According to an ABC News story, a cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, near Beaumont Texas, were in the habit of holding up banners with Bible verses painted on them at football games.
Enter the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison Wisconsin. These folks, with their extraordinary sensitivities, were evidently so outraged at the thought of high school banners 1200 miles away that they felt compelled fire off one of their threatening phone calls to the Beaumont school superintendent.
The superintendent then forced the cheerleaders to stop holding up the banners.
Presumably, this allowed the outraged Wisconsin Freedom From Religion people to go back to sleeping at night, assured that they had stamped out the great banner threat to their goal of ending freedom of speech when they don’t like what’s being said. But they didn’t reckon with who they were dealing with. Evidently cheerleaders in Wisconsin are made of different stuff than they are in Texas. If the FFR people had asked me, I could have told them they were in for a fight.
You don’t mess with Texas.
The cheerleaders are going to court. The ABC News article says in part:
Texas Cheerleaders Fight Back Over Bible Verses
Ryan Owens (“ABC News,” October 4, 2012)
Cheerleaders in a small East Texas town that worships two things — God and football — are now fighting back after the Bible verses they painted on banners to display at games were banned.
The cheerleading squad at Kountze High School, just north of Beaumont, Texas, would show their support for the team, and also display their religious beliefs, by painting Bible verses on the banners players run through before every game.
“We just wanted to encourage the boys,” one cheerleader said.
The banners apparently offended someone, though, and that unidentified person complained to an atheist group, which argued that the Bible banners amount to a public school’s advocating a particular religion, which is unconstitutional.
“This is not a Christian school and they cannot misuse their authority,” Annie-Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, said.
Ultimately, school superintendent Kevin Weldon forced the cheerleaders to stop using scripture on the banners.
That was when the squad members put down their pompoms and picked up the phone, calling attorney David Starnes, who argues that the banners are not school sponsored.
“It was student led … student initiated,” Starnes said.(Read more here.)