Salvation by Billboard, Signs, and Banners

cheerleaders

The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday in favor of high school cheerleaders who had argued that their free speech was trampled by their school district when it ordered them not to display banners emblazoned with Bible verses at football games.

(The above is an excerpt from a Washington Post article.)

The banners in question carried various Biblical verses such as, I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me; Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us; But thanks be to God, which gives us Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The school district originally argued it had the right to restrict such signs, but then later allowed them. The court said their ruling “was necessary to protect the future display of religious-themed signs.”
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A public high school in Georgia recently banned banners containing Bible verses from being displayed at its football games. A cheerleader at the school said this: “I’m sad and angry about it, because we’re silenced for what we believe in. Our freedom of speech and freedom of religion is being taken away.”

The principal later decided to allow the banners in a “designated area.”
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(These articles reminded me of a blog posting I wrote back in 2011, which I believe still holds true today.)

Whenever I read about incidents like this, the question that comes to mind is, “Why?”

Do Christian believers truly think by posting signs, banners, billboards, monuments, etc. in public places that it’s going to convert someone?

For those who have been or are a Christian, were you “saved” because you saw a sign that quoted scripture … or had a picture of a beckoning Jesus … or listed the Ten Commandments … or displayed Jesus on a cross?

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59 thoughts on “Salvation by Billboard, Signs, and Banners

  1. Actually, this same scenario was played out once before, when the Texas Supreme Court OK’d such displays and an appeals court said “Nay, nay, not so!” Now this decision will be appealed to the same court as last time, with quite likely (hopefully) the same result.

    You ask why? No one expects a placard conversion, it’s all about getting your foot in the door. Today a banner, tomorrow a pre-game prayer, and before you can say Jesus H. Christ, creationism is being taught in Biology class.

    Liked by 3 people

    • You may be right about the “foot in the door,” but I tend to think it’s more about Christians “preaching the gospel” to us heathens in hopes we’ll “see the light.” Which is why I ask, “Why?” Do they really think these methods work?

      I know when I was a good ‘lil Christian, I used to hand out tracts in hopes I might “reach someone for Jesus.” Can’t say I recall anyone coming up to me later and saying thanks for sharing the “good news.”

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      • Some thoughts they are probably thinking:

        “The word of God is …sharper than a two edged sword…” (Heb 4:12)
        If it reaches just one person, it’s worth it.
        We don’t need to see the results ourselves; have faith that God will use it…

        Of course, their underlying assumptions remain to be shown. And I wonder what they’d do if shown evidence that it’s on balance more counter productive to their purposes. (Not that I know this to be the case; just a thought experiment.)

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  2. Any idea how strong peer pressure is among teens? The need to belong? If you have doubts about the validity of religion, yet everyone around you is praising the lord, which way are you likely to lean?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is sad. I played first 15 rugby at school, and one game I scored two tries. My only two ever. Jokingly, I yelled out “praise Jesus!” as we ran back. Monday morning came and I was called into the principles office and although it was a joke, I was given a severe talking to because “You don’t do religion on the field.” Now, this was a catholic boys school, and they were telling me, joke or no joke, you don’t show any public displays of faith. I guess that marks Australia out from the US.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Just as an aside, I’ve noticed that many theists seem to think atheists have a messiah complex. In my case, it’s quite true.

    A friend who had to convert to evangelical Christianity to get married in order to get the sex he desired. During the rehearsal, the ‘happy’ couple recited their vows, which just so happened to include the addition of ”Till death do we part… or the Second Coming of Christ…” Without a great deal of thought and because there was a moment of silence I thought in need of filling, I shouted out, “I have come again!”

    It seems only I was deeply amused but, as I later explained to the rather belligerent groom, how would one know if the Second Coming had occurred and would the couple really dissolve their marriage because of it? I guess one can’t remove a hole by trying to dig one’s way out of it.

    Oh well.

    Now that I think about it, it may explain why no one seemed interested in my company during the reception. And the bride to this day still doesn’t like me. At all. And I made such a good impression of Jesus I thought!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. public proclamation is more about reinforcing the self-identity than the expectation of conversion of others to our Faith. such is the subconscious nature of the insecurity of Fundamental Religionists. -KIA

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  6. After reading the news story, it appears that this is more of a free speech concern rather than an Establishment Clause concern. If there is no evidence of faculty prompting to make these signs, there’s not much courts can do about it. Once again, this is something that the Satanic Temple would be able to address with trying to get satanic signs into the football games. Since the Christian ones are allowed, the door is open for other religions.

    Liked by 2 people

        • In many ways, I could (and may) write another post related to this issue. While I strongly support the counter displays, I do feel they could be done much more effectively by the organizations involved. Of course, since I’m not a “governing” member (or even a regular member), I doubt anyone would take my suggestions seriously. Nonetheless, I may express my ideas one of these days and see what kind of feedback I get from my blog followers.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Well, I said “next year”, but I meant the 2016 holiday season. From another WLOX article:

          “Attorney for the Harrison County Board of Supervisors, Tim Holleman, said the sign being displayed wasn’t the result of a comprise, but the county simply granted a request for the sign to be put up.

          “It certainly was not done because of their threat,” said Holleman. “The courthouse is as I said before, a place where all citizens can express their views and beliefs.”

          Holleman added the county would welcome any group to express holiday greetings.”

          http://www.wlox.com/story/30815988/humanist-group-displays-sign-near-nativity-scene-at-the-harrison-county-courthouse

          ———————————

          So, Christians have opened a can of worms. Several other religions will take them up on their offer, starting Nov. 30 and throughout the whole month, just like Christians get. The Edge of Evil “Grand High Climax” is a major holiday celebrated by Satanists on December 24.

          LOL

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  7. Legally this may be clothed as a free speech story, but given the nature of religion and politics in Texas, I tend to agree with those who think it is an attempt to support indoctrination of susceptible teens with Xtianity. Some secular nation America is …
    I would dearly love to see a plethora of banners saying The Flying Spaghetti Monster saves again, or The Goalie Saves, or whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think they should be allowed to wave whatever they like providing it is not overt racism or hate speech.
    But then it is my right to also display a sigh that read:
    Jesus was an over homsexual and had

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  9. Let me start that again.

    They should be allowed to display whatever they wish providing it is not overt racism or hate speech.

    But I should also be allowed to display a sign that read:

    Jesus was Gay and had 12 Disciples.

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  10. My friend John Zande is right (again? still?) public displays of religiosity are even proscribed in Christian scripture. Civilization in the Land of Oz is a tiny bit ahead of the rest of us where even in Catholic schools it is unacceptable.

    It is understandable why this kerfuffle occurred in Texas, a state in which high school football is a religion.

    Liked by 1 person

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