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texas cheerleaders kountze high slider crop - AP
Kountze High School cheerleaders create some of the football banners that prompted a complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Dave Ryan)

Touchdown for God

In Hardin County, Texas, the cheerleaders of Kountze High School have prevailed.

A judge has granted an injunction allowing them to include Bible verses in their football banners.

"There's a reality here, and that is that the first amendment does not demand hostility toward religion," said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

So the cheerleaders will be allowed to hold banners that read: "If God be for us, who can be against us" and "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."

But it's not over. This is just an injunction. And the Freedom From Religion Foundation wants the case decided on the merits. They are determined to keep religious banners off the field.

"They are misusing their power that the school has conferred on them to proselytize," said Freedom From Religion co-founder Annie Laurie Gaylor. "If they were doing this as students in the bleachers holding up a sign, that would be one thing, but they're out there on the field and they represent the school."

So religious banners in the stands are fine, according to Gaylor, but not on the field.

Two things on that: number one, there appears to have been exactly one complaint. The banners have long been part of the local culture.

And number two: Kountze High does have a pretty good football team. Last week they trounced Warren High 48-0.

Now, that success may be due to coaching, recruiting, or the direction of the wind that day, but you have to at least entertain the possibility there are games that God helps them win provided he gets a mention on the playing field.

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