A group of cheerleaders in Texas have been facing scrutiny over something simple: their football signs. The cheerleaders of Kountze began making religious football signs after attending cheer camp, hoping it would lift the spirits of the players and encourage them during the games. Soon after the pep squad started making the new signs with Bible quotes on them, the school received a complaint. It was from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist non-profit organization.
The cheerleaders began adding Bible verses to their banners to help inspire the football players.
The messages were of strength, courage and loyalty, all based on Bible verses.
The cheerleaders came up with the idea after cheer camp, hoping to find a new way to support their football team. Many were receptive to the signs, but the atheist organization was determined to stop them creating any more.
The cheerleaders sought legal action, getting a restraining order so that they could keep making their signs.
However, the community, the schools and the courts are still battling to determine whether or not the use of religious phrases in signs are appropriate at football games.
A judge eventually found that cheerleaders’ banners are constitutionally permissible and that no law “prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events.”
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a brief, wanting to protect the rights of students who weren’t religious… and the debates roared on.
The debates have been intensifying, with each side providing evidence and there is no end in sight. All the cheerleaders wanted to do was provide a positive, faith-based message for their fellow students. Those who oppose their methods don’t want non-religious students to be pressured by the Christian messages. Currently, the cheerleaders are still making their religious banners, but soon court rulings will determine if they are “inappropriate and unconstitutional.”