Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content at the RNS Archives website.

God-fearing cheerleaders and the Constitution. The Texas textbook debacle. And meet Bishop Blase Cupich.

Categories: Beliefs

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe covered government and features as a daily newspaper reporter for 15 years before joining the Religion News Service staff as a national correspondent in 2011. She previously was Washington correspondent for The State (Columbia, S.C.)


  1. First,
    Congrats to RNS for all its successes so enumerated above, especially David Gibson and Adele Banks. Well-earned kudos for excellent reporting.

    “cheerleaders linked hands….and began to recite the Lord’s Prayer.”
    This primitive nonsense must be laughed out of town:

    “Our Father…” — NOT MINE!
    “Who art in heaven” —- SAYS WHO?
    “Hallowed be thy name” — Shouldn’t you exist first?
    “Thy kingdom come” —- WHAT? WHO WANTS THIS KINGDOM?
    “On earth as it is in Heaven” — MEANING WHAT?
    “Give us this day our daily bread” — SAID A MILLION STARVING CHILDREN
    “And forgive us our trespasses” — HOW CONVENIENT!
    “As we forgive those who trespass against us” — The Golden Rule is not for Gods, it is for humans.
    “Lead us not into temptation” —- WHY START NOW?!
    “But deliver us from evil” — FAT CHANCE GETTING HELP FROM THE CREATOR OF EVIL!

    “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

    We must abandon this primitive, incoherent garbage.

  2. Congratulations to the Oneida, Tenn. cheerleaders for having the fortitude to say the Lord’s Prayer before a football crowd. They were willing to face ridicule (like the one above) and possibility of a law suit. Of course some one will figure a way to sue them in Federal Court. Some times you just have to do what you think in right and take the consequences if need be.

    I am also a Baptist minister who is a member of the ACLU, I just don’t think freedom of religion means freedom “from” faith, are that an individual and even a groups rights to free expression should be denied.

    • You seem to forget the distinction between the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the 1st Amendment.

      If the prayer was sponsored by the school officials, it is not an act of fortitude but merely following along under coercion. If the cheerleaders were acting on their own accord, there is no violation of the law. Students have always been allowed to pray in schools publicly. They just couldn’t call upon official endorsement by the school.

      If you don’t believe religious freedom also includes freedom from faith, you do not understand the term. Your faith doesn’t require government support or the endorsement of public officials.

      • No, my faith doesn’t require government support. IF, the cheerleaders came up with this stance on their own, then hopefully they will take whatever consequences await them. People of faith have done this for centuries.
        There is a difference between freedom of religion and freedom from religion. The many, many atheist who have written about freedom from religion always give the viewpoint of destroying religions. There seems to be no place on the street, in common places, in universities and colleges that the freedom from religion crowd doesn’t wish to stamp out even the mention of faith or religion.

        Atheist on this web site are not looking for freedom from religion they are looking for the elimination of religion. It’s not going to happen.

        Dr. Frank Burton, Director of The Circle of Reason is for both atheist and theist to come to gather in respect and share their beliefs and find common ground and even purpose.

        • @Chaplain Martin,

          “…both atheist and theist to come to gather in respect and share their beliefs and find common ground…”

          Any effort to support religion is uncivilized.
          As an Atheist who is both Anti-theist and Agnostic I cannot respect someone who wants me dead. Simple as that.

          “Unbelievers deserve death” – St. Thomas Aquinas
          “Unbelievers must be stoned to death” – Yahweh
          “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS
          “slay the infidel wherever you find them” – Allah
          “Unbelievers must die” – St. Augustine

          But I do not reciprocate – no atheist does!
          I have no manifesto calling for death to religious people or anyone else.

          I only insist that religious people keep their bloody ideas
          and wild-eyed, destructive doctrines out of our government laws. Religion (whether you like it or not) is primitive, woman-hating,
          gay-hating, freedom-hating, man-hating barbarism
          and it is determined to act in an uncivilized, divisive behavior
          at every chance.

          Religion has no value except to puff up the proud
          and to afflict the afflicted. It is a shame so many people are so lost in its infantile grip.

        • Chaplain,

          To find Common Ground between a Theist and an Atheist.

          A Theist must:

          1. Throw out the Bible as ‘an Authority’ or as truly ‘God’s Word’.
          2. Throw out the preachment of Hell as a real place.
          3. Treat religion as completely optional.
          4. Treat Jesus as completely optional.
          5. Treat God as optional.
          6. Treat religion as optional.
          7. Treat the concepts of Sin, Hell, Damnation, Heaven as completely optional (i.e.: if you dismiss Christianity you are not a sinner)
          8. Promise to indoctrinate NO children into religion.
          9. Accept religion as a philosophy frozen in time; not supported by any evidence but founded strictly on primitive guesswork from ancient bands of hunters and gatherers long before science started answering things more clearly.


          keep your beliefs out of government laws. And we’ll be fine.

    • David Lloyd-Jones

      Where are the lions in the arena when we need ’em?

      In a serious vein, this looks to me like a fair litmus of how far we’ve come…
      and how far we still have to travel.


    • @Chaplain Martin,

      “Congratulations…They were willing to face ridicule”

      Would you be as approving if they prayed to Mohammed and then removed everybody’s beer from the stands? Or do you only approve of pushy Christians?

  1. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    […] We’re hung over this morning at Religion News Service. We got drunk this weekend on the great ideas wafting through the air at what one of our colleagues has dubbed “the prom for religion nerds,” aka the annual conference of the Religion Newswriters Association.There might also have been some non-sacramental wine. In Atlanta this year, some of the most popular panels […]  […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.