I listened to a report on the case in Texas involving several cheerleaders who use Bible verses on banners. These banners are placed at the entrance to the field. As we have seen in many football games, the team runs right through the banner, tearing them to pieces. An Atheist group, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, was offended by this expression of the cheerleaders’ faith and a complaint was filed before the East Texas school district which promptly forbade the cheerleaders' practice.
A judge, however, has granted an injunction requested by the Kountze High School allowing the cheerleaders to continue their practice. A trial is scheduled for June 24, 2013. This issue has drawn into the fray Texas governor, Gov. Rick Perry, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott who are in support of the cheerleaders’ rights to express their faith.
Why is Christianity, constantly, under attack in this country? Why is so much attention and anger roused when Christians express their faith openly? Anyone is allowed to march down our streets to show pride in their causes and rallies can be held in any public park in support of issues. Other religions are not as challenged. When traffic is stopped in New York near a mosque so that Muslims can pray in the direction of Mecca, they are not confronted, but raise a Cross in a public place or set a Nativity Scene, even with permission, and many are offended. They are threatened and immediately challenge our rights to such expressions. What in the world is going on?
Christianity is not an offensive or an aggressive religion. If we have learned anything from Jesus, it is to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to love and to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. Is this the reason we are challenged? Are we persecuted because we are easy targets who allow these types of abuses without retaliation? Perhaps, after all, that is what happened to Jesus who quietly endured all that He endured. The early Christians lived day in and day out persecuted by many in the Roman Empire. They were easy targets. They were blamed for earthquakes, for a lost child and for any other catastrophe. It wasn’t until Emperor Constantine became a Christian and declared the rights of Christians to exist that the Church was able to rest from constant persecution.
So, who speaks for the rights of Christians today? What can we do to protect our rights to express our faith and exercise our religious convictions openly? If our rights continue to erode in this country, we will eventually be muzzled even from the pulpit in our churches, even by our own government. One thing I say to you, don’t stop to speak or to live for Jesus out in the open, declare your faith even if challenged or persecuted but do it in peace, without offense or demeaning anyone else. Live as a true living example of Jesus Christ.
What do you think?