Churches will be able to host big-screen Super Bowl parties in 2009 thanks to the NFL's reversed decision this week.
The NFL had received criticism for its decision, and the Washington Post reported that churches were canceling their Super Bowl parties out of fear of lawsuits. In a later Post story titled "Bill Would End Separation of Church and Super Bowl," three congressmen spoke with the Post about potential legislation.
The Post reports that the NFL will allow church showings as long as the showings are free and are on premises that the church uses on a "routine and customary" basis.
The NFL restricts TV screens to 55" at public viewings, except at bars and restaurants that regularly broadcast sporting events. Last year, the NFL sent letters to two churches advising them of the policy. The new policy will be set in place for 2009.
CT also wrote about NFL/church dispute in "Fumbling Religion" last fall.1