The Lancers of Cambridge Christian School may have lost their championship game; but in court, they have just begun to fight. The Tampa school this week made good on its threat to sue for the right to lead public prayer before a game.
In January, the Florida High School Athletic Association denied them the mic and speakers at Orlando's Citrus Bowl, even though they were facing another Christian school -- University Christian of Jacksonville. Mainstream media coverage varied greatly, as I wrote in a January GR post.
Unfortunately, they did little better this time around.
The fracas turns on whether the FHSAA, as a "state actor" -- commissioned by the state legislature to regulate high school sports -- is responsible for speech flowing through public-address systems at stadiums like the Citrus Bowl (renamed Camping World Stadium). If so, they argue, they can't allow religious talk like prayer.
Cambridge Christian, as you can guess, is standing on the First Amendment rights of free speech and exercise of religion. They argue also that the athletic association is doing the opposite of the First Amendment by opposing religious free speech.
In January, the Tampa Tribune did much better than the Tampa Bay Times. Now that the Times has bought the Trib, their better side seems to have taken over -- at least with this story: