Moment of silence rather than prayer suits some at West Branch


BELOIT

A moment of silence appeared to be accepted in place of prayer at the Friday evening West Branch High School varsity basketball game.

Those in attendance were asked to have a moment of silence for reflection, prayer or meditation following the National Anthem.

The request received a round of applause by all.

Gwen Lamp, 13, said she was happy for the return of some type of prayer — or time for prayer.

“Prayer kind of represents this community,” she said.

More than 100 people in attendance at the basketball game sported “Prayer Matters” shirts.

The district halted prayer before athletic events after receiving a letter Jan. 18 from the Freedom From Religion Foundation stating the practice is unconstitutional.

Addie Morris, 18, said although the moment of silence is a step in the right direction, it is still unconstitutional.

“Moments of silence were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because it was a way to circumvent prayer,” she said. “I think West Branch should stop trying to find their way around the law and follow it instead.”

Rebecca Markert, Freedom From Religion Foundation legal director, agreed with Morris and said the best course of action would be to just cease the action of prayer.

Read MORE in Saturday's VINDICATOR.

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