Sidelined

As a jewish softball player competing among Christian athletes, Sports Editor Hannah Gale feels out of place during prayer. Cartoon by Ashley Lawrence

By HANNAH GALE – Print Sports Editor

Sports Editor Hannah Gale discusses her experiences as a Jewish athlete in the South.

“Would y’all like to pray with us?”

While holding hands with the other team, their eyes closed, my team begins to pray. I’m in the dugout cleaning our equipment, killing time.

I’m a Jewish softball player living in Georgia. That means no games on Easter and rarely any tournaments on Sundays.

It also means prayer after games.

I choose not to when Christian teams invite me to pray because they almost always devote their prayer to Jesus Christ.

Being a Jew, I feel conflicted praying to Jesus. I don’t want to be disrespectful to the team asking us to pray, but I know their prayer will be specified towards their savior, not mine.

Because Clarke Central High School is a public school, it is only likely that my team be asked to pray while playing private Christian schools and most times, we agree. No one pressures me to pray because my team knows I’m Jewish, but I feel uncomfortable and isolated when it’s obvious I’m the only one who’s not praying.

During my freshman year at the Region 8-AAAAA softball banquet, there was a prayer to Jesus Christ before dinner. I have nothing against prayer. My family says a prayer before dinner every night and I pray at Temple when I go to services. But when I’m surrounded by other religions’ prayers that I feel somewhat obligated to participate in, it makes me feel like my religion is less important than theirs.

I find it unsettling when I’m at a public event and people assume everyone there is Christian, or would want to pray. I respect Christians and their prayer, but I wish other religions were taken into account as well.

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