After Public Grade School Gets Blocked from Performing Religious Play, a Church Steps Right In

Last week, the fifth graders at E.J. Moss Intermediate school in Texas were supposed to put on their school play. And you know what grade school plays look like: Cute kids, happy songs, innocuous themes.

But for some reason, the play that was chosen was “In God We Trust” by Chris and Diane Machen, a play about the “Christian history” of our country written by two Christian musicians. When you read some of the lines from the school’s adaptation of the script, obtained by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, it’s incredibly obvious that this production had no business being put on in a public school:

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Kountze High School Cheerleaders Are Going Back to Court Over Their Bible Banners

Earlier this month, the Kountze High School cheerleaders won a lawsuit that said they could hold up banners with Bible verses on them to support the football team:

You may recall that the cheerleaders were actually fighting their school district in court (not some atheist group) because then-Superintendent Kevin Weldon had told them to stop with the banners. So when Judge Steve Thomas ruled in favor of the cheerleaders, he was simultaneously telling the district it couldn’t stop them from being all preachy on the football field. Thomas wrote in his decision (PDF).

There are two big problems with this ruling.

One: It makes no sense at all. How could any reasonable person see cheerleaders in school uniforms hoisting banners with Bible verses on them and not see a link between the school district and Christianity?

Two: The decision isn’t very clear about what is allowed. Judge Thomas wrote that no law “requires Kountze I.S.D. to prohibit the inclusion of religious-themed banners”… which means the district doesn’t have to put a stop to the students’ banners.

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The Students at the Most Christian Public School in the Country Just Trashed Their Building

Kountze High School in Texas is the place where cheerleaders recently won a court battle to hold up banners with Bible verses on them before football games:

But last night, Kountze was home to a senior prank that may have gotten horribly out of hand:

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Ask Richard: Caught Between Jewish Parents and a Christian Boyfriend: Painful Choices Ahead

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy. Hello, I have read some of your advice letters and they have been really helpful, however I still need help! I am seeking advice about my relationship. I am 18 years old and turning 19 in August, I will be going to college in August [Read More...]

Australian University Bans Satirical Piece on Islam from Student Paper, Citing Likelihood of Religious Violence

For a while now, the editors of Woroni, a student newspaper at Australian National University (ANU), have run a satirical series called “Advice from Religion.” The articles have so far made light of Catholicism, Scientology, Mormonism, Judaism, and — finally — Islam.

Predictably enough, perhaps, the piece on Islam was the only one that caused immediate paroxysms of fear and cowardice, resulting in the university chancellor’s successful demands for a retraction and an apology.

The Woroni article, presented as an infographic, asked “How should I value women?” It answered with references to Aisha, the nine-year wife of the prophet Muhammad (PBJLOL) and to the 72 big-bosomed virgins who, according to the Koran, will be awaiting the male faithful after death. The Woroni editors observed that the Koranic passages read like “a rape fantasy.”

I was hoping it didn’t need to be said, but the normal give-and-take in an advanced democratic country (let’s say Australia rather than Saudi Arabia) calls for anyone who doesn’t like an editorial piece to respond in ways that contribute to the discussion, rather than shut the author up. If something sufficiently offends you, you may start a Facebook page or protest website, send requests for a rebuttal piece, fire off letters-to-the-editor, stage a demonstration, and so on. Welcome to the marketplace of ideas.

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