home
RSS
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.

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Robert

    I think we are coming to a point that the bleu states would be better letting the middle leave the union and form Jesus land. Without the money flowing from the blue states they would soon find that either their god is mad at them or they are suppose to suffer on earth so they get into heaven. My daughter once mentioned she would like to move to Texas, it made me nauseas. I feel sorry for progressive people that live in that state. The stress of living with such narrow minded people must surely take a toll on their health.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • ialsoagree

      I'm all for letting the red states form their own country.

      The blue states have the better industry and infrastructure, have the better economy, have higher education, have less poverty, have better state budgets. Lets let the drain on our society go off and form their own country, and the rest of us can finally start to prosper again.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • Mike D

      Well, guys, I hate to sound mercenary, but let's not underestimate the value of an ignorant and complacent populace who do what they're told and rarely question authority. Despite being overwhelmingly blue collar they oppose workers' rights. It's a goldmine, really...all you have to do is cynically pretend you share their religious values and they'll leap off of cliffs for you like lemmings. That's worth the federal tax dollars they suck up, trust me. The fact that they oppose "big government" while leeching federal funds at a much greater rate than the blue states is worth a few lulz, anyway.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:51 am |
  2. myweightinwords

    I support students rights to say what they believe, even paint it on colorful banners. Especially since the article states that all of the materials are purchased by the parents, not the school.

    And, I would have no problem with the football team CHOOSING to run through said banner.

    HOWEVER, the problem comes when that banner is put on the government owned school property, displayed at a government sponsored public school event.

    Yes, everyone in that tiny town may well be at least nominally Christian, but are they? Someone was bothered enough to complain to the Freedom From Religion organization. That implies that there is at least one person whose religious freedom is being impinged here.

    I have to stop and ask why it is that only Christians feel the need to display such huge signs at sporting events, not to mention the other displays that they try to get put up on government land, from crosses to Christmas decorations. You don't see any other faith doing that.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's the same reasoning they follow concerning public prayer. Apparently their omniscient, omnipotent god can't read what is in their minds and has to see signs and hear prayers recited aloud.

      Some god.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  3. no nothing

    What do you expect. This is Texas we are talking about.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  4. Seth Hill

    The Orthodox Jewish Cheer: "Give me a G! Give me a D! What's that spell? What's that spell? G_D! G_D! G_D!"

    October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      "Torah torah torah!"
      – Cry of the kamikaze rabbi

      October 19, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      @ Doc
      Rock laughing so hard he make pebbles! Torah Torah Torah!!!

      October 19, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  5. tacc2

    What a load of BS. I bet if they wanted to cheer Satan, they wouldn't have been allowed.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am |
  6. Smarter than ewe

    This isn't news. If people, even cheerleaders, prefer to believe in something that doesn't exist and want to show their ignorance on a banner, so be it. It does open up the door to bring back unicorns, Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy. Well done girls, well done.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • NoTheism

      The problem is that this sets a precedent...
      I wouldn't want my kids going to a school allowing this kind of religious propaganda.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      Rock like Santa, bring rock presents. Rock worship Santa, more real than bible gods....rock smart. Rock want banner say- "GO SANTA! Bring team presents!" hahahaha rock drunk today...

      October 19, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Michael

      We will see who is ignorant.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • Mike D

      I already know the answer, Michael, and I kind of doubt you're going to like it.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:44 am |
    • Smarter than ewe

      At least you have your doubts Michael. I think we all know deep down that a big dude with a beard and sandals was concocted by ignorant, yet powerful, men a couple of thousand years ago yet that slight glimmer of hope that this one life evolution has given you might actually continue. The cheerleaders probably hope their god doesn't know what they do when nobody's watching.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  7. Andrew

    The American Taliban: Hard at work in Texas.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  8. Vic Matos

    So now thanks to these cheerleaders, a precedent will be set to allow ANY religion to use banners to promote their religious quotations from their holy books. We'll soon see banners with verses from the Koran. Just awesome cheerleaders. You should ask Valarie Hodges how that thinking worked out for her in Louisiana.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Mike D

      High five for the Valarie Hodges reference. The Jeebus fans in this thread need to google her name immediately.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • tacc2

      I propose they start cheering Satan!

      October 19, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • WASP

      @matos: here i'll help.
      "Louisiana Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-Watson, is retracting her support for Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program, after realizing the money could be applied to Muslim schools, Livingston Parish News reports.

      Hodges initially supported the governor's program because she mistakenly equated "religious" with "Christian," according to the report. Jindal's reform package allows state education funds to be used to send students to religious schools.

      “Unfortunately it will not be limited to the Founders’ religion... We need to insure [sic] that it does not open the door to fund radical Islam schools. There are a thousand Muslim schools that have sprung up recently. I do not support using public funds for teaching Islam anywhere here in Louisiana," Hodges was quoted as saying in the Livingston Parish News.

      Hodges' outrage comes after Louisiana lawmakers carried out a similar debate when the vouchers were being discussed last month.

      "I won't go back home and explain to my people that I supported this," Republican state Rep. Kenneth Havard said, referring to the vouchers "that fund Islamic teaching."

      The House approved the bill 51-49 in early June, the Associated Press reports. House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said the bill's approval depended on a majority vote.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      Rock tell Og to go to Louisiana and set up govt-funded madras, make good money that way. Rock smart! Og need money and like to take christo talibani govt dollars from ignoramuses. Ha so funny, Og think might work! Og like rock!

      October 19, 2012 at 10:46 am |
  9. KMW

    I am Catholic, and I applaud this decision to let these young people display Christian messages at their school games. Did you know there are athiests' clubs at some high schools? I would much prefer Christian messages than athiest ones!!! These are positive and uplifting and this is what we need right now in our very troubled world.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • ialsoagree

      Of course, if you're going to allow Christian messages, you also have to allow atheist, muslim, satanic, hindu, wiccan, jewish, buddhist, etc. messages.

      Fair is far, "There are no gods, but there's plenty of team spirit! Boo god! Yay team!"

      October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • mk

      Yes, the bible is so uplifting! Besides the fact that women were treated like dung, it clearly tauts that incest is best and purports that slavery is just fine. And such a wonderful god who orders the slaughter of babies and kills masses of people at a time. Praise Jesus!

      October 19, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • NoTheism

      Actually, your Church and your god are evil...
      Why is the Catholic Church evil? Because it places its doctrines before people's welfare and interests.
      Why is your god evil? Because, of course, it allows evil (and it's supposed to be omnipotent and omnibenevolent)
      Anyway, good luck with your "positive" messages.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      Which atheist message are you referring to, KMW? The one that says teaching fantasy as fact to children is child abuse? Or the one that says Americans should be free from superst itionistas forcing their dark-age fantasies on everyone? Or the one that says America was created to give humans relief from the oppression of old-world prejudices including religion? How about the one that says that morals and ethics are NOT derived from supernatural fantasy sources, but rather are arrived at by thinking humans? Supersti tion allows child-abuse and genital mutilation, and degradation of women, etc et al. Which of those messages is so offensive to you? I guess any that don't agree with your fantasy, right? You dumber than rock, rock not superst itious.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  10. no nothing

    It's a nice god if their team wins, and its a angry god if their team looses.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  11. 4pease

    Yes, I should send my kids to school with Islamic banners and see if Goobenor Perry supports them. Why doesn't the press stand up for us and ask politicians these questions? Are they afraid?

    October 19, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  12. YoozYerBrain

    Oh, and by the way, it's been established in numerous cases before every court from local to the SCOTUS that high-school students DON'T have the same free-speech rights in school as the average citizen does in daily life. Weird but true. I had a friend run for class president in Whiteland, IN back in the '70's using posters of jesus dressed as Che Guevara urging the kids to vote for him. You can imagine how quickly the christian taliban shut HIM down! But when he took it to court he was beaten at every level with the judgement that First Amendment rights DO NOT blanketly apply to students in public school. How bout that? Taliban christians used the court to STOP images of jesus being used- oh, cuz they didn't like the context. True story.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • ProductOfTexasEducationalSystem

      What's Che Guevara?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  13. BruinsGuy

    So glad that I live in Massachusetts!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      Maine here, but work in Boston, and I'm glad I left the South, too many fundies to deal with there.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:18 am |
    • WASP

      @guy: NYC lived whole childhood in NC, worst years of my life being atheist and in the south.
      i love the diversity i see here in the big apple.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Stuart

      The distinction that the Judge failed to honestly understand is that when the cheerleaders act at a school function they act on behalf of all the students at the school, not themselves personally ;they are not exercising personal free speech. Since they attend a public school, paid for by public taxes and fees, then by the separation of church and state, their public speech must not favor any particular religious tradition. If this were a private religious school then they would be speaking for all of the students who attend and their activities would be more appropriate. As it stands they must either cease using references to the Christian bible or they must use equally references to all religious traditions represented by citizens in their county or state.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • ProductOfTexasEducationalSystem

      Ware is Massa... massa..... massa , that place you mentiond? Not usa america, rite?

      October 19, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  14. Peter

    Terrorist quote religious texts as inspiration prior to big events too. What these students are doing is not of concern to public education as much as it should be of concern to the use of Biblical text. Just because it's Christian, doesn't make fanaticism better.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  15. Drew

    From Congress shall make no law.........all the way to Cheerleaders shall make no signs. hmmmmm......

    October 19, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • ialsoagree

      I know right! It's ridiculous that Christians would get upset about having to run through a sign that says "There are no gods, but there's plenty of team spirit! Go team!"

      We should be able to promote lack of gods in public schools all we want.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • NoTheism

      Are you saying you don't agree with the establishment clause?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Louis

      If politicians, the ones who control how public schools are funded through our tax dollars, are allowed to support a particular religious view like this then you should be concerned about them controlling what are appropriate religious messages. It could come down to politicians cutting certain funding and awarding more based on a religious test. How would you feel about that?

      October 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • ProductOfTexasEducationalSystem

      wuts this con gress thingy? that sumpin fum gay urope i bet...

      October 19, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  16. OldSchool

    Good thing god is only on the side of this team and not their opponents!

    Interesting fact, the Nazis belt buckles bore the inscription "Gott Mit Uns"...

    (And yes, the last comment was intended to be an incendiary jab!) 🙂

    October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • ialsoagree

      Ooo, Godwin's law, and only 8 pages in!

      October 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |
  17. joe

    "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."-–Irreparably injured if they can't promote their religion on top of a school function? Is he serious? It's sad and pathetic that we repeatedly see supposedly educated, thinking Judges from the south turn legal principles on their head for the purpose of furthering the christian agenda. Virtually no doubt this Judge will be reversed on appeal and hopefully, this Judge's dishonesty will come back to bite him down the road.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:11 am |
  18. Veritas

    I am ashamed to live in a such backwards place as Texas...

    October 19, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Scott

      Then move. Or would you just rather [female dog] about it?

      Scott

      October 19, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Louis

      Scott
      If the roles were reversed, say if an atheist billboard were set up in the field, would you just move away from your home? I see lots of "female dog"ing about this issue of free speech, and it doesn't even involve public tax dollars.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Mike D

      Scott might have a point. There's plenty of actual civilization in the country, places where people know that Sarah Palin is a joke and that there's more to experience in life than Lee Greenwood concerts. Let the red staters have their terrible schools, rampant teen pregnancy, grinding poverty, and ignorance. (Check the statistics if you don't believe me, Scott...conservatives on the whole are less educated, make less money, are fatter, and have higher rates of unplanned / out of wedlock pregnancies and STD's than the liberals you constantly deride.)

      Let them live in their conservative sinkholes. At the very least, they're a cheap labor pool for industry.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Scott
      Why do you hate America, you talibani thug? Too much freedom of thought? Too much rationalism? You'd be one of the people that wanted to string up Thomas Paine for his rabble-rousing too. Go back to your mullah and suck his little ped o philiac dic k you anti American loser. YoozYerBrain, the USA is the best thing to happen to humanity, not your retarded super sti tion. YoozYerBrain please...

      October 19, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think it's amusing that Scott continues to ignore the questions about free speech rights. Come on, Scott, man up.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:28 am |
    • Mike D

      Tom, he can't see the questions over the self-congratulatory Kool-Aid he's constantly sucking down.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I see. I thought perhaps he was too busy being a captain on the ship of industry, "ranning into" things.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Scott

      Tommy,
      Some of us work so we can't "camp out" on these boards all day long. However, I'll repeat my response to your original question a few pages back regarding what I would say if the girls put Koran or atheist comments on the banner.
      - ----–
      So long as they aren't "hate" comments, then yes. That would probably rule out the atheist stuff, but not the Koran.

      Scott

      October 19, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Mike D

      Good for you, Scott. I've got some choice Koran verses the girls can use:

      Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98

      On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161

      Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

      October 19, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Mike D

      Uno mas:

      Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

      That should go over like gangbusters in a Texas high school.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're not working, Scott. If you were, you wouldn't even be checking this site.

      Again, explain what is hateful about expressing one's disbelief in your god.

      October 19, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  19. Dick

    Personally, I can see advantages to cheerleaders who are readily deluded and easily taken in.

    October 19, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • OgLikeRock

      @ Dick

      Rock say "rim shot!"

      October 19, 2012 at 10:28 am |
  20. YoozYerBrain

    Let's see, Public school function, with public school uniforms, on a public school field, doesn't seem too difficult. Both the judge and the girls need to get back to civics class. NOT free speech, separation of church and state issue. What up with Taliban Texas anyway? How un-American are they? WOW, YoozYerBrain, please!

    October 19, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Louis

      Are there any Jewish, Catholic or Muslim schools fully funded by public tax dollars? I imagine there would be quite an uproar in Texas if any other religious view were expressed by public school cheerleaders like this. Then these fine folks would be plenty concerned as to how THEIR tax dollars are being spent.

      October 19, 2012 at 10:13 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Advertisement
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.