Friday, October 05, 2012

"I feel like it's getting out God's word to those who need it."

School district officials ordered the cheerleaders to stop putting Bible verses on the banners, because they believed doing so violated the law on religious expression at public school events. In response, a group of 15 cheerleaders and their parents sued the Kountze Independent School District and its superintendent, Kevin Weldon, claiming that prohibiting the students from writing Christian banner messages violated their religious liberties and free-speech rights.

On Thursday afternoon, the two sides met in a courtroom on the second floor of the Hardin County Courthouse. It had all the trappings of a high-profile courtroom drama: Lawyers from both sides haggled over the Texas Constitution and the cheerleaders’ own constitution, a police officer with an assault rifle and binoculars was stationed on the roof, reporters filled the jury box, and one witness — Kieara Moffett, an 11th grade cheerleader — teared up on the stand during cross-examination.

The superintendent’s decision has outraged many students and their parents, and has brought national attention upon a small town about two hours outside Houston. The cheerleaders’ supporters have put up lawn signs and started a Facebook page called Support Kountze Kids Faith that, with nearly 50,000 members, far exceeds the town’s population of 2,100...

Each side’s lawyers cast their clients as courageous: The teenage cheerleaders, for standing up to the school district to protect their religious views, and Mr. Weldon, himself a Christian and a former football coach, for taking an unpopular position in a largely conservative Christian town in order to, as he sees it, uphold the law.

After a daylong hearing that included the testimony of two cheerleaders, District Judge Steven Thomas of Hardin County decided to extend for an additional 14 days more a temporary restraining order that he had put in place two weeks ago. The move prevents district officials from enforcing the ban on religious signs for 14 days and allows the cheerleaders to continue to create and display the banners at the home game on Friday night as well as other coming games. It seemed likely that the judge would hold another hearing in two weeks.

“I feel like it’s getting God’s word out to those that need it,” Kieara, 16, said of the banners.
Yeah, people need to see bible verses and they need to do so at the football games to which they go.
And yeah, Kieara, you surely feel that way,  I submit.

I don't know how far it goes back, but the arrogance of this stuff is breathtaking.  Regardless of what eventually happens in this case (which depends, naturally on case law being followed, which in this benighted time and that benighted place might be different than what one might expect), regardless of what happens, it certainly doesn't reflect well on the bible sputtering cheer-leaders, their parents, or their religion.

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