I was reading an article from The Youth Culture Report about Texas cheerleaders who won a restraining order against a ban on religious posters and signs at football games. This comes as tension about religious freedom, freedom of speech and constitutional rights rise. The article included this quote from Dan Barker, a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
“There’s a difference between free speech and government speech.When those cheerleaders are wearing the uniform, when they’re at an official public high school event, they are not speaking for themselves — they are representing the school, which has a diversity of viewpoints…School as a form of government must be neutral and include all viewpoints and not offend any viewpoints at that school.”
I would like to offer a few things for us as Christians to consider as this line of thought comes against us from almost every angle nowadays. Even though I believe that Christians should have every right outlined in our constitution and given to every other religion in our country, I do think Christians should expect persecution, respond differently to persecution and handle politics and government differently than every other religion.
We should pray well before making any statements and or fighting any battles, legal or otherwise. We are commanded to pray and not just for our causes, God’s Kingdom but also for our enemies and those who would persecute and despise what we think and believe. As Christians we need to make it a habit of talking to God about others long before we try to talking to others about God. In this case along with a vast array of other cases, making signs and banners is great but being a living example is a far better sign that God is real and exists.
It is through the sign of love that people know God better and can be drawn to him. Winning arguments and lawsuits are fine but winning people is greater. As Christians we must be defined by love, not war or fighting. We must be defined by compassion and caring not by Bible verse posters and platitudes. Of course God’s Word is important but writing it on a banner or poster may not be the best way to share scripture. Maybe the best way is to be a living epistle, or letter, written in love?
Do your homework. What I mean is know your rights, but be willing to give up your rights. As followers of Jesus, He modeled for us what it looked like for someone to live a sacrificial life. Yes, He obeyed the laws of the land, which we must do and we can use our freedoms and rights within the right boundaries. It is imperative that Christians become more and more aware of the law and the rights afforded to them by our government. It is very possible that before too long many laws will change and some of the freedom we enjoy now may be stripped away. However, no one can force me to worship something I do not choose. Worship is a choice. As long as I have breath in my lungs, no matter what the law says, nothing nor no one can make me not worship Christ. There may be a ban on banners, Bible verses, and public prayers but nothing can stop a heart that worships God.
What are your thoughts on Bible banners and posters at ball games?
Should all viewpoints at school be neutral and unoffensive? Is that even possible?
What advice can you give to help in situations like this?