Sunday, September 23, 2012

Judge Stops Atheists, School from Banning Bible

Hardin County, Texas District Judge Steve Thomas has issued a temporary restraining order that allows the Kountze High School cheerleaders to continue to include Bible verses on signs at football games for the next two weeks.  The ruling resulted from a lawsuit by local families countering the school's decision to bar use of Bible verses because of threats received from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

For background, read Religious Liberty & Anti-Christian Totalitarianism in America and also read Atheists Attack Christians Across America via Government

UPDATE 5/9/13: Judge rules for cheerleaders, against atheists and school district

-- From "Texas cheerleaders win court battle over high school 'Bible banners'" by Jim Forsyth, Reuters 9/21/12

The banners typically use Biblical passages for messages such as "thanks be to God which gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," and are a tradition in Kountze, which has about 2,100 residents northeast of Houston.

The dispute began when a group that seeks to enforce separation of church and state sent a letter to the school superintendent that contended the banners represented an illegal endorsement of religion by a public entity.

Superintendent Kevin Weldon, a former high school football coach, said he contacted the school's lawyers after he received the letter and ordered the practice with the banners canceled.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge grants temporary restraining order for Kountze cheerleaders" by Amy Moore, Beaumont Enterprise 9/20/12

[Kountze] attorney, David Starnes, filed the restraining order against the district and it was granted by Hardin County District Judge Steve Thomas.

The district and the cheerleaders' attorney will return to court Oct. 4 for a temporary injunction hearing.

"I think what [the cheerleaders and their families are] doing is right," said Jessica Daughtry, a Kountze resident. "When I saw it (the sign), it brought tears to my eyes. It's just so awesome and positive."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Texas high school cheerleaders barred from using Bible verses on football banners" by CBS News & Associated Press 9/20/12

Most people in Kountze viewed the banners as evidence of the students' admirable moral upbringing - Christianity and the Bible always had been fundamental to this town of 2,100.

But someone complained to a foundation that fights for the separation of church and state, and by Tuesday, a day after receiving a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the superintendent banned the banners, and the town became embroiled in a controversy that has touched other communities nationwide.

People in the town 90 miles northeast of Houston talk of little else. Parents and students have plastered pictures of the banners - some of which quote scripture, declaring "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" - on their Facebook pages. A Facebook group created after the ban, Support Kountze Kids Faith, had more than 36,000 members by late Thursday. They argue that it was the students' decision to "give the glory to God this year," and they pledge to help the children make sure their opinions and rights are not violated.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Judge Temporarily Allows High School Cheerleaders to Use Bible Banners" by Jeff Schapiro, Christian Post Reporter 9/21/12

Judge Steven Thomas issued the order in response to a lawsuit filed by the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting religious freedoms, on behalf of several Kountze High School cheerleaders and their parents. The school district will now have to explain why it decided to ban the banners during a court hearing set for Oct. 4.

"We are excited that the cheerleaders for the Kountze High School Lions can again do what they do best-cheer on their football team without government censorship," Mike Johnson, senior counsel for Liberty Institute, said. "This is a quintessential example of students' private speech being censored unnecessarily by uninformed school officials. This is a well-established principle of constitutional law that students don't have to shed their constitutional rights of free speech when they enter the school house gate."

According to the Houston Chronicle, now that the restraining order has been put in place, the signs marked with Bible verses will be used at Kountz High School football's varsity game next Friday.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.