UT Knoxville says prayer will continue before university events

UT Knoxville says prayer will continue before university events


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The University of Tennessee Knoxville on Wednesday told a national organization it will continue to allow prayers before university events.

UT sent a letter from Chancellor Jimmy Cheek to the Freedom from Religion Foundation in response to a request to stop prayer before events, including football games.

Although the foundation made the request to the chancellor last week, the original complaint came from an alumnus in August.

After forcing prayer out before UT-Chattanooga events, students in Knoxville teamed up with the foundation, hoping to accomplish the same goal.

However, Chancellor Cheek wrote that he conferred with the university's legal counsel about a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Freedom from Religion held that the decision in Chaudhuri v. the state of Tennessee was binding in the state.

Chancellor Cheek said UT's counsel came to the opposite conclusion, maintaining that "nonsectarian prayer at public university events does not violate the First Amendment."

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