Faith and Football

Around 70 miles south of where I live is a town that very few have heard of – that is until this past week.
Kountze is like many other small Texas towns; they have a high school, they play football, and they support the team.
And like many other small Texas towns, God, church, and family are an important part of daily life.
The cheerleaders for the Kountze Lion’s made huge banners for the team to run through. No problem; that has been happening for years, even when I was in high school in the 1970’s in Baytown. In fact, I worked on the artwork for our banners.
But the Kountze cheerleaders went a step further than we did back in Baytown – they wrote scripture on the banners.
I have seen pictures of banners with Phil 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me and with 1 Cor 15:57 – But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The football boys didn’t complain. Neither did the coaches, parents, school administration, or the waterboy.
However someone mailed a complaint to the Kountze ISD superintendent, who said he immediately contacted legal counsel and the Texas Association of School Boards, which advised him the practice should end immediately.
The signs were not made with school funds, on school time, or at the school. No school officials instructed the cheerleaders what to write. This was a student initiative.
The decision is a violation of student’s religious rights.
Since someone will say “separation of church and state” then allow me to quote from the U. S. Constitution; 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.
Congress (the government) cannot make a law that respects an establishment of religion or PROHIBITS THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF!
In my opinion, to prohibit the students from exercising their right to make a “religious” banner is a violation of the Constitution.
Granted, if some Islamic students wanted to make and wave signs that said something about “Allah” then they, too, should be allowed. Though I personally would not agree with what “Allah” has to say, I support their rights.
I also support the rights of any football player not to run through the banner, whether it’s Christian or Islamic.
Now a Texas State District Judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Kountze ISD from imposing a ban on the religious signs at games and other school-sponsored events.
The hearing for the whole matter will be in October.
It’s banned… it’s not banned… it’s banned again… it’s not banned again.
It seems we turn around and around on ourselves with judicial rulings.
There is not set standard by which to go by.
Sure we have the Constitution but fighting over its meaning is a constant battle.
I’m reminded of what is said in the book of Judges: In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judg 21:25
It is the same today.

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