Overview:

After the Supreme Court allowed a football coach to offer prayers on the 50-yard line, other religions are preparing their post-game rituals.

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  1. The Chambri scarification ritual of ripping skin open in beautiful decorative patterns with sharp knives and flints.
  2. Sticking hands into gloves containing thousands of venomous ants, a Satere-Mawe ritual.
  3. The Jewish ritual of Kaparot that involves twirling a live chicken around your head three times, then killing it and giving it to the local poor to cook and eat.
  4. The Native American ritual of ingesting peyote. Even better as a pre-game ritual.
  5. The handling of venomous snakes by Southern fundamentalists.
  6. Piercing bodies with lances and hooks, a Thaipusam Hindu ritual.
  7. The Yanomami ritual of eating the dead.
  8. Scientologists erecting an e-meter and testing devotees.
  9. Jain Digambara monks standing naked and looking skyward.
  10. Thai Buddhist monks blessing cars, motorcycles, and even small planes.
  11. The Hindu ritual of dropping babies from 30 feet into winding sheets held by clerics. (But this will need to be at the goal posts.)
  12. Spanish Catholics dressing like the devil and jumping over reclining babies.
  13. Animal sacrifice of various kinds, possibly involving pigskin.

J. H. McKenna (Ph.D.) has taught the history of religion since 1999 at the University of California, where he has won teaching awards. He has published in academic journals and the LA Times, Huffington...