Two weeks ago I shared with you news out of Kountze, Texas, that a group of high school cheerleaders were forced into court when their school district prohibited them from displaying banners with Bible verses at football games.
Last week, the judge in the case issued a temporary injunction, which allows the young women to continue creating and displaying the signs for the remainder of the season. A trial date was set for June 24, 2013.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who sides with the cheerleaders, suggested this decision was a step in the right direction.
“Today’s decision is an important victory for the cheerleaders’ freedom of religion,” he said. “The Constitution has never demanded that students check their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door.”
As I mentioned in the earlier post, one of the more curious aspects of this case is that the school superintendent who banned the student displays actually said he admires the girls for their courage, tenacity and faith. In essence, he doesn’t see a problem with the practice of displaying the signs. Yet, he felt compelled to block them because of a letter he received from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) threatening a lawsuit.
One of the more frustrating realities of cases of this nature revolves around the fact that groups like the FFRF make a regular practice of threatening individuals and organizations with lawsuits unless they acquiesce to their demands.
And the threat of a lawsuit is a big deal with high stakes, and here’s why:
Let’s say the Kountze school district chose to ignore the threatening letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They would almost certainly be sued by them and should the FFRF win, the school district would be ordered to reimburse the FFRF for their legal fees, which would be in excess of $100,000.
What public school district wants to take a $100,000 risk?
As a result, individuals and organizations are being compelled to protest even things that they in reality support!
The system is broken.
For now, though, it’s good news that the cheerleaders will be allowed to resume making and displaying their encouraging banners and signs.