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Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case
October 18th, 2012
04:14 PM ET

Cheerleaders win temporary injunction in high-profile free speech case

By Jason Morris, CNN

Dallas (CNN)– Cheerleaders from a small eastern Texas town have won the first battle in their crusade to display Christian religious messages on banners at their high school's football games.

State District Judge Steve Thomas of Hardin County implemented a temporary injunction Thursday in favor of the Kountze High School cheerleaders, and by setting a trial date of June 24, 2013, Thomas effectively allows the cheerleaders to keep displaying Bible-quoting signs at Kountze athletic events through the end of this current school year.

Macy Matthews, a 15-year-old Kountze sophomore, was eating lunch at cheerleading camp last July when her friend Megan became inspired by images she saw on social media.

"She saw a picture on Pinterest of a team that had made a run-through sign with a scripture on it, and as we were sitting down eating, she showed us and asked if we would be interested in doing that for the football season. So, we all talked about it," Matthews remembered. "We all loved the idea and thought it was really cool and encouraging."

Macy's mother, Coti Matthews, said the girls were excited to use Biblical phrases they considered motivational and uplifting for both the Kountz Lions and their opponents.

"It's their Christian belief, and they liked the idea and thought it was very positive, instead of doing traditional banners that say things like, 'Cage the Eagles,' or 'Bash the Tigers,' she said.

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Instead, before the first three home games this season, the football players bolted onto the field through banners bearing New Testament verses such as "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13; "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14; and "If God is for us, who can be against us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31.

Phrases such as those have embroiled the cheerleaders from the small east Texas town of Kountze in a legal controversy: Are the banners, when used at a public school event, a legitimate individual expression of free speech, or do they violate the concept of separation of church and state?

The cheerleaders recently found out via an intercom announcement during the last period of school that they were no longer allowed to use Bible verses on their run-through banners. Macy Matthews said the decision came abruptly, with no explanation. "I was shocked, but I was also very hurt that we couldn't do it anymore, and I didn't understand how we were violating any rights," Matthews told CNN.

Thomas agreed enough to impose the injunction in Matthews v. Kountze Independent School District, ruling that, among other things, the plaintiffs would "suffer a probably imminent and irreparable injury in the interim" without the injunction.

Texas' Attorney General Greg Abbott praised the judge's ruling.

"Today's decision is an important victory for the cheerleaders' freedom of religion. The Constitution has never demanded that students check their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door. Students' ability to express their religious views adds to the diversity of thought that has made this country so strong," Abbott said. "Texas law supports students' right to freely express their religious beliefs without discrimination. We will not allow groups or individuals to wage a war on religion by trying to intimidate students into embracing a secular mindset."

How this case went to court

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, that advocates the separation of church and state, ignited the spark that brought the story into the national spotlight. The organization said it received a complaint about the religious nature of the cheerleaders' signs from somebody in the community, but citing privacy concerns, wouldn't reveal any additional details. The foundation then sent a letter to the Kountze Independent School District, claiming that the religious nature of the cheerleaders' signs was illegal.

Based on a precedent set in a 2000 Supreme Court case, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe, the Kountze Independent School District's attorneys advised Superintendent Kevin Weldon to immediately ban the religious banners. In that case emanating from southeast Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that it would not allow the broadcast of student-initiated and student-led prayer over the public address system before high school football games.

After the Kountze Independent School District's decision, the cheerleaders and their families filed suit on September 20. Judge Thomas issued a temporary two-week restraining order later that day, allowing the cheerleaders to continue using their "spirit run-through banners," and extended that order another two weeks on October 4.

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Thomas Brandt, the lawyer who represents the Kountze ISD and Superintendent Weldon, says this situation is very similar to Santa Fe v. Jane Doe, and in good faith, they asked the court for clarity and interpretation of the law so they can do the right thing.

"The school district is trying to walk a very thin line here, and to obey the law. That's the primary motive, the primary focus of the school district," he said. "On the one hand, we're trying not be endorsing any particular religion. On the other hand, we're not trying to be hostile to religion. We're trying to walk that very thin line of this elusive neutrality that we are required to achieve."

Texas intervention

On Wednesday, the state of Texas intervened, filing a petition with the Texas District Court of Hardin County to support the Kountze cheerleaders on the basis of defending the constitutionality of Texas statues.

"We will not allow atheist groups from outside the state of Texas to come into the state to use menacing and misleading and intimidating tactics to try to bully schools to bow down to the altar of secular beliefs," Abbott said Wednesday.

In a statement, the Attorney General's office explained that the Texas Religious Viewpoints Anti–Discrimination Act requires school districts to treat a student's voluntary expression of religious views in the same manner that the district treats a student's expression of any other point of view.

"Those banners, which the cheerleaders independently produce on their own time with privately funded supplies, are perfectly constitutional. The State of Texas intervened in this case to defend the cheerleaders' right to exercise their personal religious beliefs - and to defend the constitutionality of a state law that protects religious liberties for all Texans," the statement read.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry even Skyped with the cheerleaders last week to show his support.

"As government leaders, we owe it to people of all religions to protect expressions of faith, to ensure everyone has a right to voice their opinions and worship as they see fit," Gov. Perry said.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation said it was "shocked" and "flabbergasted" at the intervention by Attorney General Abbott and Gov. Perry, calling those actions "highly unprofessional." The foundation's lawyer, Randall Kallinen, accused the politicians of pandering to their Republican constituents for votes.

"It's 100% politics. In their party, that is a fact that it's in their platform to be more favorable to the religious right," Kallinen said.

He added that he thinks today's ruling was "purely a political decision," and that if the case was tried in federal court, there would be a very different outcome.

"I doubt the case will even go to trial," Kallinen told CNN. "The people being sued and the judge have to be re-elected, so I don't see how we can get very far."

Interpreting the First Amendment

Kallinen argued that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from endorsing a particular religion.

"People have freedom of speech. So, individuals have freedom of speech, but also there is the right that the government shall establish no religion. So, the question becomes, 'Is what the cheerleaders are doing private speech,or is it school-sponsored speech?'" Kallinen said. "What the school district is saying is, 'You are in the uniforms that have the name on it. You are in the property of the school. It's a school football game, and you are putting these religious banners onto school property. Therefore, it is school-sponsored speech.' And when it is school-sponsored speech, then it is subject to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and that is that the government should not promote, endorse, or advance a particular religion."

Mike Johnson, who is representing many of the cheerleaders' families as senior counsel for the Liberty Institute - a nonprofit group which says it is "committed to defending and restoring religious liberty across America" - disagrees that the banners are school-sponsored, and argues that this is a quintessential example of students' private free speech and expression.

"If you have student-led, student-initiated expression, it is to be regarded as private speech. And because it is private speech, it can't be censored or silenced by the government, short of some reasonable limitations on school kids such as obscenity or a material and substantial disruption to the school day. We don't have any of that here," Johnson said.

Interpretation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is something Brandt says can be "a bit confused and confusing."

"Most legal scholars and many judges will admit that the opinions that come out in the Establishment Clause area have been lacking in consistency," Brandt told CNN. "There doesn't seem to have any clear guidance as to individual circumstances."

Kountze locals say town is "united"

A Facebook page started after the school district's decision called "Support Kountze Kids Faith," now has over 48,000 members, far surpassing the reaches of the roughly 2,100 residents of Kountze.

Coti Matthews says the whole town of Kountze supports her daughter and the cheerleaders, and believes they should be able to exercise their freedoms without interference.

"It was student-initiated, student-oriented. The school doesn't pay for any supplies. The school doesn't buy their uniforms. The school does not pay one dollar for anything having to do with cheerleading," she said. "The parents buy the uniforms, the camp clothes, shoes, pom-poms. The school doesn't purchase the paper or the paint or anything to make those banners."

Her daughter Macy looks forward to making religious-themed banners for the rest of her high school career.

"I would like to do this every year," Macy said. "We get into it pretty big."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Courts

soundoff (859 Responses)
  1. Lolly

    I'm sure that when the Lord was handing down these sacred words, he was totally thinking about high school football. Plain and simple it at a public school event. The school puts limits on what you can do and say at events such as that. Religious words should be no different. Wouldn't it be neat if these girls put all this same time, energy and passion into helping others less fortunate as opposed to fighting for their right to put glittery letters on banners?

    November 12, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • J.W

      Wouldnt it be neat if atheists helped people less fortunate instead of fighting against cheerleaders' rights to make banners?

      November 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  2. tvelection

    This is a public school and a school sanctioned event. If it was a private Christian school or a church group then by all means endorse a particular religion, but not at a public school of diverse religions and beliefs. I wonder how the high school and Governor would feel if the situation was with two Muslim cheerleaders holding up verses from the Koran? Because one display is no more appropriate than the other. Apparently you can express your religion in this Texas school . . . if it's the "right one." In this Texas town they want the religion of the majority to have special dominance over all other religions at so cheeleaders can hold a banner at a school function. It is innappropriate. Hopefully the school is forced to stop. This veiled proselytizing at a public school (funded) event is blatantly establishing a religion with verses from religious text. Someone should offer them new uniforms to hold up Koran verses, if they refused then who is dictating speech? Certainly not the gov't that prefers no establishment, rather a anachronism of a public school that wants to espouse only the majority's religious literature at its events.

    November 1, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Hobbling Bob Dobbs

      It's fucking Texas. Did you expect something other than ignorant knee-jerk religious jackasses?

      November 1, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Selendis

      again, first city in the nation to vote in a muslim mayor, so probably pretty open to verses from the Koran.....

      November 3, 2012 at 5:25 am |
    • tvelection

      They elected a Muslim Mayor, that's fine, inclusive (but not school based). I hope that isn't a justification for the cheerleaders' actions. The point about the Koran is that after that maybe they should display the star of David and versesfrom the Torah, then a Wiccan tenet, regardless if they've elected a Wiccan official or not. What the cheerleaders are doing, in the capacity of cheerleaders, is not their function nor are they there for religious endorsements to the crowd. If those students want to practice evangelism they can go into the town as residents and hold up signs all day. If this town is so open-minded they can elect an atheist Mayor and then cheerleaders can hold up a sign that "You have to win it t yourselves, there is no god," that's equally as innappropriate as what they are doing now.

      November 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  3. neil

    I have a question for all those here who are knocking religion.

    Do any of you attend this high school?

    I would think the students and parents should be the ones to decide if they want to allow the banner. If you don't like the banner, don't run through it, don't read it, don't donate to help make it.

    The school is neither endorcing or condoning the banner, just saying the students have a right do it.

    Why is it okay for you to tell me there is no God, but it's not okay for me to tell you there is a God?

    November 1, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • LinCA

      @neil

      You said, "I would think the students and parents should be the ones to decide if they want to allow the banner. If you don't like the banner, don't run through it, don't read it, don't donate to help make it."

      The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      The intervention by the State of Texas clearly violates it. By intervening and allowing this religious exercise on public property, the State of Texas, in effect, made a law that respects and establishes a religion.

      Also, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment says: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

      By not protecting the individuals that don't share the particular delusion from it being forced upon them, the State of Texas failed to afford equal protection of their right to freely exercise their religion.

      You said, "The school is neither endorcing or condoning the banner, just saying the students have a right do it."
      The school did the right thing and protected all students from the religious bullshit. The State fucked up.

      You said, "Why is it okay for you to tell me there is no God, but it's not okay for me to tell you there is a God?"
      I don't think very many atheists are trying to deny you the right to believe whatever bullshit you want. Stupidity isn't illegal, and nobody is trying to make it so. All they want is to be free from some delusion being forced on them. If you keep the fairy tales and nonsense to yourself, and keep it out of mine, you won't hear from me.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • L

      @LinCA – you are 100% correct. If the school sponsored it (the Principal said they had to do this), then they would be wrong. It was not done this way, so the people that interviened was wrong.

      November 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • J.W

      So are you saying it should be illegal for me to make a sign with a Bible verse and go to a school event? If the banners are not mandated or paid for by the school it is not a violation of the Const1tution.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  4. whenwewere25

    if personal private views are allowed, then we can put banner of presidential candidates too, commercial advertisements, etc; bring it to court and let it be decided; if not satisfeied with the decision then vote for those who will change the rules; majority wins.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  5. Lisa Lampanelli

    I bet if it was Islamic slogans the school would not allow it.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:16 am |
    • Selendis

      ummmm, not sure references to muslims or allah count for much here. do a bit of research. Kountze Texas, first city in the nation to vote in a muslim mayor. So, get as upset as you like, but don't assume things you know nothing about.

      November 3, 2012 at 5:23 am |
  6. Andrew Klein

    Okay, let's just make this simple. Are you a public school? If yes, move to question two. Do you receive public funding that can be linked to Federal dollars for education? If yes, refer to the general separation of church and state and move to question three. Will you obey the law and take your religious horse puckey out of your publicly funded organization? If yes, there is no problem. If no, revoke Federal funding for this school and any other school that gets the same idea.

    This is very simple. Why must we over complicate it?

    October 21, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • huh?

      1) do any of you have jobs?

      2) look at the purpose of the idea (not a law) of separation of church and state. The PURPOSE for the concept is to keep government OUT of religion, not the keep religion out of government. There's a big difference.

      These students are learning at a very young age that they have the right to express their opinion in a non-offensive way. They are not offending or slandering anyone who does not agree with them. If that time comes, then they should be suspended from school. For now, shut up and get a hobby.

      This is a waste of time and attorney fees...

      October 29, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • L

      @huh? you are 100% correct

      November 8, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Dreamer

      this is a bunch of young girls who came up with an idea while they were sitting talking one day. This is THEIR idea not the schools and they have every right to buy their own paper and paint and speak their mind..whether or not you believe in god is not the point. If YOU want the right to tell us religion is stupid then you can not take the right from us to have our own beliefs. So the next time one of the closed minded non believers wants to stop a believer from talking, they should consider that taking the right of one takes the right from the other group

      November 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  7. Max

    I expect they'd be wildly upset if some cheerleaders want to display Islamic verses or some nice Hindu inspiration. Maybe they should take turns, a different god every game with a little biology or physics throw in the cycle? Physics would be good, suggested force and vectors for the football... ra ra ra!

    October 20, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • JBrian

      I couldn't agree more. That's the problem. There are beautiful ideologies and sayings in so many sacred texts, the Bible included, but I wonder if these same people would come to the defense of displaying one of those.

      October 21, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  8. celietz

    Atheism the anti-religion religion.

    October 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Atheism is not a religion. Please consult a dictionary.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Max

      That's like saying off is just another TV channel :)

      October 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
  9. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Texas' Attorney General Greg Abbott: "Texas law supports students' right to freely express their religious beliefs without discrimination. We will not allow groups or individuals to wage a war on religion by trying to intimidate students into embracing a secular mindset."

    Does Abbot want to encourage every student to develop religious beliefs of some kind? Is that within Texas law?

    October 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Chad

      Nice strawman..

      He clearly expressed his purpose, no?: "Texas law supports students' right to freely express their religious beliefs without discrimination"

      October 20, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Actually the second part of Abbott's statement is more interesting. What exactly is it that intimidates students into embracing a secular mindset? A chance to enjoy a religion-free environment while they learn and recreate?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Chad

      I think what you missed (or perhaps would enjoy seeing) was the coercion, preventing students from expressing their religious faith..

      remember?..
      @Tom Tom the other One "some of us are entirely devoted to making the workings of our own Government properly atheistic"

      October 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Properly atheistic, yes. Religion-free. Free of your religion and of any religion that anyone may want to promote in its place or to advance unsubstantial claims against unbelief.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Chad

      !@TTTOO "Properly atheistic, yes. Religion-free. Free of your religion and of any religion that anyone may want to promote in its place or to advance unsubstantial claims against unbelief."

      =>right, so, fortunately for me, and unfortunately for you, the consti tution guarantees freedom of religion, that must really, really bother you.

      You must consider North Korea, USSR, Cuba and China your atheist Eden.. :-)

      why are you still here?

      October 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, I'm still here because this society can be taken in exciting new directions. There is a lot to be done here. I look forward to taking you along.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Fail for Chad

      Chad, that wasn't a strawman. That was a direct quote by an actual relevant person. A straw man fallacy is requires the person's position to be misrepresented, and as that is a direct quote, it IS the correct position. No misrepresentation.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Chad

      Its been tried....

      The most important thing is to know how to awaken in the still undeveloped mas ses an intelligent att itude towards religious questions and an intelligent criticism of religions. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

      People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some clas s or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

      Religion is poison Mao Zedong

      October 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Chad

      "Does Abbot want to encourage every student to develop religious beliefs of some kind? Is that within Texas law?"

      -strawman

      October 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Nope

      Tom asked legitiamte questions. She did not make any representations about his position. Not even close to a straw man.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Chad

      fair enough,
      lets just say then in answer to that question: "no, there is nothing in Abbot's statement or actions that would lead one to believe that TTTOO question could be answered "yes""

      October 20, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well Chad, I can't see how a school-sanctioned presentation of the virtues of atheistic secularism would not be taken as intimidating students into embracing a secular mindset – which Abbott says groups or individuals will not be allowed to do. Religious ideas can be freely expressed, though. Perhaps we should ask Abbott if he favors a religious mindset over a secular one.

      October 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO "Perhaps we should ask Abbott if he favors a religious mindset over a secular one."

      =>and... that demonstrates what exactly?

      oh, I remember.. you want all of government to be "properly atheistic"...

      @Tom Tom the other One "some of us are entirely devoted to making the workings of our own Government properly atheistic"

      October 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Yes Chad, some of us are entirely devoted to making the workings of our Government properly atheistic. We have a vision for America and care enough to work towards it.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Chad

      satan has that same vision.

      you are on the wrong side

      October 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Satan, Chad? I guess I forgot that the God of Abraham comes with Satan (along with a bunch of other stuff). Well, if you're going to believe in it you might as well believe it all.

      October 20, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "you are on the wrong side."

      Says the Vegetable who thinks there are actually "sides."

      What an idiot.

      October 20, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  10. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    not-GOPer-

    Chad's doctrine is gaseous in nature and has to be forced into his blow-up God by compression against rational thought (humor him). Even within its final confines it is disordered and tends to escape so he has to return again and again.

    Here you go Chad: by the standards of mainstream Christians, who have adhered to Trinitarianism for some time now, you are a failed defender of Christianity, having avoided supporting the triune God. One of the reasons no one really knows what to make of you.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Chad

      I dont attempt to defend derived doctrines, I defend the bible
      "What does the bible say" is the first question that should always be asked.

      Your frustration clearly stems from the fact that what you desire is to critique mans organization and mans dogma. What you have clearly no interest in is seeing if that dogma has any basis in the actual biblical text.

      Your objections are with man. Why not find our what God is saying?

      Oh, and my doctrine is very clear:

      For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15

      The reason you dont like it, is it's true.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Chad, you are quoting a book that has no more basis in reality than the Iliad. I know you will hate that statement, because it is true.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Chad

      @tallulah13 "You are quoting a book that has no more basis in reality than the Iliad."

      =>I have never found a factual error in the Bible.. did you?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad- "The reason you dont like it, is it's true." I have said that I like the feisty rabbi Yeshua who lost his life after a short career of opposing the religious establishment of his society. I don't care for what your lot have made of him. I have to ask, though. Did he appear to you?

      Also, be more plain. Are you saying your doctrine is true, I know that it is, and I don't like it?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO "I have said that I like the feisty rabbi Yeshua who lost his life after a short career of opposing the religious establishment of his society. I don't care for what your lot have made of him""
      @Chad "So, you are saying that the doctrine of 1 Corinthians 15, is something that "my lot has made of Him", because it is based on the truth of His resurrection.

      @TTTOO ". I have to ask, though. Did he appear to you?"
      @Chad "no, he appeared to people ~2000 years ago

      @TTTOO "Are you saying your doctrine is true, I know that it is, and I don't like it?"
      @Chad "Yes, it is true.
      You said above that you dont like it " I don't care for what your lot have made of him"""
      I do believe at some level that you know it is true, why else would you spend so much time and effort attacking it?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad- "I do believe at some level that you know it is true, why else would you spend so much time and effort attacking it?"

      I suppose you have asked this of a quite a few people. I oppose religions because they are something that allow a few people to control many, they inspire irrational actions, and sometimes they inspire things that are plainly harmful. I think they may arise spontaneously in societies from features of the way people process information. They may be inevitable. I hope they are not, and that a society that is not naive about them may be able to avoid them. I think they should be opposed as we oppose other things that are used to exploit people, and as we oppose other things that are harmful.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chad

      @TTTOO "I oppose religions because they are something that allow a few people to control many"

      @Chad "I'm not "controlled" by any religious inst itution. We dont live in a theocracy...

      people control other people.. how exactly is Christianity enabling anyone in the US to control anyone else?

      October 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • How exactly is Christianity enabling anyone in the US to control anyone else?

      Well I suppose when it happens, none dare call it Christianity.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  11. Matthew 17:17

    “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”

    I guess the banner holders should be boys in those little tight things.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  12. Chris, CO

    Bible verse cheerleading? Sounds like a great concept! You go gals! Spread some cheer. :)

    atheists will forever remain a morose bunch

    October 20, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • why

      Never seen a joyful atheist they are always frothing with anger and bitterness

      October 20, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "Be aggressive!"

      "B-E aggressive!"

      "Happily seize their infants and dash their heads against the rocks" (Psalm 137)

      October 20, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      why – you should really get out more.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      seriously, why – I was chuckling out loud at the image when I wrote my little chearleader chant above, and now I'm off to go fishing on a beautiful Saturday! Quite happy, and not frothing at all...

      October 20, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Cheers

      "We love Jesus yes we do, we love Jesus how bout you?"

      "We love delusions yes we do, we love delusions how bout you?"

      October 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Chris, CO

      Yeah... 'cause there's nothing more inspiring to people than "biblical cheer" 8O

      Yikes !

      Peace...

      October 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Oh, Chris, you don't have to lie to make your fellow christians like you. In fact, isn't "bearing false witness" a sin according to your bible? Come on, you can tell the truth: You really don't know about the emotional life of atheists. You are just making untruthful generalizations about a group who doesn't believe the same thing that you do, possibly to be offensive or maybe just to reinforce that "us vs. them" mentality that seems to be a primary value of religion.

      October 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  13. Rufus T. Firefly

    Conservative religion promoted by underage girls in skimpy outfits at a kids event that ritualizes aggression....

    Sometimes you have to have spent some time outside the US in order to see it, but everyday America can be so absurdly contradictory at times.

    October 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Is bringing so many primal things together in one place uniquely American? Imagine chewing Redman and drinking Dickle while taking it all in.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Hi Tom Tom, no it's not uniquely American, but it's characteristically American to be unaware of it all, and then to consider it barbaric when the same things are expressed by other cultures.

      October 20, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  14. kountzer

    Per Luke 4:16 and other places in the bible Jesus observed the seventh day (day known and saturday) from Friday evening sunset until Saturday evening sunset. WWJJ on a Friday night? He wouldn't be concerned with a high school football game. His true and biblically informed followers would not be there either. To me this whole Kountze cheerleader stuff is much ado about nothing.
    I live in Houston, but I was born in Kountze, and grew up in nearby Silsbee. I've been using the online name kountzer for years.

    October 20, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • Info

      kountzer,

      Can you clear up the pronunciation of your town's name?

      Is it:

      Kountze, Texas – /ˈkuːnts/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_names_in_English_with_counterintuitive_pronunciations

      or
      does it rhyme with "ounce"?

      or ?

      October 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  15. CheeringforJesus

    My only problem with it is the cheerleaders are doing this during a school sanctioned activity, where other dessenting groups could use a simple football game to promote any other religion or topic. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Where does it stop?

    Its not the message, it is how it is delivered, plus this is hardly a lesson on code of conduct. In the real world you even have a code of conduct spelled out in your employment contract dictating how you represent your company outside of company's time.

    October 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • LoLo

      Yup, this isn't preparing these girls for the real world where there are actual non-Christians living. Then again, how many of them will actually move away from this backwater, and be anything more than baby-making machines?

      October 20, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @LoLo

      " Yup, this isn't preparing these girls for the real world where there are actual non-Christians living. Then again, how many of them will actually move away from this backwater, and be anything more than baby-making machines? "

      Hmmm... I think they are preparing for the "rapture." No need to prepare for the real world, 'cause Warrior Jesus is going to come and destroy all of the non-believers anyway, so... why bother.

      Go... Jesus !!! YaY !!!

      Peace...

      October 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Louis

      therealpeace2all
      Yup, Bible Belt Christians are the only Americans who want to have a king again, and actually welcome his invasion and subjugating all of us. I actually question their patriotism.

      October 20, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Louis

      Careful... on the questioning of the 'bible belt' and their "patriotism." You might find yourself nailed to a cross and being burned at the stake for suggesting such a thing.

      Peace...

      October 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  16. dilberth

    Here is my contribution to the cause. This is my letter to these insufferable little cheerleaders and that dreadful Governor, Rick Perrywinkle.

    They nailed him to a cross, but he's still a freaking pain.
    He died two-thousand years ago, and still he has no brain.
    He's just a worthless corpse, a pile of stinking shiit,
    With just a couple of bullets, we can terminate that twit.

    Entering from the rear, Jesus f u cks you in the a ss
    He's just another rapist, in another ghostly mass.

    We won't take it anymore, we just won't take that trash.
    Jesus is just a putrid pimple, with a syphilitic rash.
    We won't take it up the butt, we won't listen to that flunky.
    We got a lot of bullets, we intend to kill that monkey.

    You though it would be cute, You thought it would be fun,
    Wait till we blow his head to bits, with a freeking Uzi gun.

    Jesus on a plate, Jesus a la carte. Jesus is a gaseous cloud. Just an enormous stinking fart.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Dippy

      Pretty subtle, but some people may get your point.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  17. And now, heeeeere's the Kuntz High Cheerleaders Praising Jeeesus!!

    Are you ready? Uh huh!
    Are you ready? Uh huh!

    We are the Beavers!
    Mighty Mighty Beavers!
    We're gonna clap! (clap clap clap clap)
    We got the clap! (clap clap clap clap)

    Jesus gonna kill everyone
    'Cause he is God's only son!
    With his loving Jesus spur
    Texas Jesus Massacre!

    Either you accept our Jesus group-think
    Or you are too commie pink

    Jesus-Jesus! Jesus-Jesus!

    You mite say that we's is dense
    But only morans want evidence!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Dippy

      What's a "moran"?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • dilberth

      I though "moran" was a deep-red color... oh wait...

      October 19, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Dippy

      Still waiting.....

      October 19, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Dippy

      You said, "What's a "moran"?"
      See: http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/File:Moran.jpg

      October 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • And now, heeeeere's the Kuntz High Cheerleaders Praising Jeeesus!!

      Thanks, LinCA. That is exactly right. I was going by this version, but it's all the same: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=moran

      I was away from my computer until now, so I appreciate you clueing in the clueless.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    October 19, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • "The lie told many times becomes the truth" V. I. Lenin

      Speaking of brainless cheerleaders, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's PrayerTroll!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 19, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      I admit. I am a Leninist. Every since he did "I am the Walmart, goo goo ga joob", I was a fan.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
      by the Alzheimer's Disease Society

      October 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Louis

      This guy is not actually a Christian poster. He slipped up a few days ago. This is just a sock puppet.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • obvious

      @Louis
      What you are seeing is that some atheist stole the name and posted a lie under it, a common event on these blogs. Do not go into detective work.

      October 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • .

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      Taskmaster" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "The Truth" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Lorraine" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian!..

      October 22, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!_

      October 22, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  19. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    October 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  20. A Reasoner

    Isn't our lease from Mexico on Texas up yet?

    October 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • Mexico

      We don't want it back. You turned it into a a vortex of morons.

      October 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Louis

      Mexico
      The vortex extends to all states directly east of Texas too.

      October 20, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • France

      We don't want those states back either.

      October 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.