Drop kick me Jesus



For the past six years, the cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School in the northwest corner of Georgia had taken to displaying Bible verses on banners such as the above, through which their football team would burst onto the field. Then, last month, the banners were banned on advice of counsel, after a local woman wrote to the school superintendent to suggest that they might provoke a lawsuit. (The woman was not personally opposed to the signs, but expressing concern based on what she learned in her doctoral studies in education at Liberty University [!] last summer.)

Not surprisingly, a lot of people in the community are upset. The school administration is sticking to its guns–and if I know anything about North Georgia, it will continue to do so. No one lets herself get pushed around in that part of the world. Anyway, the question I have is how Bruce Ledewitz’s “plausibility test” would apply in this case. Is there a plausible secular justification for the Philippians 3:14 banner above?

Here’s the justification from LFO High’s 2004 class president Brad Scott, now a local youth minister:

“The cheerleaders are not trying to push a religious cause, to shove
religion down someone’s throat…The cheerleaders are just
using Scripture to show motivation and inspiration to the players and
the fans.”

Then there’s John Allen, who was coaching football at LFO High at the time the banners were instituted, who said:

We started (the signs) as a reflection of who we were as a community.
There are churches on every corner in that community, and this was
simply a message of all our faith, hope and belief.

I think it probably flunks.

Update: So does Prof. Ledewitz.