Check out this Christian banner seen at a high school football game recently. Can you guess where it’s from?
Nope, it’s not Kountze High School in Texas…
This is from Marbury High School in Prattville, Alabama:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is already on the case (PDF):
“We understand that each week a different bible verse is displayed for all to observe,” wrote Stephanie Schmitt, FFRF staff attorney. “You must take immediate action to stop these religious banners from being part of school-sponsored events.”
“Public high school events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students. Autauga County Schools must take immediate action to ensure that religious messages are not part of any school-sponsored events. These religious messages displayed at football games constitute an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. A reasonable Marbury student would certainly perceive the banners ‘as stamped with [his/]her school’s approval.’
“No student should be made to run through a religious banner. For example, a Jewish football player should not have to run through a New Testament message to play. This practice offends non-Christians and nonbelievers alike.“
There’s no way we know about all the schools that allow this practice to continue. We only know about the instances in which someone has spoken up about it. But it’s possible that the alumnus who contacted FFRF about this practice knew to do that only after seeing all the attention given to the cheerleaders in Kountze. Let’s hope that, after this, other whistleblowers come forward with pictures and proof that this practice is going on in their schools, too.
Even if it’s the South, even if the players and cheerleaders and coaches are Christian, these banners are still an illegal endorsement of Christianity. The schools wouldn’t even consider them if they quoted the Koran or Vedas… but write a Bible chapter/verse afterwards and they just let it slide.
It’s yet another example of Christians showing they can’t do the honorable, legal, or right thing on their own. Their churches never taught them how to do that so we have to take action by complaining (or possibly filing a lawsuit) in order to teach them a lesson.
Ideally, this case will be put to rest immediately and not become a media spectacle like the ongoing case in Texas.