Thursday, October 01, 2009



TN: Cheerleaders’ religious signs draw fire



We read:
"Community members are rallying around Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School cheerleaders after they were banned from displaying signs with Bible verses urging fans and players to ‘commit to the Lord’ and ‘take courage and do it.’

The banners — the paper ones that football players crash through at the beginning of games — have been common sights in the school’s football stadium since 2003, local officials say. …

Catoosa County Schools spokeswoman Marissa Brower said a Fort Oglethorpe resident lodged a verbal complaint to Superintendent Denia Reese last week, saying that the display of a Bible verse on the football field is a violation of federal law.”

“The cheerleaders are not trying to push a religious cause, to shove religion down someone’s throat,” said local youth minister Brad Scott, who was LFO High’s class president in 2004. “The cheerleaders are just using Scripture to show motivation and inspiration to the players and the fans.”

The mayor said football coach John Allen made the signs a tradition around 2003 and it has continued ever since. “If it’s offensive to anyone, let them go watch another football game,” he said. “Nobody’s forced to come there and nobody’s forced to read the signs.”

Local resident and 1992 LFO alum Jeremy Jones called the decision “premature.” “To act on the complaint of one person ... seems premature,” Mr. Jones said. “The cheerleaders have raised their own money for this project and have worked hard to make these signs.”

Source

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Student led religious activities are protected.

The school board should know that.

Anonymous said...

Happy Blasphemy Day, everyone!

David W. Hunter said...

Maybe one day people will understand that the Establishment Clause does not mean citizens are not allowed to express religious perspectives in public.

Calling this a violation of federal law is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"And in the end, the majority will bend to the whims of one" ..... Satan

Anonymous said...

Exactly which federal law prohibits banners on football fields containing any religious words? Is it that pesky, nonexistent, separation of church and state law that comes in many faces based on how the ACLU feels like applying it on any given day? Is that the law?
How exactly does the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” get twisted in to not allowing banners on high school football fields that contain religious words? If anything you could say the cheerleaders Constitutional rights are being violated because of the last part of the sentance "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", seems to me they are being prohibited their right of free exercise.

Crazy

Bobby said...

From a legal point of view I see nothing wrong with what the cheerleaders are doing.

But from a moral point of view, its ridiculous to mix religion with football. Football games are not about religion, they're about cute girls dressed in skimpy outfits and big jocks tackling each other as they chase a ball. They're about beer drinking and shouting obscenities at the other team. They're the modern version of the gladiator games at the coliseum, without human sacrifices but with the possibility of injury and in some cases, permanent disability.

Bringing religion to a football game is like having mass at a bordello. It makes no sense to me, but if people want to do it, so be it.

Nutcase said...

Bobby, how do you make the leap from football to a whore house?

Apparently you still can't grasp the concept of the first amendment. Let me spell it out very slowly...

OR...THE...FREE...EXPRESSION...THERE OF!

Get it now?

Also morals have nothing to do with this. This is about a right. You either have it or you don't there is no middle ground. The constitution is not a “living document” or a collection of suggestions by the founding fathers. This way is how we got the "separation" myth in the first place.

BTW the first ammendment applys to the GOVERNMENT (Congress shall make no law...) not to me or you.

If you are allowed to criticize me for my religion then I can criticize you for not having one. Free speech, and it does not stop at the church door either!

Don’t like it, do bad. Majority rules in America, if seeing a bible verse upsets you delicate sensibilities then look away or don’t come to the game.

A little history lesson:

The phrase "separation of church and state" is generally traced to an 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, where Jefferson spoke of the combined effect of the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

IT IS NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION, GET IT!!!!

I do not want some pope or priest making policy decision FOR us but he has every right (if a citizen of THIS country) to make his views know in any way he wishes. THAT is the spirit of the first amendment and the constitution itself!

Last thought, why is it when ONE person complains about anything religious (Christian, Muslims are ok) it has to go, but when ONE MILLION march on Washington they are nuts and are to be ignored, marginalized and laughed at?

Peace all!

Stan B said...

Bobby -

Wow, I thought I was cynical.

Football is about physical competition, yes, but it's also about sportsmanship, character building, reveling in victory, and learning from defeat.

It is, in effect, a microcosm of life. Maybe it's because religion has no place in your own life that you cannot see its place anywhere else.

And that may explain the complainant in this case as well.

Anonymous said...

I think what Bobby is trying to say is that legally the cheerleaders should have every right to do what they please but are religious displays appropriate on a football field can be debatable (not in a court of law)

Bobby said...

Nutcase, read my post again:

"From a legal point of view I see nothing wrong with what the cheerleaders are doing."

Get it? I'm not arguing against their first amendment right to do this.


"Football is about physical competition, yes, but it's also about sportsmanship, character building, reveling in victory, and learning from defeat."

---Football players have a reputation for torturing outcasts. Cheerleaders are stereotyped as being sluts, or those so-called "virgins" that give handjobs and bj's to protect the integrity of their hymen. I'm generalizing of course, but I don't look up to athletes. It's funny how O'reilly always gets upset when athletes do something immoral, it's funny how he sees them as role models for our kids that should know better. Well, I am cynical like you say. Maybe sports have some virtues like you say, but I tend to look at the negatives.

If you don't believe me, look at blacks. Millions of blacks play basketball, a few of them will get jobs in the NBA, the rest will either become criminals or are already criminals.

"It is, in effect, a microcosm of life. Maybe it's because religion has no place in your own life that you cannot see its place anywhere else."

---Religion has a place in the privacy of my own home. Organized religion bores me and while I respect public displays of religion, they can be annoying.

Besides, I think it's disrespectful to mix the sacred with the profane. Religion is supposed to be sacred, decent and good. Sports aren't necessarily so, and I'm talking about both the fans and the players.

In Europe hooliganism is common before, during and after their soccer games, in America we've had football riots, in baseball steroid abuse is common. Did you know for example that domestic violence increases after a football game?

And what about the preferential treatment athletes enjoy at all levels? Such as teachers letting dumb football players get the grades they need to continue playing.

Tell me, would it make sense to have prayers at Wrestlemania, a boxing match, hockey or one of those no-holds barred ultimate fighting championships?
If not, then why does it make sense to bring religion to the football stadium? Morally it doesn't make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

The "silent majority" is now paying the price for all those years of silence and living by the rules. It is not a truly free country where one person can change the lives and wants of tens-of-millions, no matter what the issue.

TO ARMS!

Anonymous said...

Tell me, would it make sense to have prayers at Wrestlemania, a boxing match, hockey or one of those no-holds barred ultimate fighting championships?

Sure. Why not? If a person wants to pray, who are you or anyone to say that they are wrong?

If not, then why does it make sense to bring religion to the football stadium?

Religion and religious beliefs are not something that you wear like a sweater. You have them within you. They are part of your being. They are what helps define you. You cannot simply leave them at the door with the hat check girl.

Anonymous said...

"Religion and religious beliefs are not something that you wear like a sweater. You have them within you. They are part of your being."

As well as the rest of their superstitions.

Joey said...

Anon 8:18 - Men are by nature 'religious'. If they don't have a god then they make one. It appears that you have created one yourself.

Anonymous said...

Man invented god to deal with the concept of infinity.

Dean said...

Bobby: It surprising your comments were misconstrued. The point made in your first post were crystal clear.

Good post. Obviously, we agree.

Bobby said...

"Sure. Why not? If a person wants to pray, who are you or anyone to say that they are wrong?"

---Part of what i like about being a libertarian conservative is the freedom to make moral judgements and call things "wrong" if I see them as wrong. Jesus spoke against the pharisees' praying loudly at the temple, He knew the difference between private devotion and public spectacle. If the cheerleaders want to be godly then why are they wearing such skimpy outfits and performing risque routines?


"Religion and religious beliefs are not something that you wear like a sweater. You have them within you. They are part of your being. They are what helps define you. You cannot simply leave them at the door with the hat check girl."

---Are religious beliefs something you have to shove on everybody's face? Would you be comfortable sitting on a plane next to a couple making out? Should pork be removed from school cafeterias because it offend muslims?

Frankly, I'm very skeptical of people who express their religion so publicly just like I'm skeptical of secularists that condemn religion with the same fervor.

And no, I don't hate God, I love God, I just don't need to see Him at sports events. I also don't like it when gangster rappers praise the Lord at the Grammies. I think modesty when it comes to the deity is a virtue, and by the way, do you think is right for a football coach to lead his entire team in prayer? Can you guarantee that the coach won't turn the player who refuses to pray into an outcast?


"Bobby: It surprising your comments were misconstrued. The point made in your first post were crystal clear.
Good post. Obviously, we agree."

---Thanks Dean, I'm glad we do.

Anonymous said...

G-d forbid you mention G-d or the Bible at a public school.

Anonymous said...

Bobby,

Let me guess. You were one of those tortured outcasts that could never get a cheerleader.

Because some people associated with football, or sports in general, misbehave, you claim that it is not moral to include religion in these events. I would like to suggest that that is evidence on why religion should be included. Maybe someday all those heathens and oh so smart atheists will finally get it.

By the way, I love your data. You write "Did you know for example that domestic violence increases after a football game?"

Honestly, I did not know that. I do know however, that correlation does not imply causation.

Anonymous said...

---Part of what i like about being a libertarian conservative is the freedom to make moral judgements and call things "wrong" if I see them as wrong.

It also allows you to make proclamations without backing or support which you have tendency to do.

Jesus spoke against the pharisees' praying loudly at the temple, He knew the difference between private devotion and public spectacle.

That's correct. He knows the difference between praying in an attempt to be seen as pious and an earnest prayer. He condemns the fake piety prayer, but does not ever condemn prayer in public. It appears that you are the one that is mistaking what Jesus taught.

If the cheerleaders want to be godly then why are they wearing such skimpy outfits and performing risque routines?

Proof please. If you look at the picture, there is no way that these kids can be said that they are wearing skimpy clothing. So do you have proof of your accusation? Do you have proof the routines they perform are risque? Or is this just another baseless attack on your part?

---Are religious beliefs something you have to shove on everybody's face?

I looked at the picture again and didn't see anyone's face. Do you? In fact, you see great support from the community on this issue.

Frankly, I'm very skeptical of people who express their religion so publicly just like I'm skeptical of secularists that condemn religion with the same fervor.

I am skeptical of people that make baseless claims such as you do.

And no, I don't hate God, I love God, I just don't need to see Him at sports events.

That's okay. He's there whether you want to see Him or not.

I think modesty when it comes to the deity is a virtue,

Is it modesty to claim things that aren't true as you do? Is it modesty to make up lies about incidents as you do? I am just curious when this sudden pang of modesty kicks in for everyone else, but yet you don't have to live it.

and by the way, do you think is right for a football coach to lead his entire team in prayer?

The courts have ruled that the coach is an employee of the school system and as such may not lead a prayer. In other words, legally he cannot. Do I think he should be able to? Yes. That pesky First Amendment says he can.

Can you guarantee that the coach won't turn the player who refuses to pray into an outcast?

Can you guarantee anything from people? Can you guarantee the atheist coach won't refuse to play a religious player? Can you guarantee that a coach whose daughter just stopped dating a player won't play that player? I can't guarantee that a kid won't be played for any number of reasons and you can't assume that he won't be played for those same reasons.

I've been around players and coaches a large portion of my life and I can guarantee you that the one thing that matters to them is winning on the field. How they accomplish that is done with different degrees, but ultimately when a coach and his team steps onto the field, it is about the scoreboard.

Generally speaking, the people that claim "the coach didn't like me...." are the people that think they are better than they really are. They believe they need to be given a spot rather than earning it. I've seen players and parents with a sense of entitlement much more than I have seen coaches take some sort of action against a player for a difference in religious beliefs. (In fact, I have never seen it, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It is outside of my experience and given your writings, I would bet it is outside of yours as well. It is just another baseless attack.)

By the way, go here if you want to see your accusation of coaches taking their religious belief out on a player:

http://tinyurl.com/lfct99

Stan B said...

Bobby,

---Religion has a place in the privacy of my own home. Organized religion bores me and while I respect public displays of religion, they can be annoying.

I'm sorry that your Religion, whatever it may be, is not something you "feel" strongly enough to actually have it influence your behavior outside your home.

Those of us who are Christian are commanded by the founder of our "annoying" religion to "go forth and make disciples of ALL men, baptizing them....and teaching them..."

If you believe your religion is true, and your God tells you to spread it, that's what you do. Otherwise, why bother believing?

InFides said...

Hello Good Gentles All!

I feel the need to say that it is well to remember that Jesus went to where the sinners were. It makes no sense to try to save the saved. It is those whose souls are in peril that need God's help.

If, just for the sake of discussion, these football players and cheerleaders are such awful people then the presence of God and the need for prayer is all the greater.

Pax,

InFides

Anonymous said...

InFides, well said and absolutely correct

Bobby said...

Hey 12:35 AM, why don't you pick a pseudonym like the others? I recognize you from your writing, I have debated you before.


"Proof please. If you look at the picture, there is no way that these kids can be said that they are wearing skimpy clothing. So do you have proof of your accusation? Do you have proof the routines they perform are risque? Or is this just another baseless attack on your part?"

Ky. mother upset by football player son's baptism
http://www.whas11.com/lifestyles/religion/stories/whas11-local-090908-teen-baptisted.15f79bcbb.html

High School Cheerleaders Suspended for Flashing Crowd During Britney Spears Routine
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,311971,00.html

U of I sheds risque cheerleader uniforms
http://www.nwcn.com/sports/stories/NW_091608IDN_idaho_cheerleader_uniforms_TP.82f17874.html

Maybe guilt by association is unfair, but the world of football does have an ungodly side.


"I looked at the picture again and didn't see anyone's face. Do you? In fact, you see great support from the community on this issue. "

---I saw a big banner with a religious quote. Yes, it's free speech, yes, it's legal, but is this the place for scripture? I don't think so.


"Is it modesty to claim things that aren't true as you do? Is it modesty to make up lies about incidents as you do? I am just curious when this sudden pang of modesty kicks in for everyone else, but yet you don't have to live it. "

---This is a debate arena so modesty is not expected, but in the real world I am modest. I don't shove my libertarian beliefs down everyone's face, I don't even wear nobama t-shirts or anything that makes me stand out from the crowd. Christianity teaches that before you judge a man you should walk a mile in his shoes.


"The courts have ruled that the coach is an employee of the school system and as such may not lead a prayer. In other words, legally he cannot. Do I think he should be able to? Yes. That pesky First Amendment says he can."

---Would you feel the same way if the coach was a devout muslim and suddenly your son felt pressured to join in chants of "Allah Ackbar?" Or what if he's an atheist and the kids had to sing a humanist song?


"Can you guarantee anything from people? Can you guarantee the atheist coach won't refuse to play a religious player?"

---A coach who did that should be reprimanded, no question about that.


"By the way, go here if you want to see your accusation of coaches taking their religious belief out on a player:"

---That's different, that's a memorial for the death, that celebrates an individual so his preferred religion can be showcased.

Read this article:

Sex Scandals, Stadium Sponsors, and National TVJust three of the reasons to boycott big-time high-school football
http://www.slate.com/id/2173804/

Here's a quote:

"School system rules mandated Easterling's suspension [for allegedly raping a 14 year old girl in the bathroom] from the team for 10 days. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the state championship was less than a week away. Fortunately for the Bulls, principal Bernard chose not to suspend his running back. Easterling rushed for 157 yards in the title game. Once Northwestern won the state title, ESPN greenlighted the September game against Southlake Carroll."

Yeah, I'm sure they prayed together before every game. I'm sure their cheerleaders had banners with bible quotes, but in the end, winning a football game was more important than pushing a sinful running back.

Anonymous said...

Maybe guilt by association is unfair, but the world of football does have an ungodly side.

So the answer to the question is "no, I don't have any proof of the accusations I made against this school, this team, and this group of cheerleaders."

---I saw a big banner with a religious quote. Yes, it's free speech, yes, it's legal, but is this the place for scripture? I don't think so.

Your opinion is noted.

---Would you feel the same way if the coach was a devout muslim and suddenly your son felt pressured to join in chants of "Allah Ackbar?" Or what if he's an atheist and the kids had to sing a humanist song?

If the kid is allowed not to participate, I don't have an issue with it.

---That's different, that's a memorial for the death, that celebrates an individual so his preferred religion can be showcased.

Clearly you didn't read the article. There was a coach whose religious beliefs differed from a player and the player also got his daughter pregnant yet that did not affect the player / coach relationship.

Yeah, I'm sure they prayed together before every game.

Actually, they didn't. Florida is very much against prayer before games. So once again, you made a baseless accusation.

InFides said...

Hello Good Gentles All!

Hello Bobby!

"Christianity teaches that before you judge a man you should walk a mile in his shoes."

I think you are confusing the old Indian saying (walk a mile in a man's moccasins) with the Biblical injunction to "judge not lest ye be judged."

BTW, it OK and indeed reasonable to judge bad behavior. A criminal's bad behavior is certainly open to criticism. What Christians are not to do is make statements about how someone will be finally judged. That is for God alone to decide.

Galatians 5
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Galatians 6
1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

Pax,

InFides

Anonymous said...

BTW, it OK and indeed reasonable to judge bad behavior. A criminal's bad behavior is certainly open to criticism. What Christians are not to do is make statements about how someone will be finally judged. That is for God alone to decide.

People don't realize that "judge" means to "pronounce a final sentence." It does not mean to "discern what is right and wrong."

Your post is dead on.

Bobby said...

"I think you are confusing the old Indian saying (walk a mile in a man's moccasins) with the Biblical injunction to "judge not lest ye be judged.""

---You're right, I got confused. Thanks Infides for the correction.

"If, just for the sake of discussion, these football players and cheerleaders are such awful people then the presence of God and the need for prayer is all the greater."

---I see your point there, I'm not sure how to answer. On one hand it's true that Jesus did associate himself with less than perfect people, on the other hand I have trouble mixing sports with religion.

I do not know why people engage in religious activities during football games but not during boxing matches. Does football attract a greater number of Christians than boxing?

My objective is not to condemn those who pray and bring religion to a football game but to simply ask why they do it. Who came up with the idea?

InFides said...

Hello Good Gentles All!

Hello Bobby!

"I do not know why people engage in religious activities during football games but not during boxing matches. Does football attract a greater number of Christians than boxing?"

This is a really interesting point. Why some sports and not others?

I have not seen HS boxing. Perhaps someone can tell us if prayers occur before HS boxing matches.

If God is not remembered then perhaps the Christian boxers are forgetting something?


"My objective is not to condemn those who pray and bring religion to a football game but to simply ask why they do it. Who came up with the idea?"

This is my opinion but as I see it Christians consider that no situation is inappropriate for rememberance of God. All things flow from Him and His grace. If we are fortunate enough to be at a football game, or the office, or anywhere then God be praised and thanked.

If one believes that God is responsible for the blessings he receives then a 'Thank You' to God is by no means unwarranted. We say 'thank you' to our fellow men who by no means do as much for as God does.

The thing I find odd are the people who criticise our lack of manners when we forget to thank someone who opens a door for us will criticize our thanking God for the infinitely greater blessing of being alive and together in this place.

If I can take a moment to thank my fellow man I can certainly take a moment to thank God.

Pax,

InFides