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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Judge rules in favor of freedom of speech and religion.

A Texas judge has dealt the new atheists a blow after running in favor of free speech. In a case brought by disgruntled atheists, a group of middle school cheerleaders were sued for making references to God on their spirit banners. After originally being told to stop, a judge has reassured them, they are within their First Amendment rights and may continue making banners.

The Kountze Middle School cheerleaders have truly proved that none can be against you if God is with you.

The Kountze Middle School cheerleaders have truly proved that none can be against you if God is with you.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Cheerleaders, banners, Christian, religion, freedom, faith, lawsuit, football


HOUSTON, TX (Catholic Online) - Finding that there is no law against what they were doing, a judge ruled that the cheerleaders violated no laws by holding banners during football games that made references to God.

Koutnze Middle School cheerleaders say they have a tradition of making biblical and religious references on the banners which they hold at the end of halftime and the players run through when they return to the field. It's a widespread tradition practiced at schools across the nation.

However, when the "Freedom from Religion Foundation" a litigious atheist organization whose purpose is to destroy any public references to God, threatened to sue the school if it did not order the kids to stop referring to God on their banners.

Initially, lawyers for the tiny school district advised the school to stop, so the cheerleaders complied, but filed a case with the courts. The district then allowed the banners to continue but said it retains the right to control what is written on them.

At the heart of the matter is whether or not the banners violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Judge Thomas ruled they did not violate the clause because the speech originated with the students.

Students still have the right to initiate prayer and make religious references in public schools. This is distinct from the schools themselves, which may not endorse a particular religion.

Lawyers for the cheerleaders demonstrated correctly for the judge, that the banners did not ask anyone to accept Christianity or represent an endorsement from the school. They did not violate anyone's rights.

Even Governor Rick Perry weighed in on the controversy, praising the girls he said, "'showed great resolve and maturity beyond their years in standing up for their beliefs and constitutional rights."

For now, the cheerleaders may continue displaying their banners of Christian love and support, however the atheists are unlikely to back down. It has not been announced if the case will be appealed. Regardless, another challenge will be brought by the atheists who have proved relentless in their pursuit of Christian persecution.

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