Cheerleaders or Cheer Bullies?

October 05, 2012  |  permalink

When public school cheerleaders put Bible verses on the “spirit signs” in Kountze, Texas, it made for great news. The school district banned the signs last month; the cheerleaders sued; a judge reinstated the signs; and the matter returned to court. Opposed by the FFRF and defended by the Texas AG and assorted radical religious advocacy groups, the cheerleaders tearfully defended their actions in front of the TV cameras. In an area known for its religious piety, the students opposing religious signs at school football games are understandably less eager to publicly proclaim their position.

The cheerleaders did not disguise their missionary zeal. As one 16-year-old member of the squad said, “I feel like it’s getting God’s word out to those who need it.” As the FFRF points out, the real purpose of their efforts is not to express their faith but to conflate the authority of the school with their particular interpretation of the Christian religion. It is also part of a nationwide effort intended to exert peer pressure on nonbelievers and members of religious minorities in public schools, and to erode the principle of church-state separation.

I write about this wide-ranging initiative in my latest piece for the Guardian.

The Book
The Good News Club, by Katherine Stewart

The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children

About the Author
author Katherine Stewart Katherine Stewart has written for The New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Guardian. She lives in New York City. Contact her. More →


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