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Of Bible Verses, Cheerleaders and the Constitution

Well the law and common sense won a round in Texas:

A judge has ruled that cheerleaders at a Southeast Texas high school can display banners emblazoned with Bible verses at football games.

 

In a summary judgment of a lawsuit filed last year by Kountze High School cheerleaders, State District Judge Steve Thomas ruled Wednesday the banners are constitutionally permissible. In a copy of the ruling obtained by CBS affiliate KFDM in Beaumont, Thomas determined: “The Kountze cheerleaders banners that included religious messages and were displayed during the 2012 football season were constitutionally permissable. Neither the Establishment Clause nor any other law prohibits cheerleaders from using religious-themed banners at school sporting events. Neither the Establishment Clause nor any other law requires Kountze ISD to prohibit inclusion of religious-themed banners at school sporting events.”

 

The ruling ends the case in Thomas’ court. The lawsuit had been scheduled for trial June 24.

 

In October, Thomas granted an injunction requested by the cheerleaders allowing them to continue displaying religious-themed banners pending the lawsuit’s outcome. Thomas at the time said the district’s ban on the practice appeared to violate free speech rights.

Go here to read the rest.  It is all too frequent that when efforts are made to suppress religious speech that school districts cave, which is what this school district did initially in this case to the complaint of a group of Wisconsin (!) atheists. Fortunately the cheerleaders and their parents and supporters were made of sterner stuff and have prevailed, at least for the moment.  Of course attempts like this to remove displays of religious belief in public have nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with attempts to drive Christianity from the public square.  Such efforts to censor speech fly directly in the face of both the free speech and free exercise guarantees of the First Amendment.   It is also part and parcel of a political movement within our society to treat religious believers as second class citizens who enjoy at best a grudging tolerance, so long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and practice their silly superstitions behind closed doors.  That this political movement is deeply un-American and goes against the liberty won for us by the Founding Fathers is as obvious as it is frightening.  However, Christians and Americans are used to outlasting threats to their liberty and prevailing.

Cheerleaders and Bible Verses

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

4 Comments

  1. These cases are just absurd. Do the rule of procedure require the ‘public interest’ shysters and their straw plaintiffs to pay the court costs and the defendants’ legal bills?

  2. Unless there is a provision under a statute awarding fees and costs Art, a court would have to find that a suit was completely without merit before assessing fees and costs. I agree with you that these types of suits where activist groups drum up a straw plaintiff would be brought far less frequently if the losing party had to cough up fees and costs routinely for the prevailing side.

  3. Donald R. McClarey,
    Agreed. I noone would complain if the cheerleaders put up a Mark Twain quote. Why should the court waste its time on this? Its not as if courts are despirate for cases.

  4. Taxes are owned by the taxpayers even while being administered by the administration. All public square, land and waterways are owned in joint and common tenancy by each and every citizen. Government does not own the public square, the people do and the people are a free people. with a free will and a free soul endowed by our Creator. Anyone who rejects our founding priciples, rejects his country, his citizenship and commits treason.

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