In Texas, about the only thing as loved as high school football, is someone's faith in Jesus Christ. So when Kountze High School cheerleaders started putting Bible verses on signs and banners, almost everyone in town embraced it.
Well, almost everyone.
One parent was not so keen on the signs with religious statements and filed a complaint with the school district. The school superintendent checked with legal counsel and decided to impose a ban on the religious signs. But before the ban went into effect, a Texas state judge stepped in and said that the signs can stay, reports ABC.
The judge may not know it yet, but he may have just started a legal fight that could wind its way down to the United States Supreme Court.
As you may know, one of the founding principles of this country is the separation of church and state. There is no national religion and everyone is free to practice what they want. As part of the freedom of religion is the clause that the government shall not "establish" nor favor a religion.
So when a public institution like a public high school starts to put up signs with Bible verses, the line between separation of church and state starts to get blurred.
The Texas judge who said that the Bible signs can stay endorsed the arguments that the signs weren't made on school time, weren't made using school funds, and were done without any involvement of the school administration, reports ABC.
Still, the signs are being held up at school events (the football games) and the football players typically run through the signs as they make their way onto the field. So regardless of whether school time or funds were used to make the signs, they are still very closely tied to a school function.
An outsider having no ties to the school and having no knowledge of this legal battle, could easily believe that the school sponsored the signs. As a result, it would be very surprising if the Texas judge's ruling can withstand a challenge, a challenge that is surely to come.
- Judge lets cheerleaders keep Bible signs (United Press International)
- Kountze High School students fight to display Christian-themed football banners (KHOU)
- TX Gov. Rick Perry Sued over Prayer Day (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)