Small-town cheerleaders trounce atheist group

Published 2:20 am Saturday, September 8, 2018

By R.A. Mathews

The cheerleaders of Kountze, Texas, (pronounced Koontz) weren’t looking for trouble. By all accounts they were good Christian girls.

In fact, in 2012 these cheerleaders decided at training camp that instead of violent messages like “Destroy the Dogs” or “Scalp the Indians,” they’d use inspiring words on their run-through banners—that large paper sheet football teams crash through as they enter the field.

Here are two of their messages:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13”

“If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31”

The same atheists that pounced on Opp last year—the Freedom from Religion Foundation—complained to Kountze’s school district superintendent. He put a stop to the banners. One parent said, “Why are they wanting to be free from something they don’t believe in?”

Nevertheless, the FFRF atheists must have felt pretty satisfied.

Two days later, the cheerleaders buckled up their boots and filed suit.

The girls thought it would be decided within a few months. Six years later they’d traveled from court to court, winning every time only to have the school district appeal. Last week, the cheerleaders garnered yet another win.

One justice said that due to the playful nature of the Christian banners, they’re “highly unlikely [to be understood] to contain a message endorsed by the school.”

This fight reminds me of one in the Bible. You’ll see why.

After Jesus’ resurrection and return to heaven, the disciples carry on His work. And boy do they hit it. Peter’s first sermon brings 3,000 to Christ. The next was even more successful.

The afternoon before that second sermon, Peter and John are entering the temple for prayer. They pass a lame man who sat daily at the gate begging for alms.

Peter says, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth get up and walk.”

The man leaps around them, praising God as they step through the temple. The people recognize the man and start running toward them, amazed at the miracle. Peter then preaches and 5,000 are saved.

Jealous religious leaders quickly put Peter and John into prison. The next day they’re brought before the Sanhedrin—the Jewish council that tried Jesus. The formerly lame man is also there, and the council asks Peter how he was healed.

“By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” Peter says, “whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” Acts 4:10

The council admits that the healing is a great miracle, evident to everyone in Jerusalem. They can’t punish Peter and John. Instead, the council warns them not to speak in the name of Jesus anymore.

Peter and John go right back to preaching in the temple, bringing multitudes to Christ.

The high priest is furious. He puts the apostles in jail again, calls the council together, and then sends to the prison for the trouble makers.

Now the prison doors are locked and secured by guards, but the apostles are missing. Boosted by an angel.

The fugitives are easily found—back at the temple preaching about Jesus.

They’re taken again to the Sanhedrin.

“Didn’t we tell you to stop?” the high priest asks.

Peter boldly responds. “God raised Jesus whom you murdered…”

The council is furious. And that’s when it happens. Gamaliel, a well-respected Pharisee, stands and speaks these famous words:

“I say to you…let these men alone; for if this plan is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.” Acts 5:34-39

Don’t you love it!

The FFRF atheists would do well to read a little Scripture. They might figure out how things work. Trying to stifle the cheerleaders of tiny Kountze—population 2,009—has sent religious freedom reverberating across America. Cheerleaders everywhere will start using Christian banners.

Uh, who’s feeling pretty satisfied now?

Every attempt to silence the Christian faith has failed. We are 2.2 billion strong!

But Christ will always be attacked. Your opportunity to speak for Jesus may be small or as big as the Kountze case. Buckle up those boots and stand ready.


© 2018 R.A. Mathews The Rev. R. A. Mathews is a faith columnist, attorney, and the author of “Reaching To God: Great Truths from the Bible.” Follow her on Twitter @ReachingToGod.