Texas case re-ignites Bible banners debate - New York News

Texas case re-ignites Bible banners debate

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CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. -

A squad of Catoosa County cheerleaders is urging some Texas teens not to back down from their legal fight over Bible scriptures painted on football banners.

Three years ago, concerns over religious symbolism at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School events sparked a debate over the separation of church and state. The Catoosa school district banned Biblical scriptures from game day banners before the end of the 2009 season, leaving the cheerleaders and the supporters disappointed.

Hannah Walden and Sarah Corley were freshmen at LFO during the debate.  Now seniors, they remember when they were allowed to paint Bible scriptures on their game day banners for the football team.

"They were more than just signs for us, it was a tradition," said Corley.

"Everybody in the school in the school liked it. All the cheerleaders agreed to do it. None of us were like, ‘I'm not a Christian. I'm not doing that.'  If they were, then we wouldn't have done it," said Hannah Walden.

Now, a similar debate has erupted 800 miles away at the comparably-size Kountze High School, located just outside of Houston, Texas.

Cheerleaders there say they were inspired by the LFO squad to paint scriptures on their banners. When faced with a constitutional challenge from the same critics and a ban on their new game day practice, they headed to court.

Walden and Corley say they miss the tradition and now they're rooting for the girls in Texas who say they want to express their religious freedom on the field.

On Thursday, a judge decided to extend the order lifting the ban while the case is reviewed by constitutional experts. The cheerleaders in Texas will be allowed to paint Bible verses on their banners while the case is scrutinized.

Girls from the LFO squad believe a legal win in Texas may inspire other squads to begin the practice -- something they say they really miss doing in Catoosa County.

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