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Oct 19 2012

A Texas poll

We haven’t crashed a poll in a while — and to be honest, it’s like they’re all trending our way anyway anymore — but since I’m on my way to Texas, sure, let’s do a Texas based poll on the recent court decision that public high school cheerleaders get to flash bible messages at spectators. It’s classic Texas: football, cheerleaders, and god, but good grief, even the Texans see through it as an endorsement of religion.

The Kountze High School cheerleaders’ use of religious messages on banners at football games:

amounts to a school endorsement of religion and should be banned. 58.7%

is freedom of personal expression and not representative of the entire school 41.3%

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Sastra

    What they really want is an option which states that “The Kountze High School cheerleaders’ use of religious messages on banners at football games:

    3.) is freedom of personal expression and represents the entire school which ought to endorse religion because it’s all TRUE.”

    The same people who are voting that these messages are “not representative of the entire school” would be the first to say that if some students don’t agree with the signs, then they can GET OUT and form their “own school.”

  2. 2
    Valindrius

    My memory may be faulty, but wasn’t it a Texan school that ejected a cheerleader from her position for refusing to chant in support of a person convicted of sexually assaulting her? I believe the school was very eager to advance the argument that cheerleaders freely surrender some constitutional rights when they’re acting as representatives of the school. Where were the Attorney General and the Governor then? Where was their outrage at such cruel expectations and ‘menacing […] intimidation tactics’?

    It’s deplorable. They become riled when attempts to infect everything with Christianity are challenged but are oblivious to the plight inflicted on an individual when they’re punished, emotionally and financially, for not debasing themselves. At least they’re consistent in one sense; they’ll gladly disregard what’s best for protecting people in pursuit of objectives. Not that I expect any better from the likes of Rick Perry.

  3. 3
    hyperdeath

    If you want a poll to crash, you can change the ratings of Atheism Plus definitions on Urban Dictionary:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Atheism%20Plus

    The page is currently under attack from MRAs. (Note the links to “pussy beggar” and “mangina” at the end of their preferred definition.)

  4. 4
    dobbshead

    I’m not really convinced about this one. Students don’t give up their rights to free expression and freedom of religion when they walk in the door. I agree that it’s in bad taste in a plural society to show those banners, and it would be definitely unconstitutional if employees of the school told the students to make and display those banners.

    However, if the students of their own volition choose to make and display sectarian banners while engaging in school/club activities then we move into students exercising their rights. I don’t see this as cut and dry.

  5. 5
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    However, if the students of their own volition choose to make and display sectarian banners while engaging in school/club activities then we move into students exercising their rights. I don’t see this as cut and dry.

    Think again. For example, as long as they wear a school uniform, don’t they formally represent the school, not themselves. As compared to mufti.

  6. 6
    ImaginesABeach

    I’ve heard that education in Texas is bad, but even in Texas, I wouldn’t think one side could get 58.7% of the vote and the other side could get 41.3% of the vote.

    amounts to a school endorsement of religion and should be banned. 58.7%

    is freedom of personal expression and not representative of the entire school 41.3%

  7. 7
    dobbshead

    For example, as long as they wear a school uniform, don’t they formally represent the school, not themselves.

    So if a school makes students put on uniforms, the students loose the right to free expression? Or is it just sports clubs? Or is it students expressing themselves in public events?

    The line is somewhere in there, and it needs to be drawn, but it’s still pretty fuzzy looking to me.

  8. 8
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    They are wearing uniforms of the school, and so are representing the school, and thereby the state. Sorry, this one IS cut and dried.

  9. 9
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So if a school makes students put on uniforms, the students loose the right to free expression?

    Yes, the difference between a soldier in uniform or in mufti. The former, representative of the government, the latter, private citizen. If you can’t tell the difference you are being purposely obtuse, and you know that. Nothing you say is now of interest.

  10. 10
    nms

    At least these banners are a step up from some of the old ones

  11. 11
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So if a school makes students put on uniforms,

    Keep in mind there might be a difference between navy blue slacks/skirt white blouse/shirt, outside of school/school sposored events, and a cheerleader/athelete/band uniform with school logos on school property at school sponsored events. Don’t lose nuance.

  12. 12
    Argle Bargle

    ImaginesABeach #6

    even in Texas, I wouldn’t think one side could get 58.7% of the vote and the other side could get 41.3% of the vote.

    58.7 + 41.3 = 100. What’s the problem?

  13. 13
    gAytheist

    I just voted but it’s only at 72% our way. What has become of the invincible Pharyngula horde?

  14. 14
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I just voted but it’s only at 72% our way. What has become of the invincible Pharyngula horde?

    Friday night. Some are semi-comatose at the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor. The *ajkfjkla* Pullet Patrol switched the 7-day-old grog with the 3-day-old grog. They’re now ROFLTAO.

  15. 15
    dobbshead

    Yes, the difference between a soldier in uniform or in mufti.

    Now there is some big differences. A soldier in uniform is an employee of the state, being paid by the state. Not only that they have signed a contract in which they agree to be tried by an entirely different legal system.

    High school students sign no such documents. Unless their parents sign a document agreeing to allow their children to represent the school, the argument that students (minors) waive their rights on donning clothing isn’t ironclad. (If such a document exists in this case, I will be wrong and it will be pretty indisputable.)

    …Not being a parent, I haven’t had to read these consent forms in years. I decided to look one up. This one says right at the top that cheerleaders represent the school. So if the Texas school had a similar document, then this display is clearly unconstitutional.

    I concede defeat and will vote in the poll.

  16. 16
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    This one says right at the top that cheerleaders represent the school.

    This is what A-Ray and I were implying. It isn’t hard to get there, and is obvious in context. Look outside of your “innocent until proven guilty” thinking, as this is civil not criminal.

  17. 17
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Oh, and in case you wondered dobbshead, I was in band from elementary to graduate school. I know the drill.

  18. 18
    enki23

    Administration: and now, the school cheerleaders will lead us in the free-speech really, the content of which I have absolutely no idea whatsoever and am in no way responsible for. *wink*

  19. 19
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    dobbshead,
    If you were ever involved in athletics, you signed an agreement to abstain from tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc. Why? Because you were representing the school.

    There is a big difference between someone having, say, a sign with a scriptural reference on it while sitting in the stands, and cheering “Go God! Whoo!” in a cheerleading uniform.

  20. 20
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    @dobbshead If a girl or boy can’t be a cheerleader (i.e. a school sponsored activity) without being pressured to hold up a religious sign–for a religion that may not be their own and may even say something contrary to her or his beliefs, it’s illegal. Compare the Cranston banner: that was just a school sponsored prayer on a wall. No one was put in a position to actually have to recite it or condone it in any way, and yet that was justifiably considered unconstitutional.

  21. 21
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    If the cheerleaders are the only ones allowed to make a banner that the players run through, they’re representing the school, whether a form says so or not. Moot since it does, but still…

    And the poll is now at 79.5% against.

  22. 22
    tubi

    @15

    dobbshead says:

    I concede defeat and will vote in the poll.

    Ease off the pedal, team.

  23. 23
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Latest figures :

    *****

    POLL
    The Kountze High School cheerleaders’ use of religious messages on banners at football games:

    amounts to a school endorsement of religion and should be banned.
    3355 ( 80.6% )

    is freedom of personal expression and not representative of the entire school
    810 ( 19.4% )

    *****

    Just voted.

    PS. Anyone else getting a really annoying pop-up ad on that linked site?

  24. 24
    vwbus76

    another poll to crash about the cheerleaders http://www.ktrh.com/main.html

  25. 25
    left0ver1under

    In 2000, schools in the Santa Fe Independent School District were barred from organizing prayers such as the one being discussed. Even “student organized” or “spontaneous” prayers were considered an endorsement of religion by the school because the principal and others were allowing it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Independent_School_Dist._v._Doe

    The plaintiffs in that case were mormons and catholics, not atheists. They were subjected to abuse before the lawsuit, and received death threats and vandalism to their homes after filing it. And we’re supposed to believe the lie about “loving christians” when they do stuff like that?

    The same ruling should be made in Kountze, but that judge is clearly biased.

  26. 26
    dcg1

    At my instigation, Cavers or Spelunkers in England are currently conducting a poll to ascertain how many of them are athiests. The voting is currently 77-23 percent for.

    If the denizens of Pharyngula aquire a sudden interest in speleology, they may also vote at http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=14241.new;topicseen#new

    You have to register however.

  27. 27
    Skeptical Jackal

    Slighly offtopic, but maybe someone can point me to the latest information about the conflict between PZ and Tim Farley regarding the latter’s dismissal of pharyngulization of polls?

  28. 28
    texasaggie

    dobbshead, these girls are members of a school organization. If they want to share their religion, they do it on their own time and their own dime. They go knock on doors in the evenings and weekends. They stand on street corners and preach. They go to church sponsored events. They don’t use public facilities and go on the taxpayer dime to push their religion.

    Furthermore, I doubt greatly that all the girls are totally in favor of the demonstrations, but thanks to peer pressure, they have to participate.

  29. 29
    Makoto

    Currently at 85.8 for the legal/sep of church and state side, 14.2 for they should be able to show god banners in uniforms representing the school at a school sponsored event.

  30. 30
    Merrily Dancing Ape

    Actually, I don’t have a problem with the banners as long as an atheistic cheer team could get away with irreligious ones. I’d love to hear their cheers, too.

    Ra! Ra! Shiskoombah!
    There is no god and death is oblivion.
    …[long pregnant pause]…
    GO TROJANS!!!

    or

    You better wear your helmets
    When we bash right through your goal,
    ‘Cause the brain is the seat of con-scious-ness
    And there is no immortal soul!
    GO TROJANS!!!

    On a different note, don’t you think that if in order to get through a football game you need religious affirmations like “I can do all these through Christ who strengthens me,” and “If God is for us, who can be against us?”… maybe you’re taking football a little too seriously?

  31. 31
    eamick

    On a different note, don’t you think that if in order to get through a football game you need religious affirmations like “I can do all these through Christ who strengthens me,” and “If God is for us, who can be against us?”… maybe you’re taking football a little too seriously?

    This is Texas. They probably consider that taking it too lightly.

  32. 32
    slowdjinn

    “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

    Um…the opposing team, perhaps?

    Also isn’t there a name for supposed fans who change their allegiance with each game…?

  33. 33
    zekehoskin

    @2 hyperdeath claims that the first Urban Dictionary def of atheism plus links to “pussy beggar”. By all means downvote it- not only are the authors assholes, they don’t bother to spellcheck the *titles* of their articles. Though I suppose one could ask if b e g g e r doesn’t spell “beggar”, what the hell does it spell?

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