When it comes to schools and liberal agendas, contention, disagreements and legal issues are nothing new. After all, various groups like the ACLU seem intent on creating court cases out of every perceived religious act taking place in or around public schools and other public locations.
One school system in Louisiana is not backing down from the fight, though, as they have decided to push back against an organization that has filed suit against one of the schools in their district.
A paid advertisement was placed on the football field of Benton High School in Louisiana. On this ad, there was a cross along with a scripture citation. Apparently, this bothered someone and it eventually led to a lawsuit being filed against the Bossier Parish School District this year by Americans United for separation of church and state. The lawsuit filed by Americans United stated that “school officials throughout Bossier Parish School System coerce students into religious practices and subject them to unwelcome religious messages and indoctrination.”
Americans United claimed that the school district allowed prayers to be delivered during school-sponsored events. In addition, they claim Christianity is encouraged by teachers and others in the classroom, and allege that sometimes school events are held in churches.
The logo that caused the uproar to begin was an ad paid for by a local fitness center called Christ Gym. As the business is faith-based, their ad in the end zone of the football field featured “Christ Gym”, 1 Timothy 4:8, and a cross as mentioned above. Christ Gym paid the football booster club $3,500 to place their logo on the field for the 2018-2019 football season.
The initial reaction to Americans United legal action was to blot the ad off of the field as this was what was advised by the school board’s attorney when Americans United took the issue to court.
“The school board’s legal counsel advised the administration that the logo should be removed pending consultation with the court, as alleged violations had just been discussed with the court,” attorney Jon Guice said in a statement on the matter.
The field crew refused to remove the logo from the field.
“Today on the field crew, I was asked to paint over the Christ Fit advertisement on the football field,” Benton High School student Jonathan PcPherson explained. “You have to stand up for Christ no matter what, and we told the coaches we wouldn’t do it. We ended up leaving the field and not helping them cover up the Scripture that was put on the field. No matter what people say, you have to stand up for Christ, even if it can get you in trouble with the school or anyone else.”
Students weren’t the only ones standing up, however. Although the ad was temporarily painted over eventually, the school board recently voted unanimously to fight the lawsuit and to restore the ad to its previous location on the field in the meantime. Billy Weatherall had more on the decision.
“The vote was unanimous; the logo is going back on the field,” he said. “A huge thank you to this community for standing up behind what is right. God always wins!”
In many cases where organizations come against public schools for praying or in some way acting in a “religious manner” the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution is being misinterpreted. To properly interpret this clause, the early roots of America must be considered.
The idea was not for public institutions to never include religious elements, but instead to prevent the establishment of a national church, like the one that existed in England. Therefore, there is really no constitutional problem with Scripture being placed in a public setting like a school or an issue with students praying. The issue is a misinterpretation of the original clause.
Thankfully, there are still people who are willing to fight for those who want to express their faith in public and ensure religious freedom is still upheld in America.
~ 1776 Christian