"Why is this so hard to figure out?" - EatonZ26
I agree, Eaton, this really should have been a non-issue. But not for the reasons you stated. Separation of church and state is what all people claim whenever Christians are told they cannot have any religious activities around any government funded operation. However, the "separation of church and state" applies to federally mandated religions. The government cannot force or endorse any religion to others. This does not mean that individuals within a government operation cannot show their faith or beliefs, it only says that it cannot be held responsible for funding operations that would promote one religion over another.
Anyone with half a brain, which most "Separation"-advocates claim to be the only ones operating with a fully funcitoning one, can understand that this was not a promotion of any one religion over another. It was an expression. Most of the people who complain about this issue don't even believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, so this really should not be an issue for them, either. To them, it should be as upsetting as if these cheerleaders held up a sign that said, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."
People are all about promoting tolerance until someone says that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, then their up in arms on how to silence them, whether it was a government establishment, or in a private establishment (see the bible study story from the pastor in San Francisco). If these cheerleaders had held a sign quoting the Surah, no one would have objected. I am fairly sure they would have been applauded for their courage. Of course, this is just speculation and holds no merit in the course of an intelligent debate of the freedom of speech, expression, and religion.
What is my point? These cheerleaders should be able to hold up any sign they want, so long as it does not violate the law. Holding a sign that contains a quotation from a book does no such thing. The people who would voice complaints over such a non-issue simply have a problem with those who believe in the Bible, not religious expression at government functions. If people can walk around, in a government building, wearing a turban (to shield their head in reverence to God) or wear a dot on their head (representing their third eye which allows all that is good in the world to enter their mind), then there should be no problem with people holding a sign that contains a Bible verse. Why is it such a problem, when those who complain about it believe the Bible to be pure fiction anyway, right?
I personally don't like all the attention Joe the Plumber has been getting lately. I understand that John McCain said the words a few too many times, but it is appalling to me how fast so many media outlets jump on the 'Poking Fun @ McCain' bandwagon. No one really even paid attention to what he was saying when talking about Joe the Plumber and his problems. The reason it was repeated so many times was to keep the focus on the fundamental flaws in Barack Obama's economic strategies.
I may be taking this a little too far, or a little too personally. I just think that it's a sad day when people constantly bash someone and consequently devalue the logic in the statements that were made.