published Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Speaking up for signs

Backers support Bible messages at football games

There was no shortage of religious messages Tuesday night at a rally in support of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School cheerleaders and their Bible-verse signs that were banned last week from football games.

People attending and speaking at the rally on Barnhardt Circle said the decision to ban the signs was an infringement on their freedom of speech.

“Our Constitution does guarantee that our federal government will not establish a religion. It will also make sure that we are allowed to exercise it without interference from the government,” said local youth pastor Jeremy Jones, one of the organizers of the rally that drew more than 500 people.

“That is what we need to fight for folks,” Mr. Jones said.

He said the cheerleaders have followed the law and decided to make the signs themselves.

“Now the government is telling them not to do it, and that is stopping our freedom of religion,” he said.

State Rep. Jay Neal, R-LaFayette, challenged the crowd to bring religious signs Friday night to put up in an area designated for the displays outside the school’s football stadium. And Rep. Neal urged people to display them in the stands as citizens and supporters of the LFO cheerleaders and football team.

“Our Founding Fathers had one thing in mind when they founded this country, and it was a Christian nation built upon the principles of Jesus Christ,” Mr. Neal said.

THE COMPLAINT

The controversy started after Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese took a complaint last week that the signs violated federal law by promoting religion at a school function. Mrs. Reese decided to move the banners off the football field.

“Personally, I appreciate this expression of their Christian values. However, as superintendent I have the responsibility of protecting the school district from legal action by groups who do not support their beliefs,” Mrs. Reese stated Monday in a release.

LFO senior cheerleader Taylor Guinn said she understands the superintendent’s decision but still feels shock at the loss of the squad’s signs.

“I’m sad and I’m angry about it, because we’re being silenced for what we believe in,” Miss Guinn said. “It was heartbreaking to know that our school system is just conforming to the nonbelievers and letting them have their way when there’s so many more people wanting the signs.

“Our freedom of speech and freedom of religion is being taken away,” she said.

Miss Guinn said she was touched and impressed by the groundswell of support from the community.

“It’s nice to know that we have not only our school and our football team behind us, but we have a whole community behind us,” she said. “It’s real awesome.”

Susan Bradley, one of the cheerleaders’ coaches, said the girls decided to use the remaining signs bearing Bible verses in the designated area outside the stadium. They will make a new sign for the football team to run through inside the stadium Friday night, she said.

Ms. Bradley said the use of inspirational signs started after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Some officials say the signs bearing Bible verses became a school tradition a little later in 2003, while others say they started 15 years ago or more.

“It’s just kind of a positive message that seems to have been appreciated by the community and by the school,” Ms. Bradley said. “Of course, it does represent a religious viewpoint. I think it represents something our school and our community stands on and believes in.”

The cheerleaders wanted to make the signs, the football team liked the idea of running through them and fans liked to see it, she said. The cheerleaders didn’t use public money or even donations to make the signs, she said.

“It seems like it was something that everybody was in unison about, so there was no problem,” she said.

FIRST AMENDMENT FIGHT

Senior Scholar Charles Haynes with the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., said this is an old First Amendment fight.

“The whole thing goes back to the dividing line the Supreme Court has drawn for many years now between school-sponsored religious speech — which is prohibited by the Establishment Clause — and student-sponsored religious speech, which may be protected by the free speech and free exercise clauses,” Mr. Haynes said.

The distinction is in the relationship between a “group” and a “school,” he said.

The signs violate the law because the cheerleaders, when they’re in uniform at a game, represent the school, he said.

“Even though ‘students’ are delivering the speech in this case — the cheerleaders are obviously students — they are doing it in their capacity as a school-sponsored group,” he said.

“I don’t know how a judge would rule, but I would say, from past cases, that the courts would see this as carrying school sponsorship, just like if the school football team came on the field with verses on their shirts,” he said.

Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High Principal Jerry Ransom said officials are trying to toe the legal line despite their personal feelings.

Mr. Ransom said he likes to see the community “take a stand on something like this,” despite the fact it’s not likely the ban will be reversed.

“I think that’s good that people are able to speak up,” he said. “If I was against it, we would have stopped it a long time ago. We have been in support of (the signs), but we have to adhere to what the Supreme Court and federal courts have ruled on.”

John Allen, a former football coach at the school who now coaches at Silverdale Baptist Academy, said he “knew this day was coming.”

“I used to get cards and letters from opposing teams telling me what a blessing it was to see our young people and community taking that stand. I never got one complaint,” he said. “To me, it’s a sign of the times.”

Mr. Allen said children now “will have to fight for their faith. We started (the signs) as a reflection of who we were as a community. There are churches on every corner in that community, and this was simply a message of all our faith, hope and belief.”

Staff writer Steven Hargis contributed to this story.

CHURCH, STATE AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH

School-sponsored groups, those that are initiated or formed by a school, cannot promote a religious message, said Senior Scholar Charles Haynes, at the First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C. Cheerleaders, sports teams or groups such as a student government organization are extensions of the school, he said. Clubs or other groups formed at schools by students, or student-sponsored groups, can display any message they like. A group’s relationship to the school is a deciding factor in whether they can deliver a public religious message, he said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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rdecredico said...

This is one major reason why the rest of the country cannot take the south seriously and realizes there is very little intellect at work with people down here.

September 30, 2009 at 9:08 a.m.
guest said...

So just because we are trying to stand up for what we believe in, we are ignorant? I'm sorry but we are not going to let people take our rights away.

September 30, 2009 at 9:37 a.m.
diamondr54 said...

I do not understand why one or two people can stop an action, when the majority is supportive. No one is forced to go to a ballgame. It is not required of any parent or student. Laws are made by majority vote. It is time for the majority to take this county back. This country is based on One Nation under God.Read the Pledge.

September 30, 2009 at 9:52 a.m.
splinda said...

Thank God for the good Christian folks in the South; otherwise, this country would have gone to Hell in a handbasket a long time ago. America needs them to balance out the wacko liberals on both coasts. It is high time we stand up to them and the ACLU!

September 30, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.
CollegeGraduate said...

There are too many fake Christians, especially in the south. These fake Christians go to church on Sunday and pretend to be holy, but turn around and become bigots as soon as they leave the church. Real Christians need to be heard and respected.

On another note, So if somebody is liberal that means they aren't Christian.... that's ridiculous. Why do people on this site always start liberal bashing in regards to everything?

I agree that the majority of the US doesn't take the south seriously because this region is filled with idiots. Listen to all these rural backwoods southerners, most of them can't speak correctly. Look at how the schools are performing compared to Northern schools, and the ones out West. Look at the high school drop outs rates, seriously high school is not hard, people are just too lazy down here in the ugly south.

September 30, 2009 at 10:08 a.m.

(SIGH)
I know.

The banners are not coming back.

September 30, 2009 at 10:08 a.m.

Oh how doing something decent and true brings the Haters out.

I applaud the courage, decency and intelligence of these Southerners who dare to stand on the Rights our Constitution gave all of us. Any of the school kids in this article, I'm willing to bet, are miles ahead of the Leftist thugs we're hearing from these days, intelligence-wise.

If this were NY or California, etc., where many schools have unlawfully banned Christians from having Bible Clubs after school and from inviting Christian speakers to address classes, yet Muslims, Wiccans, Atheists and La Raza groups are welcomed with open arms to speak, it would be game over.

The South still has brave men and women who raise their children to be righteous warriors. What great people you are!

September 30, 2009 at 10:13 a.m.
splinda said...

For a "CollegeGraduate" that sure was an intelligent response. Try getting your facts straight on your next comment.

September 30, 2009 at 10:13 a.m.
splinda said...

And I forgot "CollegeGraduate", let's compare Southern schools to Northern schools, which are far superior. Let's start with the Chicago school system where an honor student was just beaten with a 2x4 and stomped on to death. What's the graduation rate there and in Detroit, NYC, Cleveland, etc.? Sounds like they could use a little God and family values.

September 30, 2009 at 10:39 a.m.
HiDef said...

Why is this even an issue? If you want to pray and worship a god or religion go to a CHURCH.

I also challenge the newspaper to sit down with the cheerleaders and ask them what they really know about whats written in the bible. I'll bet none of them even know what they're fighting for.

September 30, 2009 at 10:58 a.m.
crtsports said...

It's against the law. It's that simple. This should be a non issue.

September 30, 2009 at 11:37 a.m.

I stumbled upon this article and I am disturbed. I support the cheerleaders. Since when does this nation have to give up their values for the minority who want to infringe on the freedom of speech of others?

If you do not like the signs than either A) Don't go to the game. B) Sit on the opposite side where the signs are out of view from your sensitive eyes. I for one support the cheerleaders freedom of speech. It is separation of Church and State, not separation of Church and Football...I think the problems we are facing as a nation are due to the censorship we are facing.

Our nation was founded on religion and freedom of speech. If you don't like either than get the f out!

September 30, 2009 at 11:41 a.m.

What has our nation come to when the Liberty Bell's inscription (from Holy Scripture) in Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof - Lev. XXV, v. x. By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania [sic] for the State House in Philada" could not be freely displayed on a sign by cheerleaders? "Now the Lord (Jesus Christ) is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty", 2 Corinthians 3:17. Can one have true liberty without the freedom of speech to express love to "our Lord" Who happens to be the same "Lord" mentioned in Article VII of the US Constitution?

Should the last verse of The Star-Spangled Banner be illegal to sing before all public school sporting events just because the poem's song ends in PRAYER? Is the Patriot's PRAYER from our National Anthem's song Poetic Justice as The Star-Spangled Banner's Last Verse of the Poem’s Song ends in Patriotism’s PRAYER?...

"Oh! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
BLEST with victory and peace, may the HEAVEN-rescued land (that's U.S. ) PRAISE The Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! (that's HIM!) Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just, And this be our motto: IN GOD IS OUR TRUST (Psalms 16:1)
And The Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave (Song of Solomon 2:4) O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!" PRAISE/PRAYS & Worship Written by Frances Scott Key (1779-1843).
America/My Country tis' of Thee is another poetic song’s last verse ending with Patriotism’s PRAYER (like 3 in 1, a poem, Prayer, & song); "Our Father's God to Thee, Author of Liberty , to Thee we sing Long may our land be bright with Freedom's Holy Light Protect us by Thy Might, Great God, our King!" Written by Reverend Samuel Francis Smith, Feb. 1832. So then Who is this God King?

Pilgrim Protestants came to America to escape religious oppression, not to see religious expression suppressed by the state. 1892, Feb 29, "This is a Christian nation..." in Holy Trinity Church vs. US Supreme Court as this NEVER overturned decision is best read in its entirety.
1776, the Founding Fathers relied very heavily on The Holy Bible as the following KeyWords/Phrases are also found in the US Declaration of Independence: "CREATOR, Nature’s GOD, DIVINE Providence, Supreme JUDGE of the World". 1777, Congress facing a national shortage of "BIBLES FOR OUR SCHOOLS…ordered 20,000 copies…to be imported "into...the States of the Union" (110th Congress 1st Sess. House Res. 888).
America's Judeo-Christian Religion was ordained & established, so much for the false premise of the 'establishments clause' to rid US of America's true heritage.

September 30, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.
EatonZ26 said...

Why is this so hard to figure out?

After School Games = School Sponsored School Sponsored = Funded by Government Government = Separation of Church and State

I do agree with "CollegeGraduate" on some of the points. I was raised in Chattanooga, went to school in the Midwest, Worked in Chicago and New York and now I'm working abroad. I have to admit, when I mention where I grew up to people I meet, the usual jab is about dumb rednecks who only hold on to their bible and gun and at the same time watch the rest of the world pass them by.

People need to wake up and understand that the United States is not a country that exist for Christians. Separation of Church and State is very clear and at times (like this article) need to be enforced very technically. Stop crying about it. Instead of spending time making more bible signs why don't they focus more time on their education so they can get into a reputable university rather than some no-name community college that most of these student will probably go.

September 30, 2009 at 12:04 p.m.
4chumps said...

How can we get these cheer leaders here in Texas? This is Great! Now just move the inspirational sign run-through off campus. Create another run-through on field stating "Hey You, We were inspired off campus.

Keep it going. Praise Jesus.

September 30, 2009 at 12:07 p.m.
whatsthefuss said...

PLEASE stop the name calling!!!! The law was not written to exclude God from school. Gods name is spoken every day in school with the pledge. It was written to allow all children from all walks of life and beliefs to attend and participate in public schools and functions without any feeling of exclusion. No child should be meant to feel that they are an outsider because their religious beliefs are not that of the majority. This is what makes a school public. The mention of Jesus Christ is the issue. Not all faiths teach the New Testament. Tollerance and acceptance of all beliefs with a mutual respect for others is the goal. We are not all cut from the same cloth or come from the same social groups. Community can only be achieved by practicing these two disiplines. We are free to worship in any setting we wish or not at all, but please leave our public schools open to all children to enjoy and thrive in without pressure from one faith or belief. Reading the comments, it is obvious a division exisits between us as a society. Lets raise our children to practice what we preach, not just preach. The GOLDEN RULE would be a great place to start. We have more in common with each other than we think!! Robert Parent Ringgold Ga. Father of 2 Catoosa County School children

September 30, 2009 at 12:13 p.m.
rickface said...

-diamondr54

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 and the words "under God" were added in 1952.

"This country is based on One Nation under God." The Pledge of Allegiance can not support this statement due to the fact that is was written over one hundred years after the founding of this country. That is all.

September 30, 2009 at 12:23 p.m.
huggheez said...

"Why is this so hard to figure out?" - EatonZ26

I agree, Eaton, this really should have been a non-issue. But not for the reasons you stated. Separation of church and state is what all people claim whenever Christians are told they cannot have any religious activities around any government funded operation. However, the "separation of church and state" applies to federally mandated religions. The government cannot force or endorse any religion to others. This does not mean that individuals within a government operation cannot show their faith or beliefs, it only says that it cannot be held responsible for funding operations that would promote one religion over another.

Anyone with half a brain, which most "Separation"-advocates claim to be the only ones operating with a fully funcitoning one, can understand that this was not a promotion of any one religion over another. It was an expression. Most of the people who complain about this issue don't even believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, so this really should not be an issue for them, either. To them, it should be as upsetting as if these cheerleaders held up a sign that said, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."

People are all about promoting tolerance until someone says that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, then their up in arms on how to silence them, whether it was a government establishment, or in a private establishment (see the bible study story from the pastor in San Francisco). If these cheerleaders had held a sign quoting the Surah, no one would have objected. I am fairly sure they would have been applauded for their courage. Of course, this is just speculation and holds no merit in the course of an intelligent debate of the freedom of speech, expression, and religion.

What is my point? These cheerleaders should be able to hold up any sign they want, so long as it does not violate the law. Holding a sign that contains a quotation from a book does no such thing. The people who would voice complaints over such a non-issue simply have a problem with those who believe in the Bible, not religious expression at government functions. If people can walk around, in a government building, wearing a turban (to shield their head in reverence to God) or wear a dot on their head (representing their third eye which allows all that is good in the world to enter their mind), then there should be no problem with people holding a sign that contains a Bible verse. Why is it such a problem, when those who complain about it believe the Bible to be pure fiction anyway, right?

September 30, 2009 at 12:30 p.m.
Jfreedom said...

More ignorance from the left. I wonder how these constitutional "experts" deduce that this is a separation of church and state issue? I assume that when they are talking about separation of church and state they are referring to the first amendment. Let's review: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." Cheerleaders making a sign DOES NOT constitute a law being passed or the GOVERNMENT forcing anyone to observe a certain religion. This event does seem to violate the second part of the amendment, specifically "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". THIS IS NOT A SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE ISSUE; THIS IS A FREE SPEECH ISSUE! But I don't expect the leftist kool-aid drinkers to understand that.

September 30, 2009 at 12:35 p.m.
JustOneGuy said...

The explanation by the First Amendment expert in the TFP story makes perfect sense. These banners are over the line because they are an "official" part of the game and therefore government sanctioned. As for the "we're the majority" argument, I would remind my Conservative Christian friends that they may not always be the majority. Freedom from government-endorsed religion is good for everybody -- even those whose religion the government would endorse. And finally, why does all this reaction sound and feel like a football game itself -- with banners and rallies and "Go Team!" and such? Speaking only for myself, I hear the voice of God in quiet, thoughtful, meditative times. Can't say I've ever looked into His face at a football game.

September 30, 2009 at 12:39 p.m.
cool68mommy said...

Do they teach government at LFO? Or history? I do not blame the cheerleaders for wanting to express support of their football team but I do blame the staff for not providing the knowledge and guidance that would have made it apparant that these signs were inappropriate for a school event. The Principal is now encouraging spectators to bring signs to the games and display them in the stands. The whole point of providing ALL students a chance to attend school functions, including but not limited to football games, without undue influence from any religious group has apparently been lost on him. His job is to lead the students and faculty and to enforce rules and laws in order to ensure that EVERY student is made to feel safe and that they have a place within their own school grounds.
I genuinely hope that this does not make the national news, I would be embaressed to admit that this issue is generating this much controversy when the law is clear. There are so many other larger issues facing the people in this community that would benefit from the passion and energy being spent "making signs" and holding rallies! Being a Christian does not mean that you must blindly follow the ideas of the "majority" or to step on the rights of anyone else in your pursuit of happiness! Try putting yourself in the place of the person who does not share your beliefs and imagine that everywhere you turn, you are faced with the view that your beliefs are wrong or invalid because they don't conform to your own ideas of God. As to the idea that those who don't like it should move, that is ridiculous!! How about those of you who were opposed to allowing your children to listen to Obama's address to our school children move to another country? Ridiculous as well! The flip side of Freedom of Religion is freedom from other's religious views being forced on another.

September 30, 2009 at 12:56 p.m.
cgma said...

I am one of the youth leaders at my Church. I am appalled at the ignorence of some people. To allow this ONE person to put an end to a tradition that has been running for quite sometime is in my opinion ignorant. I feel that the liberties in which this country was founded on should be of a greater evidence that we should support the student more than condemn them. I don't see anyone going to the powers to be if someone uses the Lord's name in vain when they stump their toe at a school event. Like if someone were to say "GOD THAT HURT!!" they would not find themselves on the chopping block or banned from a school event. Someone may very well find them a first aid kit and have them checked out by the school nurse. When in fact they should be looked at and pray for that God not condemn them for using His name in vain. The problem with society is everyone is affraid to tell the truth. The apstle Paul said it best when he was writing his letter to the Thessalonians...

1 Thessalonians 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope."

Notice here what was being said....we have to stay the course as Children of God and take no mind of those that do not know of the spiritual relm of God.

2 Peter 3:14 "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."

Don't worry guys and gals of LFO High.....you WILL be rewarded.....it is about time we are to take back this country...better yet the world!!!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

Fear not my friends.....do what you may. You are only fulfilling the prophesy that was fortold many many years ago. We should be rejoicinq!!!

I will support you guys and gals no matter what =!!.

September 30, 2009 at 2:11 p.m.
againstheresies said...

Let me see if I can understand this one. There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C. but we cannot put them on a temporary display at a school because…...? Nope, not yet.

September 30, 2009 at 2:39 p.m.
thetruth128 said...

I see a simple fix for this. Simply have students in their own clothes hold the signs as the cheerleaders are on the field

September 30, 2009 at 2:39 p.m.
Abe said...

I'll agree to have prayer in schools, if you'll agree that the prayer will be the Shema Yisrael.

September 30, 2009 at 2:59 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

"College Graduate" If that's really what you are, if you ar a graduate you don't have much intelligence to understand the first ammendment is freedom of speech, oh wait!!! There's also Freedom of rally!!! Oh and another, Freedom of RELIGION!!! We christians never proclaimed to be perfect, yes we fo to curch and read our bibles and yet we might want a beer one weekend, but you know what? We are human born into sin, that's why we accepted JESUS into our hearts to save us, because we are NOT perfect. I plan to go to the next game and protest wearing all the crosses and christian apparel I can find. It's time someone spoke the truth and saw the light, instead of blind, pathetic, judgemental sinners as yourself!!! I will be praying for you. GOD BLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2009 at 2:59 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!!!! THE SOUTH HAS RISEN AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS IS GOD'S COUNTRY, IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT LIVE IN AFGHANISTAN OR PAKISTAN AND JUMP ON THE OTHER SIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

September 30, 2009 at 3:03 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

NO ONE CAN TELL ME WHEN, WHERE AND HOW TO SERVE MY JESUS! I CAN EVEN PRAY AND READ THE BIBLE SITTING ON THE TOILET IF I WANT TO.

September 30, 2009 at 3:04 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

"J-E-S-U-S, JESUS IS THE BEST!!!"----goooooooooooooooooooooooooo JESUS!!!!!

She's a Jesus freak, jesus freak, super freaky, YEAH!

AND PROUD OF IT!!!!!

September 30, 2009 at 3:06 p.m.
Humphrey said...

yes. There is nothing stopping students from holding the signs. They can make the signs and hold them - that is their freedom of speech and freedom of religion. What they can't do is represent the school - and therefore the government - by wearing uniforms and holding the signs.

The flip side is the government could decide that wicca or whatever is the official religion, and that cheerleaders should hold wiccan signs and tell the schools to do that. That is what could happen if you don't have separation of church and state, and that is why everyone who is serious about their personal religious beliefs should fight tooth and nail to uphold separation of church and state.

Right now, there is nothing preventing students holding whatever sign they want to - bible versus, satanic versus, muslim versus, morman versus, catholic versus about the virgin mary, whatever. They just can't be representing the school and also endorsing a religion. I really think that everyone who is upset by this should take a moment and step back and think about it very seriously.

Just because everyone in that small community thinks they share the same set of beliefs doesn't make it OK for the government to endorse one belief over others. That opens the door for teachers, principals, coaches, governments to endorse religion, and I really don't think people want the government telling their kids how to do religion. Dangerous slippery slope. What if the teachers or principle or coach or government want to put a slogan about praying to virgin mary, or to the morman prophets, or that saturday is the sabbath, or they are Jewish and don't believe Jesus is messiah, or muslim, budhist, hindu, satanic, whitchcraft whatever? If a bunch of witchcraft girls suddenly made the cheerleading squad could they have pro-satan signs? But that wouldn't happen of course, because we "all" agree. What if you are the one that doesn't agree?

If you are representing the school (and it is a public school that is the government) you shouldn't be representing your religion, can't do both at the same time. You can represent your religion all you want - nobody will stop you - but you can't do it while you are representing the school.

September 30, 2009 at 3:07 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

Hey, I have a question, How come it's alright to pray with the coach before you go out onto the field, but you cannot pray or suggest religion on the stands?

September 30, 2009 at 3:10 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

One normal day at school, someone decided to bust out guns and shoot 28 people, injuring 15 and killing the 13 students. The students asked the kids if they believed in God and when the said yes, they were shot execution style. A little boy was crying when he returned to school and asked, "Jesus, why did you let this happen?" Why couldn't you protect your people." He said, "My child, I am not allowed in the school."

September 30, 2009 at 3:15 p.m.
gnaztee said...

Everyone is allowed to pray or suggest religion in the stands. Try to keep up.

September 30, 2009 at 3:24 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

See how dumb religous brainwashing can make some folks? They talk the most and listen the least. Please seek deprogramming and give up the cristian hypocrisy you hide behind out of ignorance. Evolution is logical, creationism is brainwashing, All religion is CULT WORSHIP, but they do make alot of money

September 30, 2009 at 3:27 p.m.
theFederalist said...

This country is based on One Nation under God.Read the Pledge.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

You reinforce the stereotype that southerners are undereducated hicks full of buffoonery.

Read the original pledge, written by a Christian Socialist...then think.

If you can't get basics like this right, we can't trust you with "important" stuff!

September 30, 2009 at 3:49 p.m.
Topher said...

I'm an atheist, but I don't have any problem with this. Any time you want to have a bunch of marauding teenagers shred Bible verses, go right ahead.

Seriously though, the Bill of Rights was written not to protect the majority, as they seldom need protecting, but to protect minorities. You may see a team prayer or holding up prayer signs as a morale builder, but to the Jewish, Muslim or atheist kid on the team it just shows him that, in the hearts of his teammates, he's really not part of the team.

September 30, 2009 at 3:50 p.m.
theFederalist said...

America needs them to balance out the wacko liberals on both coasts. It is high time we stand up to them and the ACLU! Username: splinda | On: September 30, 2009 at 9:59 a.m.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

You mean the same ACLU that sealed Rush Limbaughs medical records in court, right?

Your hatred of liberals reminds me of someone else who REALLY hated liberals, intellectuals, gays, you know, the whole ball of wax...

Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press - in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years.

  • Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pg. 871-872

Uggh, a "strong" Christian in faith and actions. Here I thought Jesus taught you folks tolerance and love....

September 30, 2009 at 3:52 p.m.
theFederalist said...

1892, Feb 29, "This is a Christian nation..." in Holy Trinity Church vs. US Supreme Court as this NEVER overturned decision is best read in its entirety. 1776, the Founding Fathers relied very heavily on The Holy Bible as the following KeyWords/Phrases are also found in the US Declaration of Independence: "CREATOR, Nature’s GOD, DIVINE Providence, Supreme JUDGE of the World". 1777, Congress facing a national shortage of "BIBLES FOR OUR SCHOOLS…ordered 20,000 copies…to be imported "into...the States of the Union" (110th Congress 1st Sess. House Res. 888). America's Judeo-Christian Religion was ordained & established, so much for the false premise of the 'establishments clause' to rid US of America's true heritage. Username: freedomOFJudeoChristianReligio | On: September 30, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.

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Everything you posted is by Deists. I'm sure you won't get this but let me elaborate...

You, like the other posters are historically inaccurate. Have you ever read about that case?

First off let's got back to our founders rather than a court case 120 years ago...Read the TREATY OF TRIPOLI

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen..."

Booya! gotcha! That's from our founders...1792 baby! Got any documentation from Paine, Jeffie or Franklin supporting you? I didn't think so!

Getting back to your oblivion of knowledge about what Brewer actually wrote...

Perhaps realizing how his phrasing could create mischief and misinterpretation, Justice Brewer published a book in 1905 titled The United States: A Christian Nation. In it he wrote:

But in what sense can [the United States] be called a Christian nation? Not in the sense that Christianity is the established religion or the people are compelled in any manner to support it. On the contrary, the Constitution specifically provides that 'congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' Neither is it Christian in the sense that all its citizens are either in fact or in name Christians. On the contrary, all religions have free scope within its borders. Numbers of our people profess other religions, and many reject all. [...]

Nor is it Christian in the sense that a profession of Christianity is a condition of holding office or otherwise engaging in public service, or essential to recognition either politically or socially. In fact, the government as a legal organization is independent of all religions.

Justice Brewer

BOOOM! you got served....with knowledge!

September 30, 2009 at 4:01 p.m.
theFederalist said...

you do not like the signs than either A) Don't go to the game. B) Sit on the opposite side where the signs are out of view from your sensitive eyes. I for one support the cheerleaders freedom of speech. It is separation of Church and State, not separation of Church and Football...I think the problems we are facing as a nation are due to the censorship we are facing.

Our nation was founded on religion and freedom of speech. If you don't like either than get the f out! Username: freedomofspeech2 | On: September 30, 2009 at 11:41 a.m.

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Ya but doing it with school funds, on school property, sanctioned at a school event it is unconstitutional. Read the bill of rights...that's my tax money, quit wasting it please....

If you don't like it, get the F out...

September 30, 2009 at 4:03 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

HEY TOPHER, JUST TO LET YOU KNOW...THERE ARE NO ATHIESTS IN HELL....THINK ABOUT IT!!!

September 30, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.
HiDef said...

To all the fundamentalists on here I ask, would you still be supporting the first amendment had the cheerleaders made signs with something opposed to Christianity on them? As long as it wasn't offensive but just an alternate belief, would you still come out and be supportive of them? Because when the Freedom From Religion Foundation wanted to put up a billboard in Dayton celebrating Darwin's birthday, NOBODY came to support them. In fact, none of the businesses would even allow them inside the city limits! The Christians saw something that disagreed with their beliefs and deemed it inappropriate. Where was the first amendment then? Who fought for their freedom of speech? Anybody?

September 30, 2009 at 4:10 p.m.
EPD1979 said...

EVERYONE JUST SHUT UP! JESUS RULES, THE EARTH DOESN'T....WE WON'T HAVE THE LAST WORD. HE WILL!!! GET A BIBLE!!!

September 30, 2009 at 4:10 p.m.
Topher said...

EPD1979 - I did. Since there is no heaven or hell, there wouldn't be any atheists in hell. And, if you look to the left of the "A" on your keyboard you'll see a key labeled "Caps Lock." Please press it once.

Thanks!

September 30, 2009 at 4:21 p.m.
CollegeGraduate said...

EPD1979 you are a joke. You're probably a fake Christian. Yelling I LOVE JESUS can't change what's really in your heard and mind. Did you even read what I posted? IF you did that means that you confirmed that the people at this "rally" are fake Christians who love on Sunday, and hate the rest of the week. God doesn't just pay attention to your actions and beliefs on one day. I myself am a Christian, but I don't push my believes on others. Other religions don't push themselves on me either. This protest/uproar or whatever is a joke also, there are more important issues in this country that has been going down the tube for a LONG time. I did originally get off topic somewhat and went into the fake Christian spiel, but I like reminding people that there are too many fake Christians in the south.

Also who said anything about drinking beer being bad? I usually don't respond to people who TRY to bash me on this site, but your idiotic remarks are indeed really idiotic.

Yes for the record I am a UTC college graduate, however I'm not proud of the school. I can count the good professors that I've had there on two hands, ha.

Anyways these posts aren't about me, I'm just trying to open the minds, but that's hard to do in this backwards city.

September 30, 2009 at 4:41 p.m.
cypressgreen said...

Taking the uniforms of the cheerleaders doesn't fix anything. They are still there as representatives of the school.

September 30, 2009 at 4:46 p.m.
cypressgreen said...

EPD1979: Actually, it's NOT ok for coaches to lead prayers, either.

September 30, 2009 at 4:48 p.m.
cypressgreen said...

Jfreedom, I wonder how these constitutional "experts" deduce that this is a separation of church and state issue?

I'll run and get you the phone number for the Supreme Court...the experts who did rule on this...hold on a sec'...

September 30, 2009 at 4:53 p.m.
slutide said...

This is a basic constitutional issue. As uniformed representatives of the school the cheerleaders represent the government. By holding a sign with religious quotations at a public school football game they are endorsing religion. This violates the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment. A student should be free to attend a public school football game without being presented by quotes from the Bible from agents of the school. If you were to allow the cheerleaders to have signs quoting from the Bible you'd have to allow quotes from the Quran, or any other religious book, as well. Anyone is free in the stands to hold any signs they want. But when it is done by agents of the school as part of a school-operated event, it becomes a government endorsement of religion which isn't allowed.

September 30, 2009 at 6:20 p.m.
TAzGa said...

Leave the Girls alone... they are not a government entity and are entitled to speak their minds. You liberal-minded-force-your-minority-belief blowhards need to be directing your "separation of church and state" attitudes and comments toward your president and the federal government and keep them from spending our federal tax money on Muslim schools, presidential addresses to honor Ramadan, Presidential dinners to celebrate Ramadan, presidential speeches, given world-wide detailing how Islam is such a positive influence in America .... that's my dollars being spent by my government, advancing a religion that is supported by terrorists and that I don't support. This, my friends, is where religion and government need separated.

I wish you'd leave these girls alone... they aren't costing tax payers and presenting a positive image... if you want church and state separated, start at the top and chastise our government's attitude towards religion, not these girls.

It concerns me how you folks will slam people that do things that innocently promote good christian values. Yet, you sit back and tolerate breaches of state sponsored religious events that are far worse than cheerleaders holding up signs 10 times a year.
Get a life and learn a little about allowing those around you to practice their freedoms, and beliefs, without your forcing them to do things your way because you think you have a right to infringe on theirs. The Constitution cuts both ways... deal with it.

September 30, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.
christian55 said...

America supports these christrian girls....to the jewish organizations who are threatening the school district with lawsuits we say...GO BACK TO ISRAEL YOU SCUM

September 30, 2009 at 6:32 p.m.
tpdunn79 said...

God did not write the bible men did! With so many different religions who's to say Christianity is the right one?? who's to say any are right men wrote them NOT GOD. If someone said God spoke to them today they would get put in a mental institution. They can protest all they want. There is something called separation of church and state and it is a public school. I'm sure everyone there is not Christian. Brainwashing starts at a early age. These girls are obviously brainwashed and need to open their science books. They need to open a lot of books and leave the bible closed. After being told those verses over and over 16-18 years who wouldn't believe them. That is unless they were smart Oh wait their cheerleaders my bad....

September 30, 2009 at 7:31 p.m.
TAzGa said...

tpdunn79... There is NO reason that you should tell someone they are brainwashed and need to "open a lot of books", and making statement that they aren't smart because they are cheerleaders.... just because they don't have the same beliefs you have???? so,in your tiny mind, anyone that disagrees with your views can't be smart??? grow up little man and leave these girls alone. And give me 1 ... just 1 is all I'm asking for... 1 thing that was posted on one of their banners that reflected an attitude that was AGAINST higher moral standards!

September 30, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.
lonelywolf said...

I dont know what this has to do with Nort,South, East,or West. All I know is we the people needs to start taking back Amercia from the Goverment. They have just about killd all of us, as far as I know we have a right of speach and religion. why should we take sings down that repasents God, or why cant we have the Ten comandments in the corut houses, or any were eles we want to. The Stiff neck, backsliden cristians, that use to stand for something, is nothing now.People Let's Stop The Goverment NOW before it's to late. If your reading this and don't like it so what I don't care, I'm an american and my four fathers gave me the rights to say what I will. But one can't do anything about things by his self, I need others that will take a real stand for the right reasons and that is God, Family, and Church.

October 1, 2009 at 12:22 a.m.
GodIsLove7 said...

(1 of 2) First of all let me say that I am sorry to all of you who have had encounters with ‘Fake Christians’. It’s sad that I would have to apologize for them and that they do exist. I also would like to say that not all Christians are ‘Fake’. There are many people in the world who claim to be Christian but have never had a relationship with the True Holy God. I am not trying to say that I am perfect or that I am any better than any of you. However, I do know that my God exist; that He is Omniscient, Omni-present, all powerful, all loving, & 100% Holy. I am glad to say that by His grace I can walk in a personal relationship with Him and that I will meet Him face to face one day in Heaven to spend eternity with Him. I am not any of the things that my God is, and I am thankful for that because I would fail miserably. I am not perfect and like many other Christians I do make mistakes. I am thankful that my God sent His Son Jesus Christ not only to save us from our sins that we so easily commit, but to also be an example of how we should live our lives. I also do agree that this issue is the sign of the times and it does break my heart. I am glad to know that I can have a personal relationship with my God that CREATED me to bring glory to Him. When it comes to evolution think about these points: 1. Darwin developed his theory of evolution based upon Finches and the fact that they had different beaks, while admitting that he just didn’t want to believe in God and Creation. 2. The finches that he based his theory on ARE STILL FINCHES. 3. Darwin said that if his theory of evolution were true then we would find it in the fossil records… we have not; however, we have found evidence of biblical disasters such as the flood. 4. (Considering the ‘Big Bang Theory’) Who put the universe in existence in order for it to bang? 5. If the motto of evolution goes something like “from the goo, to the zoo, to you” then who put the goo there? 6. The basis for the thought that we as humans evolved from apes comes from the fact that apes and humans have 96% dna similarities, however that makes for millions of differences. Watermelons and clouds both are made up on 96% water; however, that doesn’t mean that they are the same or have ever been. 7. Apes and Humans and many other creatures have a common design, but wouldn’t that mean that they have a common creator? 8. Considering the amount of diff creatures/organisms living on this earth and their uniqueness, wouldn’t it make more sense that the perfect God created all of those things for His glory? 9. Think of something as amazing and unique as the human eye and its amazing abilities; and even the human brain and its thought capacity. It seems pretty crazy to me to think that it just happened. 10. To say that life just happened would be like saying that an airplane can be created by putting all of its parts into a box and shaking it up and out comes the airplane.

October 1, 2009 at 1:24 a.m.
GodIsLove7 said...

(2 of 2)On another thought… The Bible (God’s Word) has lasted throughout history and will continue to last. It has proven to be true throughout history and throughout my own life that God’s plan will always prevail no matter what happens. The reason that other religions have yet to prevail is because the Holy Spirit is at work. God allows things to happen according to His plan through the Holy Spirit.

All of this to say… I do agree that church and state should be separated. However, this does not mean that Bible Verses should not be able to be used as encouragement for the football players.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

This in my opinion describes the world today. People have become so wrapped up in themselves that they have forgotten the reason they were created. However, where do they expect to go when they die? The American dream is to go to college, get a good education, get a good job, get rich, and die happy. But what happens to this when we die? Is there really any purpose in that? When you die and you meet God face to face, you will have to tell Him that you lived your life pleasing yourself and ignoring His existence.

Let me leave you with the thought that the opportunity for a relationship with God who loves you more that you could imagine is there. It’s up to you to recognize His existence and invite Him to be your life. I can also promise you that when you do die, you will know the truth and you will not get another chance to change your mind when that day comes. :/

October 1, 2009 at 1:25 a.m.
sueplappy said...
  1. "The Majority" was supportive of the initial campaigns against Jews in Germany.
  2. If these cheerleaders displayed quotes from the Koran, Sutras, Upanishads, Confucius, or the non-OT portions of the Tanakh, these idiots would be up in arms against them. They only want freedom for themselves.
  3. If you want school-sponsored prayer, you had better be ok with wiccan, Muslim, Jewish, Jainist, Unitarian, Mormon, Scientologist, Buddhist, and all other religious viewpoints and prayers being conveyed to your children. Would you be ok with that? Be honest.
  4. GodIsLove7, please try reading Origin of Species and stop repeating lies about Darwin's work in the Galapagos.
October 1, 2009 at 1:54 p.m.
christian55 said...

"the majority" of germans were supportive of the nurenburg laws you are correct now ask yourself WHAT DID JEWS DO TO GERMAN SOCIETY TO BRING ABOUT SUCH A BACKLASH FROM THE CITIZENRY? 4 years after germans removed jews from the media,government,banking,law,and reinstated christianity as a state religion germany was a economic powerhouse and world power and hitler was 1939 time magazines man of the year,I wonder what our country would be like if we enacted the same laws?? THINK ABOUT IT

October 1, 2009 at 11:29 p.m.
LILBIT123 said...

These are the same poeple that oppose dressing up for halloween in school. It is just a fun day for kids, but some people said that it has to do with witches and devils so it has been removed from school. You can't have it both ways!!

October 2, 2009 at 7:46 a.m.

Why is this Donna Jackson of Paradyne Consulting wanting the records of the paint, black roll paper, tape from the Cheerleaders who are making the banners if she has no intention of trying to ban the activity. Is it that she is motivated by some outside forces? Why doesn't her company, Paradyne Consulting do something about her activities on company time. Are they involved?

October 6, 2009 at 2:50 p.m.
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