying before each football home game violates the constitution.

Tuesday, UT said it is drafting a full response to the foundation, but officials said they believe their tradition follows court guidelines. 

Original story

A national organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation is trying to change one of UT's pregame rituals.

In a letter written to the university last week, the foundation asked Chancellor Jimmy Cheek to stop public prayers before the kick-off of each Vols game.

Before each home game, the announcer asks the crowd to stand for a public prayer.

The foundation says the pastor often times references Jesus, which the foundation claims doesn't belong at a public university. Their main argument is that the prayer violates the constitution.

UT has not responded to the letter yet.

Last week, the foundation sent a similar complaint to the University of Tennessee- Chattanooga.

Chancellor Roger Brown agreed to drop prayer before the games and said if people want to pray, they can do it in their own way.

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