West: No Football Injuries Until Prayer Removed From Schools

I write about the idiotic things said by the Christian right every single day, but once in a while I come across something so gobsmackingly stupid that it surprises even me. Like Allen West saying that taking prayer out of schools led to football injuries. His evidence? He doesn’t remember anyone getting hurt playing football when he was in school.

Discussing a conflict between the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the University of Tennessee about sectarian prayers before football games, West said that in the days of state-sponsored school prayer, there was no problem with football injuries.

“Now see, I remember growing up in the inner city of Atlanta, Georgia,” he said. “I went to Grady High School and I played football and we didn’t have all this high-speed gear and everything like that, there was no such thing about ‘targeting.’ I mean, you were not a tough football player unless you did try to hit someone head-on. And even in high school, before every game at Grady Stadium, the pastor would come down and pray before every football game. I don’t remember catastrophic injuries. I don’t remember anyone getting carted off that field paralyzed.”

Wow, that’s just such a compelling argument. Checkmate, atheists.

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  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    “He doesn’t remember anyone getting hurt playing football when he was in school.”

    Must have been all those concussions he sustained.

  • lldayo

    Seems head injuries likely occurred at least…

  • dugglebogey

    Based on this logic, isn’t it more likely to be cell phones? Or air bags? Or Baked Lays Potato Chips? This is all depending on how old this retarded person is. Could be automatic transmissions or aluminum cans without pop-tops.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He knows this is true. He went back through his memories, held them down and performed mock executions on them and everything!

  • Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer

    He probably doesn’t remember them because he always had his head bowed and eyes closed.

  • eric

    When students were allowed to pray for the sick and injured, there were no sick and injured. That’s why they prayed for them. Makes total sense!

  • slc1

    Re dugglebogey @ #3

    Nah, it’s due to the designated hitter rule in American League baseball.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    More like the designated Hitler rule, amirite?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    “…I don’t remember … I don’t remember …

    That’s what happens after multiple concussions, Mr. West.

  • Die Anyway

    Ok, I had to check. A quick search finds a report that indicates that high school & college football *deaths* per year declined throughout the ’60s and ’70s (from numbers in the 20s down to 2 or 3) and has leveled off at just a couple per year right through the present. The study didn’t include other injuries but I’m thinking death is about the most serious injury one could suffer. And they’re down, not up. Thanks to better equipment, better rules, better health monitoring of student athletes, but NOT thanks to prayer.

  • ambassadorfromverdammt


    Or being involved in the Iran-Contra deal. . .


    Death doesn’t count, because, you see, they are with god now, so it is a blessing, not an injury.

  • freemage

    Die Anyway: No, no, you’re looking at it all wrong. Obviously, the lack of prayer means that God has eased off on ‘calling home’ his believers, thereby resulting in them living long enough to get pulled into lives of sin. A lack of death on the gridiron is obviously leading to an entire generation being hedonists who will belong to the Lord of the Flies before too long.

  • Die Anyway

    @11, @12

    Yeah, I probably shouldn’t have conflated death with injury (for the reasons mentioned) but I did not want to spend my entire afternoon researching statistics just to refute an idiotic assertion by a religious fanatic.

    And it could well be that ‘injuries’ are up while ‘death’ is down. We’ve seen that happen with our soldiers. The improvements in medical care means that they live through wounds that would previously have killed them. Now they’re just debilitated in some manner or other.

  • busterggi

    Yet oddly enough polio ceased being a threat after mandatory prayer was eliminated from schools – apparently Allen West would like to re-institute polio. (I can play correllation games too)

  • Skip White

    Modus @8:

    I think you mean the designated Schicklgruber rule, though it’s usually spelled and pronounced completely differently.

  • slc1

    Re Skip White @ #15

    The designated Hister rule. Get with he program.

  • xuuths

    Let’s see . . . West lied about having a higher security clearance than the President, so why would anyone doubt what he says about his high school days? Oh, that’s right, because he’s a liar.

  • kenn

    “I went to Grady High School and I played football…”

    And now you’re obviously suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy for hitting too many people head-on.

  • lorn

    Sounds like removal of prayer has been a good thing.

    When people were holding organized prayer, they still pray as individuals, the football players were afraid to object to being told to hit players head-on. They were dissuaded from admitting they were injured, taking their injury seriously, or getting proper medical care.

    Going by his logic removing organized prayer was a good thing because now the football players can admit they don’t want to hit head on and get injured, and when injured they can admit that they are injured and accept that getting carried off is safer than toughing it out, acting like they aren’t injured, and accepting that the price for playing high school football is permanent brain damage, disability, and an early death.

  • helenaconstantine

    West was born in 1961. Prayer was banned in school in 1963. How could even he tell such a ridiculous lie.

  • lorn

    helenaconstantine @20:

    A very good point. I didn’t know that. It puts the whole thing in a very stark light.

    That makes West’s argument both a lie, and, extra added bonus, a pile of crap.


    I always felt West was full of it. This pretty much seals the deal.

  • dingojack

    See Allen – it was the divine power of Son of Sam, Roller Disco and Star Wars* that prevented all those gridiron injuries…

    @@ Dingo


    * created by the Blessed George Lucas, Peace Be Laid upon His Name (otherwise he’ll sue)

  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    But in Scotland in the C16 we have:

    Brissit brawnis and brokin banis,

    Stride, discord and waistie wanis.

    Crukit in eild syne halt withal,

    Thir are the bewties of the fute-ball.

    (For those whose Late Middle Scots is a bit rusty:

    Torn muscles and broken bones,

    Strife, discord and impoverished homes.

    Stooping in old age then lameness too,

    Those are the beauties of football. )