In the New York Times, Robbie Brown reports on a local debate in Georgia over the appropriateness of cheerleaders using biblical language on their banners during public high school football games:
In response to the Sept. 11 attacks, the football cheerleaders at a public high school here wanted to make the Bible a bigger part of Friday night games. So, to the delight of fans, they painted messages like “Commit to the Lord” on giant paper banners that the players charged through onto the field.
That eight-year-old tradition ended last month after a parent expressed concern that it could prompt a First Amendment lawsuit. Church and state were not sufficiently separate, the school district agreed, and the banners came down.
Now, a month later, the new policy has produced an unexpected result: more biblical verses than ever at football games, displayed not by cheerleaders but by fans sitting in the stands.
Startled and dismayed by the district’s policy, this town of 9,600 people has taken up the cause—and the signs—of the cheerleaders. Calling themselves Warriors for Christ, a twist on the school’s Warriors nickname, fans have held rallies at churches and a local polo field and sold more than 1,600 T-shirts bearing passages from Deuteronomy and Timothy.
On game nights, the stadium of the school, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High, just south of Chattanooga, is dotted with signs reading, “You Can’t Silence Us” and “Living Faith Outloud,” along with biblical verses.
Read the full story here.