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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 10, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 15Sep00

Summarized by Janus Wilkinson

Texas Town Sued by Mormon Family Sees Signs of Stigma

Texas Town Sued by Mormon Family Sees Signs of Stigma SANTA FE, TEXAS -- Two recent articles discuss the struggles of a small Texas town in the wake of the US Supreme Court's decision on public prayer before high school football games. The town of Santa Fe made history in June when the US Supreme Court rejected school officials' bid to protect student-led prayer before football games. The ruling was the culmination of five years of local activism, most of it supporting the school district.

The suit, which was brought by two local Christian families, one Catholic and one Mormon, has brought unwelcome publicity to the town. Residents of the town claim theirs is a town whose majority is Baptist, devout and not ashamed of old-fashioned values. However, others living in neighboring towns say the residents of Santa Fe are intolerant of those with differing religious beliefs. They say there is a racial and religious intolerance that has gone on for decades.

The one Jewish student in Santa Fe has been threatened with being hanged and charges have been brought against students involved.

In an effort to get around the Supreme Court's ruling, spectators at the football games rise from their seats and recite the Lord's Prayer. The court ruled that students did not have the right to use the school's public address system to lead the crowd in prayer, so at the urging of talk show hosts and local ministers, the students have been "spontaneously'' praying out loud in the stands.

Some critics see this as a showy gesture aimed at defying the court ruling, not enhancing spirituality.

One such detractor is R. Scott Colglazier, the senior minister at Fort Worth's University Christian Church and author of several books on spirituality. "The point of religion is to dig the wells of the soul deeper. This kind of thing diminishes what real prayer is about,'' R. Scott Colglazier said by phone from Texas.

Colglazier drew criticism recently for a local column he wrote supporting the court's ruling. Saying prayers and being prayerful are not the same thing, he wrote, prayerfulness is ``a time when genuine feeling for God is evoked and encountered . . . a time (for) contemplation, mindfulness, even silence. . . . It is more about the listening heart than it is the speaking mouth.''


A Texas town sees the signs of stigma
Boston Globe pgA3 (Los Angeles Times) 6Sep00 N1
By Claudia Kolker Los Angeles Times, 9/6/2000

Hallelujahs and Halfbacks
San Francisco Chronicle 5Sep00 N1
By Joan Ryan


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