At a High School Basketball Game, Students Hold Up Sign Saying Jesus Doesn’t Love the Other Team

Here’s the setup: Patterson High School (a public school) was playing Parkview Baptist School in a division 3A second-round playoff basketball game in Louisiana. Obviously, both teams have a lot of pressure on them and fans on both sides want their schools to win. Lots of energy and tension in the air.

As you might expect, some of the fans from Patterson made signs to support their team. But the one that’s getting all the attention seems to be this one:

Where do you even start with a sign like that…?

  1. How do you not have the judgment to know that’s just a dick move?
  2. Why would you take a picture of that, offering evidence to the world that it was you who made the sign?
  3. Why would Jesus love the public school kids instead of the religious school kids? That makes no sense.
  4. That is waaaaay too many ellipses before “unless.” You need three, maximum.
  5. Really? You’re wearing a shirt that says you “hate” the other school?! You “hate” a school that more or less got randomly paired against you in an athletic event? And you hate them so much you made a shirt just for the event?! Sometimes, teenagers have way too much time on their hands.
  6. Jesus doesn’t love anybody. Jesus can’t love anybody. Jesus is a figment of your imagination.

Oh. That wasn’t the only sign, either:

Ok, so they’re teenagers. Teenagers do dumb things. I’m sure Parkview students aren’t perfect angels, either. But if you’re in a situation like this, the best thing to do is to just support your team instead of tearing down the opposing one.

It doesn’t seem to have worked, anyway. Parkview’s team whooped Patterson 59-42. (Their quarterfinal game is tonight.)

Hats off to Parkview Baptist’s coach Don Green, who really had the best possible response to this whole situation:

Coach Green said he and players from both teams were so focused on the game they didn’t pay any attention to the signs in the stands.

“The conduct from the Patterson players was outstanding.”

Now that he’s seen the signs, he said they may have been a bit out of bounds. But Green doesn’t believe the students meant any harm.

“I don’t believe there was any intent or ill will, just going maybe just a step too far in trying to support the team,”

Green said, had the tables been turned, “We would be very upset by what we did because, again, I can’t tell what’s in someone else’s mind or hearts. But I can certainly tell you what’s in ours and that is not something we would have accepted from our student body.”

Well played at the end there. (Take that, Patterson.)

As for those girls with the signs? The assistant superintendent of the district said they were “disciplined” for what they did — and more power to him. They deserved it.

I’ve seen some commentary online suggesting that any punishment for these signs goes too far, but students represent their school at games like these and school rules still apply. For the school to do nothing would’ve been tacit approval of their actions.

On another note, even if you’re playing a religious school, why bring religion into the picture? If your team doesn’t have the talent to win the game, Jesus sure as hell isn’t going to help them.

It’s kind of like the flip side of the Kountze High School controversy in Texas, where the cheerleaders used signs with Bible verses on them to pump up the football team. Guess what? God didn’t help their team either. After beginning the season with a four game winning streak, they ended with a four game losing streak and a 5-5 overall record.

Nothing for Jesus to brag about.

(Thanks to Randall for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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