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cheerleaders take stand on religion

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post
Apparently they put things on their banners like if God is for us, who can break us..

The football team runs through it.

A orginzation called freedom from religion complained and the school superintendent made them stop.

The girls say its not school sponsored, cheerleaders create their own banners and they got the ideas from pinterest

Today it goes to the state supreme court.

The girls want to be able to continue to make whatever banner they want


Should they be able to? Or should the organization win and have the banners mentioning God continue to be banned?
Posted by Anonymous on Oct. 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Replies (491-500):
Mommy2BeAmy
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 1:51 PM
Quoting romalove:



Lol
Anonymous
by Anonymous 38 on Oct. 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM

No, you  never did explain the difference between wearing religious clothing at school and showing a banner at a football game.  This was the first time I asked about it, so you couldn't have.  So there is no need for that condescending comment.  If you can't answer my question just say so.  Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean that I'm not "getting it".  We simply have different views.  But then, this is Mom Confessions, not a real debate group, so I guess we can't expect everyone to respond to the questions and comments without being rude. 

Both are on school property and both involve students at school-sponsored activities.  If the argument is that they are representatives of the school, then if the banner is illegal, the clothing should be illegal also.  But they're not. 

Quoting sha_lyn68:

I wasn't making an analogy between banners and peanutbutter. I said this argument is reminding me about the arguments about peanutbutter bans.

 

I've already explained to you the difference, I can't help it if you aren't getting it.

Quoting Anonymous:

Sorry, I was just being silly about winning/losing the game proving the religion. 

However, I was wondering about whether they are "representing the school" when they are just attending classes on a regular school day.  If so, I'm pretty sure they are allowed to wear religious clothing, jewelry, etc. if they want to.  So why should a football game be any different? 

The peanut butter ban isn't exactly an accurate analogy; bringing peanut butter to school could cause the death of a classmate, like you said.  A verse on a banner doesn't do anything like that. 

Quoting sha_lyn68:

The banner wasn't just a one time thing, so there isn't "the game" for them to win, it has been most if not all their games this year. How in the hell would winning or losing prove their religion false or true? That type of ridiculous argument is what drove me away from Christanity to begin with.

They are free to express themselves when they want and how they want any time other than when they are representing the school. I sear this is getting to be just like the peanutbutter ban arguments. Some parents say that penutbutter bans or restrictions in schools violate t their child's rights to sit and eat peanutbutter wherever they want to  when such actions could cause the death of a classmate. There is a time and a place for expressing ones freedom of religion and freedom of speech and there are times and places where that is not appropriate. IE one does not have the right to scream fire in a crowd just to see how people will react. 

 

 

Quoting Anonymous:

Are they also considered representatives of the school when they are attending classes during school hours?  Or just when they are on the football field?

I'm not sure I would agree that students/sports members are "representatives of the school" that shouldn't be allowed to express what they want where they want.  But I guess if it's in the Constitution, then they are.  I wonder what the judge will decide.

I still am curious, did they win the game?  If not, then I guess their banner will prove their religion false.  Would that make you happy?

Quoting sha_lyn68:

No, teeloffel isn't ignoring anything. It is you who are ignoring the fact that there is a difference between exercises one's right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion as a private citizen and as a representative of a government entity. Like it or not, the girls are representatives of the government school when they are in cheerleading uniforms and standing on the football field.

Quoting Anonymous:

I looked up the First Amendment link that you provided, and on that page it reads "Congress shall make now law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . . . . . ".  It seems that you choose to ignore the part in bold if it suits you.  Also, that same website also supported students' rights to religious expression (see dress code section under the "ABCs of Religion on Public Schools").  I don't see this being any different.  If anything, it seems petty to complain about that simple phrase on a banner. 

To be completely honest though, I can see both sides to this.  How do we outlaw promoting any religions and respect the right to freedom of speech and religious expression at the same time?  It seems impossible!

Quoting teeloffel:

Umm, no. 

Let me clarify this for you since your self-proclaimed "common sense" seems to only go so far.

The only way what you're saying would work is if the cheerleaders were in a Private (religious) school. The reason Separation of Church and State applies in this case is because any public school is funded by the government (STATE), therefore it is unconstitutional for a member of a public school sports (or any other) team to include mentions of religion (GOD) during their game.   No one is forcing the cheerleaders to "hide" their religion.  People are simply trying to enforce a law that is already in effect, that was in fact, violated by the cheerleaders.

Quoting Anonymous:

Actually, doesn't the separation of church and state actually PROTECT the cheerleaders rights?  If the state outlaws them being able to use their banner because it mentions God, then that's not separating state from church.  The state should have NOTHING at all to do with it, for TRUE separation of church and state.  Which means, they should leave the cheerleaders alone.  If the cheerleaders are being forced to hide their religion in public places, then that is the government intruding on on their freedom.  That, to me, is violating separation of church and state.  Sorry, but your argument actually contradicts what you are trying to say!  And I'm not a Christian btw, just an agnostic with some common sense!

Quoting teeloffel:

Gee, wanna know why the separation of church and state is more important?  Because it's part of the CONSTITUTION! You know, the document you xtian windbags love to cite to back your ridiculous complaints.  However, this incident is NOT a violation of ANY of your "constitutional rights (aka - the First Amendment)" ... so stuff it already.  Go find something else to feign persecution over.

Quoting Jamie1972:

Schools would be better if religion,all religion not just christianity, was brought back. But that's my opinion. But religion set aside these girls freedom of speech is being trampled on. But since they happened to use their freedom of speech with a religious overtone it doesn't matter. Because apparently separation of church and state is more important. And really what is the big deal. Its a banner that players run thru and pp in a stadium happen to see for 60 seconds before its destroyed by a bunch of boys.


Quoting Anonymous:

School sponsored function is school property. And religion has no place in public school.



Quoting Jamie1972:

Yes I am. They maybe reps for the school and it maybe a school sponsored event but if its not on school property it shouldnt matter. The school,students, the town itself didn't care one iota about these banners. But some anti religious group got all offended about banners that had. God/or bible veses on them. These girls were not trying to convert or shove religon down ppls throat. Its a simple statement hiw if they have god in their side then the other team can't beat them. Its no different then coaches leading a team prayer fimor a good game or whatever in the lockerroom. Or is that just iffensive?






Quoting Anonymous:

Are you serious? It's a school sponsored function and the players are representatives of their schools.







Quoting Jamie1972:

If the football feild is not on school grounds then i dont see why they cant have whatever they want on their banners. They are not promoting or trying to convert anyone. Its a statement about the other team, how they cant them  imo





 



 

 

 

 


 


 



Anonymous
by Anonymous 38 on Oct. 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM


Quoting Jaybo:

 

Quoting Anonymous:

 

Quoting Jaybo:

 Well to be honest  people promote thing everyday that go against  my beliefs and I dont go whining about it. Like your trashy mouth If I got a law suit for everytime I heard that word LOL SEE my point Freeom of speech only works out for people like you NEGATIVE . I hope that MY God is glorified in this earth and if it takes some young girls with POSITIVITY then so be it. You wouldnt care if you heard a bunch of kids cussing and being fools so why do you care so much about something that you dont believe in?? Turn the other way like I do when I hear  ppl like you

Quoting Anonymous:

I am glad these girls are standing up for what they believe in. No one is making anyone read the signs and convert they are to encourage the football team. They are not signs that say "turn or burn'" They are meant to be good and I dont understand why its such a big deal.  Christians really need to start getting a back bone and stop letting the world control them.

Christians really need to learn to shut the fu** up with their constant blather about what they think they're entitled to. What if "those girls" were standing up for buddha, or allah, or satan, or any other non christian icon?  Would you be as quick to tell other christians they need to grow a backbone and support the girls in what they are doing? I highly doubt it.

When I go to a football game, I go to watch the game, I do not go to a football game to watch a bunch of cheerleaders promoting their god on a banner.  

 

Girl, "YOUR GOD" is a myth, a fantasy, a make believe character that supposedly lives in the sky (give me a break people actually believe that shit) looking down on his "flock",  as is every other mythical god people the world over worship. If your god or any other god actually existed, we wouldn't have wars, we wouldn't have babies, children, & adults living with excruciating pain, we wouldn't have babies, children & adults dying horrible painful deaths & we wouldn't have millions upon millions of babies, children, & adults the world over starving to death, abused, & murdered every single second of every day.  

Wow, that is depressing.  The Bible did predict all that stuff though, like all the wars.  Not all Gods that people believe in are all love and happiness.  That doesn't mean that there is no possibility that none of them are real.  Maybe one of them is!  Anyway, the verses the cheerleaders used were positive and encouraging.  I've seen a lot worse things at football games that I "didn't go there to see". 

sha_lyn68
by Platinum Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:26 PM

You can make up all the specific question you want to, but that isn't going to change the general answer that I have already given. I can't help it that you don't understand how students in uniforms at an event attended by the public are representing the school, but within the school such conditions do not apply.


ETA: Here's the explanation again and I highlighted below where I said it the first time (with grammatical error fixed in the below copy and paste):


Quote:

It is you who are ignoring the fact that there is a difference between exercising one's right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion as a private citizen and as a representative of a government entity

Quoting Anonymous:

No, you  never did explain the difference between wearing religious clothing at school and showing a banner at a football game.  This was the first time I asked about it, so you couldn't have.  So there is no need for that condescending comment.  If you can't answer my question just say so.  Just because you disagree with me doesn't mean that I'm not "getting it".  We simply have different views.  But then, this is Mom Confessions, not a real debate group, so I guess we can't expect everyone to respond to the questions and comments without being rude. 

Both are on school property and both involve students at school-sponsored activities.  If the argument is that they are representatives of the school, then if the banner is illegal, the clothing should be illegal also.  But they're not. 

Quoting sha_lyn68:

I wasn't making an analogy between banners and peanutbutter. I said this argument is reminding me about the arguments about peanutbutter bans.


I've already explained to you the difference, I can't help it if you aren't getting it.

Quoting Anonymous:

Sorry, I was just being silly about winning/losing the game proving the religion. 

However, I was wondering about whether they are "representing the school" when they are just attending classes on a regular school day.  If so, I'm pretty sure they are allowed to wear religious clothing, jewelry, etc. if they want to.  So why should a football game be any different? 

The peanut butter ban isn't exactly an accurate analogy; bringing peanut butter to school could cause the death of a classmate, like you said.  A verse on a banner doesn't do anything like that. 

Quoting sha_lyn68:

The banner wasn't just a one time thing, so there isn't "the game" for them to win, it has been most if not all their games this year. How in the hell would winning or losing prove their religion false or true? That type of ridiculous argument is what drove me away from Christanity to begin with.

They are free to express themselves when they want and how they want any time other than when they are representing the school. I sear this is getting to be just like the peanutbutter ban arguments. Some parents say that penutbutter bans or restrictions in schools violate t their child's rights to sit and eat peanutbutter wherever they want to  when such actions could cause the death of a classmate. There is a time and a place for expressing ones freedom of religion and freedom of speech and there are times and places where that is not appropriate. IE one does not have the right to scream fire in a crowd just to see how people will react. 



Quoting Anonymous:

Are they also considered representatives of the school when they are attending classes during school hours?  Or just when they are on the football field?

I'm not sure I would agree that students/sports members are "representatives of the school" that shouldn't be allowed to express what they want where they want.  But I guess if it's in the Constitution, then they are.  I wonder what the judge will decide.

I still am curious, did they win the game?  If not, then I guess their banner will prove their religion false.  Would that make you happy?

Quoting sha_lyn68:

No, teeloffel isn't ignoring anything. It is you who are ignoring the fact that there is a difference between exercises one's right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion as a private citizen and as a representative of a government entity. Like it or not, the girls are representatives of the government school when they are in cheerleading uniforms and standing on the football field.

Quoting Anonymous:

I looked up the First Amendment link that you provided, and on that page it reads "Congress shall make now law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech . . . . . . ".  It seems that you choose to ignore the part in bold if it suits you.  Also, that same website also supported students' rights to religious expression (see dress code section under the "ABCs of Religion on Public Schools").  I don't see this being any different.  If anything, it seems petty to complain about that simple phrase on a banner. 

To be completely honest though, I can see both sides to this.  How do we outlaw promoting any religions and respect the right to freedom of speech and religious expression at the same time?  It seems impossible!

Quoting teeloffel:

Umm, no. 

Let me clarify this for you since your self-proclaimed "common sense" seems to only go so far.

The only way what you're saying would work is if the cheerleaders were in a Private (religious) school. The reason Separation of Church and State applies in this case is because any public school is funded by the government (STATE), therefore it is unconstitutional for a member of a public school sports (or any other) team to include mentions of religion (GOD) during their game.   No one is forcing the cheerleaders to "hide" their religion.  People are simply trying to enforce a law that is already in effect, that was in fact, violated by the cheerleaders.

Quoting Anonymous:

Actually, doesn't the separation of church and state actually PROTECT the cheerleaders rights?  If the state outlaws them being able to use their banner because it mentions God, then that's not separating state from church.  The state should have NOTHING at all to do with it, for TRUE separation of church and state.  Which means, they should leave the cheerleaders alone.  If the cheerleaders are being forced to hide their religion in public places, then that is the government intruding on on their freedom.  That, to me, is violating separation of church and state.  Sorry, but your argument actually contradicts what you are trying to say!  And I'm not a Christian btw, just an agnostic with some common sense!

Quoting teeloffel:

Gee, wanna know why the separation of church and state is more important?  Because it's part of the CONSTITUTION! You know, the document you xtian windbags love to cite to back your ridiculous complaints.  However, this incident is NOT a violation of ANY of your "constitutional rights (aka - the First Amendment)" ... so stuff it already.  Go find something else to feign persecution over.

Quoting Jamie1972:

Schools would be better if religion,all religion not just christianity, was brought back. But that's my opinion. But religion set aside these girls freedom of speech is being trampled on. But since they happened to use their freedom of speech with a religious overtone it doesn't matter. Because apparently separation of church and state is more important. And really what is the big deal. Its a banner that players run thru and pp in a stadium happen to see for 60 seconds before its destroyed by a bunch of boys.


Quoting Anonymous:

School sponsored function is school property. And religion has no place in public school.



Quoting Jamie1972:

Yes I am. They maybe reps for the school and it maybe a school sponsored event but if its not on school property it shouldnt matter. The school,students, the town itself didn't care one iota about these banners. But some anti religious group got all offended about banners that had. God/or bible veses on them. These girls were not trying to convert or shove religon down ppls throat. Its a simple statement hiw if they have god in their side then the other team can't beat them. Its no different then coaches leading a team prayer fimor a good game or whatever in the lockerroom. Or is that just iffensive?






Quoting Anonymous:

Are you serious? It's a school sponsored function and the players are representatives of their schools.







Quoting Jamie1972:

If the football feild is not on school grounds then i dont see why they cant have whatever they want on their banners. They are not promoting or trying to convert anyone. Its a statement about the other team, how they cant them  imo



















teeloffel
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Gah!! This has NOTHING to do with Freedom of Speech!!! For crying out loud. How many times does that need to be mentioned in this thread?! 

Quoting Mommy2BeAmy:

Quoting romalove:



Yeah well I don't see why they can't write or do what they want I don't agree with writing that but who are we to tell them no its freedom of speech no matter who or what or how it's said, in my opinion.


harehelper
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 12:35 AM

I didn't avoid the question at all. Read the last two sentences again. Why should it not be at a football game, or a basketball game, or a chess game for crying out loud? I will say again, this is not a "religous practice" this is their way of praising God. A "religious practice" is a ceremony.

If you had been there and read that banner, would you have considered that "participating" in their religion? No, of course not, no one was being forced to pray, or praise God, or do anything they didn't want to do.

Oh, I never claimed the founding fathers wanted a state recognized religion. I said they wanted freedom of religion, and your link does not dispute that at all.

The First Amendment says this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of gievances."

Quoting LeahJ:

You avoided the question: why does it need to be at a football game? Kids are in school, what six hours a day? And then this three hour game? so they have all this other free time for their religious practices. Why do it at a game in front of other who don't want to participate?

Oh, and here's your information regarding the position of the founding fathers on separation of church and state. They NEVER wanted a state recognized religion.http://www.theology.edu/ushistor.htm
Quoting harehelper:

I think you will need to show me your information on the founding fathers wanting separation of church and state. 

This banner was not "practicing" religion, it was a simple statement. I have to say, I really dislike the word religion anyway, because my relationship with Jesus is not a religion. Religion is a ceremony, nothing more. I use the word religion here because it is easier to type and for most people to understand what I mean. No, this is not like "some special ceremony". It is a way of praising God.

Do you really think this banner was trying to "convert" anyone? Do you think someone with a faith message on their t-shirt is getting in your face with their faith also? And again, for you to be "free" of religion, you have to suppress mine, and it is still wrong.

The point of showing this banner at a school function is to praise and show love to God. It is not to harass you or any other non-believer, it really has nothing to do with anyone else at all.

Quoting LeahJ:

No, not anywhere, anytime. The founding fathers and SCOTUS have been very clear- there are appropriate times and places. And what is the point of practicing your religion in the middle of a high school football game anyhow? Is that supposed to be some special ceremony? Or is it to prove a point? bringing religion to a public, state sponsored high school football game is, indeed, offensive to me because it violates MY right to be free of your religion. I don't go to your church and try to convert people to my beliefs. Whats the point of having it at a football game but to harass and annoy? I have just as much a right to be from FROM your religion as you have a right to be free to practice it.



Quoting harehelper:

But why should an atheist be offended because I believe something that they don't? Why does the simple mention of God's name, which to an atheist is just another three letter word, cause such an instant meltdown to so many people? This banner was not aimed against any group in any way, so why is it so offensive?

The entire reason this country was founded was so that each of us would have the freedom to worship wherever and whenever and however we want, or of course not at all if that is what you want. The founding fathers were not trying to suppress religion in any way,  they prayed publicly all the time. This is a very basic human right, that organizations like the FFRF are determined to take away from all of us.

Quoting LeahJ:

But what about atheists? Wouldn't a Christian banner be offensive to atheists? How is that fair?





This is EXACTLY why the founding fathers had the good sense to separate church and state. So everyone has the freedom to practice their ligion, as they wish, without pushing it towards others. You do your thing, I'll do mine, neither of us will do it at state sponsored events. Seems pretty simple.






Quoting harehelper:

Well, what do you mean by satan referenced? As in a reference to devil worship or something like that? Yeah, if you leave my faith alone so that I have the freedom to express it, then you should have the same even when our beliefs don't agree. As far as an anti-religion banner, yeah that would be wrong because it would speak against religious beliefs. The banner OP was talking about did not say anything bad about anyone, or diss people who don't believe, in any way.

 That is the dividing line to me, to not be speaking AGAINST any other group. I would not have a problem with other religions speaking about their beliefs, so long as they aren't trying to take away my freedom to do the same.

Quoting Anonymous:

Oh don't get your panties in a bunch. Fine, then how about a Satan-referenced banner? Or an anti-religion banner?




Quoting harehelper:




Yeah, there is a HUGE difference between pictures of private body parts and a Bible verse. That is actually a pretty offensive comparison.




Quoting Anonymous:




But it's a school. And not a Catholic school I'm guessing. It doesn't matter to me if they made it themselves or not. What if they made a banner of a vagina that said something "cute" about coming into the world or whatever? That would be offensive too, and I'm sure the organization would step in and put an end to it. You'd be okay with that sort of "censorship", right?




Quoting Anonymous:

But the school allows the cheerleaders to make their own banners.

And the town is 2000 big. No one really was bothered by it until this organization got involved.





Quoting Anonymous:




They should be banned, unless this is specifically a church-sponsored event. If it's not through a church and they had those banners, I would not attend - just for the moral of it. They have no right to push religion on anyone.





 








 





harehelper
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 12:42 AM

This banner does not interrupt or stop you from practicing, or not practicing, your beliefs either. So why is it so harmful, and why does it not have the right to be there?

Quoting Anonymous:

Uh, it doesn't. NO ONE is stopping you from going to church or practicing your religion. A banner representing a public school is not considered practicing religion, and it has no right to be there. No one is victimizing you.

Quoting harehelper:

You have that already. Why does your freedom from religion trump my freedom of religion, and my freedom of speech, all in one blow? What makes the rights of non-believers more important than the rights of believers?

Quoting Anonymous:

I want freedom FROM religion, not freedom of it. It's a public school sponsored event. I'm more concerned at the fact of teenage girls shaking their asses in mini skirts though, cheer leading is stupid IMO



harehelper
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 12:45 AM

I don't know if they are able to see it anymore.

Quoting smalltownmom03:

Some people need to read this and then think about how upset they would be if someone was trying to take their rights away. This letter clearly states what rights this organization is tring to take away from these kids. I also wanted to add that there is a facebook page for those who support the kountze cheerleaders.


Quoting harehelper:

Awesome, God bless Texas!

Quoting Fields456:

Sorry but I disagree. If they don't go to that district or pay property taxes to that district they shouldn't have a say so. I am a Texan an I don't feel It is my business to complain about something that is going on in a school district I don't live in

I am very interested what the ruling will be. Our attorney general wrote a letter to the school district basically support the cheerleaders.



Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today sent a letter offering assistance to Kountze ISD Superintendent Kevin Weldon in response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation's recent letter incorrectly claiming that Kountze High School cheerleaders are prohibited from displaying banners with Bible verses at football games.



Full text of the letter is below:



September 27, 2012



Mr. Kevin Weldon

Superintendent

Kountze Independent School District

P.O. Box 460

Kountze, TX 77625



Dear Superintendent Weldon:



I write to offer my assistance and to provide advice about a menacing and misleading letter you recently received from an organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). That organization has a long history of attempting to bully school districts into adopting restrictive religious speech policies that go well beyond what is required by the United States Constitution. Consistent with that history, the letter you received incorrectly claims that allowing Kountze High School cheerleaders to display banners decorated with Bible verses at football games amounts to a "serious and flagrant violation of the First Amendment." That exaggerated claim is not supported by the Constitution. Instead, it is based solely on FFRF's distorted, anti-religion view of the First Amendment, a view that is unsupported by court precedent and has recently been rejected by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.



It appears that your recent decision to prohibit the cheerleaders at Kountze High from displaying their religious messages at football games-a decision that has since been blocked by a court order-was based on a mistaken belief that FFRF's letter correctly interprets the law. Unfortunately, that mistaken belief was apparently reinforced by erroneous advice from the Texas Association of School Boards. Contrary to FFRF's claims, however, the Supreme Court has never held that it is illegal for a public school to "host religious messages at school athletic events." And the Supreme Court has never ruled that religion must be "kept out" of public schools. Instead, each of the Supreme Court cases cited in FFRF's letter involve decisions by public officials to promote a religious message or to direct the content of a private citizen's religious message.



Unlike the cases cited by FFRF, Kountze ISD has neither made the decision to include a religious message on the cheerleaders' banner, nor provided any direction as to the content of the cheerleaders' message. Rather, news reports indicate that these decisions were made entirely by students. Those same news reports also indicate that the banners were made by the cheerleaders off of school property and without the use of school funds. That these students chose to express their religious viewpoint at a school function does not violate the Establishment Clause.



When the school district does not join in the students' religious message or seek to control or direct that message, the cheerleaders' decision to display their banners cannot constitute promotion or imposition of religion by the school district. Rather, the banners are the religious speech of individual students, which enjoys protection under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.



In addition to the protections afforded by the First Amendment, Texas law further protects students' free exercise of religion by requiring school districts to "treat a student's voluntary expression of a religious viewpoint . . . in the same manner the district treats a student's voluntary expression of a secular or other viewpoint." Tex. Educ. Code 25.151. Moreover, a school district "may not discriminate against the student based on a religious viewpoint expressed by the student on an otherwise permissible subject." Id. To the extent the district seeks to prevent the cheerleaders from displaying their banners because the cheerleaders decided to express a religious-as opposed to a secular-message, it may very well violate section 25.151 of the Texas Education Code.



Think about it: Can a school district or the Freedom From Religion Foundation stop a student from making the sign of the cross before taking a test, or stop football players from pointing toward heaven after scoring a touchdown or kneeling to pray for an injured teammate? Of course not. Just like the cheerleaders' banners, such public displays of religion are voluntary expressions of the students' beliefs and are not attributable to the school district.



The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently vindicated these legal principles-and rejected FFRF's restrictive view of the First Amendment-in a case involving Medina Valley ISD in Castroville, Texas. In May 2011, a group called Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit against Medina Valley in an attempt to prevent student speakers from praying as part of their speech at their graduation ceremony. My office supported the school district by arguing that the First Amendment does not require public schools to interfere with students' right to freely express their religious beliefs. A unanimous panel of three federal appeals judges ruled in favor of the school district and permitted Medina Valley High School seniors to pray at their graduation ceremony. The appeals court explained that there was no showing that the "prayers or other remarks to be given by students at graduation are, in fact, school-sponsored." The same is true here: The cheerleaders are expressing their own beliefs, not those of the school district. Just as Americans United for Separation of Church and State was wrong in Castroville, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is wrong in Kountze.



As the United States Supreme Court has observed, "[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 313 (1952). And as the Fifth Circuit's Medina Valley ruling demonstrates, school districts that allow students to speak freely about their religious beliefs have the Constitution on their side. A school district's policies regarding student expressions of religious belief should be guided by the educational goals of the district and an appropriate respect for students' freedoms of speech and religion-not by threatening letters that misstate the law and distort the First Amendment.



If you decide to allow the cheerleaders of Kountze High to freely display their chosen message on their banners at football games, and if the Freedom From Religion Foundation or any other group sues Kountze ISD as a result, my office stands ready to file a brief with the court protecting the cheerleaders' religious liberties.



Sincerely,



Greg Abbott



Attorney General of Texas





Quoting TarotMommy:

 



Quoting Fields456:

It wasn't the parents , the students , or the school that had a problem with it. It is a group that has nothing to do with the school why should they have any say in what that school does or does not do?


 If it's a private school then they have no say because the money they pay in taxes doesn't go towards funding for that school. Totally their business if it's a public school, though.



 



 






harehelper
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 12:50 AM

So it's ok to proudly show my faith, so long as I keep it hidden behind church doors?

Quoting Anonymous:

They can praise God in their own ways, and on their own time. If they want to proudly show their religious stand, that's fantastic. But do it in church - with other like-minded people. If you choose not to, then be prepared for this sort of situation.

Quoting harehelper:

See, this is something that people outside the Christan faith just don't get. The banner has nothing to do with you, they weren't out to harass or annoy you! All they want to do is to praise God and show their love for Him. Plain and simple.

Quoting Anonymous:

Bull. Why even bother making the banner - besides to get attention (which they did)? It's pointless. What if I don't believe that "God is for us"? What if I think God and the whole religion is a crock of shit? What if their banner said something relating to not believing in God? Maybe saying that they're BETTER than God? You would not be bothered by that?

Quoting I.am.Betty:

um, it would only ge pushing religion on you if the sign said something like repent sinners, you need God. get over yourself


Quoting Anonymous:

They should be banned, unless this is specifically a church-sponsored event. If it's not through a church and they had those banners, I would not attend - just for the moral of it. They have no right to push religion on anyone.


 




Jaybo
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:21 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting Anonymous:

 

Quoting Jaybo:

 

Quoting Anonymous:

 

Quoting Jaybo:

 Well to be honest  people promote thing everyday that go against  my beliefs and I dont go whining about it. Like your trashy mouth If I got a law suit for everytime I heard that word LOL SEE my point Freeom of speech only works out for people like you NEGATIVE . I hope that MY God is glorified in this earth and if it takes some young girls with POSITIVITY then so be it. You wouldnt care if you heard a bunch of kids cussing and being fools so why do you care so much about something that you dont believe in?? Turn the other way like I do when I hear  ppl like you

Quoting Anonymous:

I am glad these girls are standing up for what they believe in. No one is making anyone read the signs and convert they are to encourage the football team. They are not signs that say "turn or burn'" They are meant to be good and I dont understand why its such a big deal.  Christians really need to start getting a back bone and stop letting the world control them.

Christians really need to learn to shut the fu** up with their constant blather about what they think they're entitled to. What if "those girls" were standing up for buddha, or allah, or satan, or any other non christian icon?  Would you be as quick to tell other christians they need to grow a backbone and support the girls in what they are doing? I highly doubt it.

When I go to a football game, I go to watch the game, I do not go to a football game to watch a bunch of cheerleaders promoting their god on a banner.  

 

Girl, "YOUR GOD" is a myth, a fantasy, a make believe character that supposedly lives in the sky (give me a break people actually believe that shit) looking down on his "flock",  as is every other mythical god people the world over worship. If your god or any other god actually existed, we wouldn't have wars, we wouldn't have babies, children, & adults living with excruciating pain, we wouldn't have babies, children & adults dying horrible painful deaths & we wouldn't have millions upon millions of babies, children, & adults the world over starving to death, abused, & murdered every single second of every day.  

Wow, that is depressing.  The Bible did predict all that stuff though, like all the wars.  Not all Gods that people believe in are all love and happiness.  That doesn't mean that there is no possibility that none of them are real.  Maybe one of them is!  Anyway, the verses the cheerleaders used were positive and encouraging.  I've seen a lot worse things at football games that I "didn't go there to see". 

Ah yes, just what I expected,  the typical self centered non caring christian response. Oh,that's so depressing, that's so sad, tsk tsk.  But,  it's not me that's in pain, it's not me dying a slow horrible death, it's not me watching my baby starving to death, so it's not really my problem.

Bloody hypocrite.

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