Court throws out atheist group's legal challenge to cheerleaders who wanted to post Bible verses on their banner

(PHOTO: RELIGIOUS LIBERTY)

A group of cheerleaders from Kountze, Texas faced some opposition from an atheist group after they posted Bible verses on their run-through banners. Thankfully, the Court of Appeals ruled in their favor and allowed them to proclaim their love for God during football games.

It was the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FRFF) who filed a complaint against the cheerleaders, according to Fox News. The school district actually banned cheerleaders from writing Bible verses on their banners for the football team back in 2012, but the Court of Appeals for the Ninth District Court of Texas reversed the ruling last Thursday.

"We find the Cheerleaders' speech on the pregame run-through banners cannot be characterized as government speech," the court ruled.

First Liberty Institute, who represented the cheerleaders in this legal battle, could not be more thrilled with the court's decision. "This is another great victory for the free speech and religious liberty rights of all Texas students," First Liberty Institute president Kelly Shackelford said. "Hopefully this ruling will bring clarity and closure to this issue for all Texas students and schools."

Meanwhile, general counsel Hiram Sasser said "no school district should be able to censor, ban or claim ownership of the private religious speech of its students."

The cheerleaders from Kountza had the backing of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz - two well-known Christian politicians. "The First Amendment protects the religious liberty of ever American," Cruz said. "I'm proud to side with the cheerleaders standing up for free expression of religion and the Bill of Rights."

The FRFF has actually garnered criticism from Christians in the past, including Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham. Ham accused the FRFF of being partial when it comes to religion and ripping apart anything that has to do with Jesus Christ.

"Although the group's name is the 'Freedom From Religion Foundation,' it's really not religion in general that this group is fighting against but Christianity in particular," Ham wrote on his blog. "The FFRF leaders claim to want 'the school to stop allowing the distribution of religious material altogether,' but they are willing to allow Satanic material to be given out to accomplish this — anything, as long as it's not the Bible."