Just months before the annual War on Christmas is slated to kick-off, atheist activists are tackling yet another target -- football. TheBlaze has covered a number of stories involving non-believers and their campaign to eradicate any semblance of religion from public high school and college teams. In the latest example, Kountze Independent School District has officially banned run-through banners that contain religious messages -- an act that has set off a firestorm of controversy.
According to Fox 33, the trouble started after cheerleaders in the city of Kountze came up with the idea to add Bible verses to banners after attending a cheer camp. The words of encouragement were intended to inspire the football team, but following a complaint, the district's superintendent Kevin Weldon has banned any and all religious-themed designs.
KSNW-TV has more:
"Coaches preach devotionals before games. We wanted to show our support for our boys," explained Meagan Tantillo, the young woman who came up with the initial idea to use Christian-based signage.
The superintendent has been tight-lipped about who made the complaint that led to the ban on Christian run-through banners. However, he has admitted that he was reluctant to comply.
"It is not a personal opinion of mine," Weldon explained in an interview with KVUE. "My personal convictions are that I am a Christian as well. But I’m also a state employee and Kountze ISD representative. And I was advised that that such a practice (religious signs) would be in direct violation of United State Supreme Court decisions."
Rather than sitting back passively, the town's 2,100 residents are apparently talking feverishly about the situation -- and taking action.
Tantillo and her fellow students responded by making Christian signs and presenting them at the school's volleyball game this week. The football players, among others, are also supporting the girls' efforts.
"We aren't backing down," claims Tantillo, as the students plan to find ways to infuse faith into games as much as possible moving forward.
A Facebook page currently shows more than 33,100 people signing on to support Kountze High School students in their ongoing battle.
However, Weldon has made it clear that legal counsel recommended that religious activities not be carried out, even if the are being organized and implemented by students.
“Per the advice of TASB Legal, please do not allow any student groups to display any religious signs or messages at school-sponsored events," the superintendent wrote in a letter to parents who are involved in organizing extracurricular activities. "I appreciate your immediate attention and conveying this to your staff and sponsors of student groups. For example, the run-through signs at the football games."
So far, despite the district's mandates, it appears the battle is far from over, as atheist activists' "War on Football" wages on.
(H/T: Fox 33)
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