published Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Georgia: Rally to support LFO cheerleaders begins

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    Staff Photo by Dan Henry People gather in support of the Lakeview-Fort Oglethrope High school cheerleaders. The cheerleader use biblical verses on their pre-game banners.

Several hundred supporters are gathering at the polo grounds on Barnhardt Circle in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., to show their support for cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School whose Bible-verse-bearing signs were banned last week.

Don and Shirley Willingham, grandparents of a cheerleader, said they came to support the cheerleading group.

“They’re trying to take God out of our schools,” Mr. Willingham said.

The signs in question were banned last week after a Fort Oglethorpe resident lodged a verbal complaint about the messages with Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese. Ms. Reese ordered the cheerleaders not to use their signs inside the stadium but provided a “designated area” outside where the cheerleaders’ signs will be welcome.

School cheerleader coach Susan Bradley said Tuesday that the cheerleaders aren’t bucking the superintendent’s directions and have decided to use the Bible verse signs only in the designated area.

Ms. Bradley said the cheerleaders will make a new sign, with acceptable slogans, for the football team to burst through onto the field before the game on Friday.

Principal Jerry Ransom said the signs have existed since 2001, when similar ones were displayed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent outpouring of patriotic support.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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dwsmustang said...

What the First Amendment Says

“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.”

Read more:

September 29, 2009 at 7:19 p.m.
mythsdreams said...

If it were a Islamic verse or even a Jewish reference there would be rioting in the streets by Christians. Let a Wiccan make such a sign and they, Christians, would hang him/her from the nearest tree. Let such signs become a part of high school activities and before long there will be prayers in school. Not Islamic prayers, or Jewish prayers or Wiccan prayers but Christian prayers. The US Supreme Court, both liberal and conservative, have time and again rejected the interjection of such activities. This isn't about a simple display of faith by a few school children, it is another attempt to interject religion into our schools.

September 29, 2009 at 7:33 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

Christian are brain washed, cult woshiping hypocrites who speak the loudest and listen the least. BAN ALL RELIGION FORM SCHOOLS

September 29, 2009 at 7:44 p.m.
enufisenuf said...

Christian are brain washed, cult worshiping hypocrites who speak the loudest and listen the least. BAN ALL RELIGION FROM SCHOOLS, lets go back to actually teaching kids instead of this nonsense

September 29, 2009 at 7:45 p.m.

Well, I guess we all have opinions, however, my opinion is that anyone and everyone should be able to practice and display whatever religion we believe in no matter where we are at, as long as we don't create harm to one another because one doesn't believe what the other does. We shouldn't have to worry about who we will offend if we wear our favorite t-shirt in public with anything about our belief or religion on it. It looks like most people would be proud that the youth of this world are believers in the Lord above. But, like i said in the 1st line, we all have opinions, and this is mine.

Good Job to the LFO student body! You did a mighty thing by standing up for God!

September 29, 2009 at 7:47 p.m.
littleoleme said...

Keep religion out of the public schools and school-related activities. There is a time and place for worship and a public school is NOT one of them. There are private schools that allow all kinds of worship. Enroll your kids, pay their tuition and everybody will be happy!

September 29, 2009 at 9:13 p.m.
alprova said...

When are people ever going to get it?

People do not go to football games to see Bible verses and people do not go to church to hear sermons with quotations from football play books.

Personally, I find what the players have been doing to these verses, by completely obliterating them and trampling upon them to be a bit offensive in and of itself.

How would these fine people feel if I were to arrive at their church on Sunday, and spent the entire hour parading the aisles with a sign announcing that while they are in church, they are missing a whopper of a football game on television?

There is indeed a time and a place for everything.

September 29, 2009 at 9:42 p.m.
cave_demon said...

why can't christians keep their cultish beliefs to themselves? If you want to belive all of that god and jesus, heaven and hell nonsense- fine. Just don't shove it down the rest of our throats. We don't want to hear it. If we actually want to know about the bible, we know where to find you guys. Keep it out of public. Religion is supposed to be a private sense of spirituality, and your bible itself even tells christians to not be loud and obnoxious about your beliefs.

September 29, 2009 at 11:03 p.m.
Abe said...

I'll agree to prayer in schools, if you'll agree that it will be the Sh'ma Yisroel.

September 29, 2009 at 11:08 p.m.
Serena said...

You don't have to agree or not with prayer in schools. It's there.

September 29, 2009 at 11:30 p.m.
seminole said...

Unreal, the liberals STILL ignore what the First Ammendment REALLY says, that Congress can MAKE NO LAWS as to religion, and CANNOT interfere with the free exercise of that religion. It was a Catholic-Baptist-Lutheran thing, it had NOTHING to do with outlawing GOD. It does NOT say that Congress can make laws AGAINST religion, which is what is happening here. God gave us this nation, no matter what you anti-God, anti-American ACLU lovers think, and God will win in the end, so enjoy your brief time of interfering with God and His people, whether they be Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, or Jewish. Praise God, and please, God, continue to bless America, even when some of us deny you.

September 30, 2009 at 12:25 p.m.
Lynda said...

I am a Christian and I believe in spreading the word of God.I PRAISE THE CHEERLEADERS FOR STANDING UP IN WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN. You all will be in my prayers. The Bible tells you to go out spread the word of God to all people and nations.

September 30, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.

Why is this Donna Jackson of Paradyne Consulting wanting the records of the paint, black roll paper, tape from the Cheerleaders who are making the banners if she has no intention of trying to ban the activity. Is it that she is motivated by some outside forces? Why doesn't her company, Paradyne Consulting do something about her activities on company time. Are they involved?

October 2, 2009 at 2:32 p.m.
Opinionated said...

I am all for providing a platform for religion in public schools right after churches start providing a platform for non-religious views at their facilities. Religious people have no problem with biblical messages being displayed at public school events, but do you think they would be open to a banner being displayed on church grounds that talks about evolution? No way!

October 5, 2009 at 8:58 p.m.
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