This week the New York Times updates the debate over the bible quoting cheerleaders in the township of Kountze, near Houston, Texas. Until recently, high school football games in Kountze feature inspirational verses on banners held by the cheerleaders. The pracice has been stopped by the school superintendent, Kevin Weldon, “out of concern that the signs were unlawful and amounted to school-sanctioned religious expression”.
The story is interesting because it challenges easy blue state / red state cliches about left wing bureaucrats versus read meat small town fundamentalists. AS the NYT story points out, Weldon is very Texas: a protestant, a former high school football coach, and a hunter who because of his constitutional principles finds himself uncomfortably aligned with atheits.
There’s a thoughtful op-ed piece by the NYT here which makes the point that Weldon’s view locally is in the minority, and while politicians such as Governor Rick Perry have weighed in on the side of the cheerleaders, this story shows “the dangers of a union between church and state. In this country — including in Texas — the Constitution does not leave religious freedom up to majority rule.”