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Is Atlanta Choosing Football Over Religion?

Posted: May. 2nd, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse

Though much of Atlanta is excited at the prospect of a new NFL stadium for the Falcons, the fact that churches are being displaced for the construction seems odd in such a religiously-affiliated town. Maybe when the citizens poll that they're religious and that they go to church on Sundays, they mean the Church of NFL? Interesting conundrum.

ATLANTA Football, God and rebuilding are among the most enduring themes here in the largest city in the Deep South.

The three have come together in the latest and most expensive civic building for downtown Atlanta: dismantling a stadium that for 21 years has been the sturdy but frumpy home of the Atlanta Falcons and building a billion-dollar luxury stadium with a retractable roof that would be ready for the 2017 season.

But two black churches with deep history stand in the way.

Among the people who put prayer before football, the idea that the city and the state would offer money in exchange for the land on which the two churches sit seems a misguided sense of priorities especially considering that one of them, Friendship Baptist Church, is one of the most historically important black churches in a region filled with them.

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