"This," of course, is the story about the cheerleaders in Kountze, Texas who want to display biblically themed banners at pep rallies and football games.
They're claiming it is "free speech" and they should be allowed to do it. And, of course, it is free speech... but they cannot be allowed to do this.
"But why, oh, Toasterpop?" you ask.
I will tell you why. If these cheerleaders were acting as private citizens, or as regular students, holding up their banners from the stands like the legendary "John 3:16" Guy, there would be no problem. I, personally, would have no problem with this. It would be great, they could do it all they wanted. They might offend some people, but as they say, it's free speech, and they're allowed.
However... they're not acting as private citizens. They're cheerleaders, and they are acting at a school sanctioned event, as representatives of the school. A PUBLIC school. That's when those banners stop being free speech. If the school allows them to use those banners, the school is then allowing these cheerleaders to "proselytize" to every person in the audience, including their fellow students.
What's wrong with this?
Nothing, if you assume that every person in that audience is a Christian, and goes to their church, or follows their particular brand of Christianity.
The problem is, and it seems to be a concept that a lot of Christians can't grasp, not everyone is Christian. Not everyone sitting in those bleachers at the pep rally, or in the stands at the football game, are Christians. Or belong to the same church, or denomination, as those cheerleaders. Let's face it, some denominations are very particular about how they worship and express their religion.
Now, as you know, the Constitution of the United States has a Bill of Rights, allowing us all equal protections under the law. However, another concept that most Christians seem to be unable to grasp is... the Bill of Rights does not protect the rights of the majority.
Let me state that again.
THE BILL OF RIGHTS DOES
It protects everyone. That means non-Christians as well as Christians.
That means non-Christians, be they Atheists, Agnostics, Pagans, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Viking, you name it, have the right to attend a public event and not be proselytized within an inch of their lives.
It also means that if those Christian cheerleaders get to use biblically inspired banners at the football games, then Wiccan students can bring out Wiccan themed banners to the game. So can Buddhists. And Muslims. Yes, if they want to paint a banner that says, "Allah Hu Akbar! Go Team!!" then they can. And the Texas State Attorney General can't say diddly squat, because HE SUPPORTED THOSE CHEERLEADERS.
If you're going to allow it for one group, then you have to allow it for ALL OF THEM.
Because public schools are government funded entities, and therefore cannot support one religion over another. And a football game/pep rally are events sponsored by that publicly funded entity, and those cheerleaders are representatives of that publicly funded entity.
Do you understand now?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
If you're going to allow one to pass out religious materials in a school, or have meetings, or have religiously inspired banners, or to pray at meetings, games, etc... then you have to allow them ALL to do it. ALL OF THEM.
Get that through your heads. This is not a Christian nation. It is a nation made up of people from many countries, and of many different religions (or lack of them). It always has been.
And that, my friends, is the way it is.