Letter from Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman:
The First Amendment -- it's first in our Bill of Rights for a reason! Religious freedom is very dear to our hearts as Christians and Americans, so we've been thinking a lot about the recent events in East Texas.
We're dealing with an attack on the First Amendment in our state right now. The Kountze cheerleaders are in their right to express their religion at school games because the law is clear -- if participants are free to come and go from an event, then a citizen of this country has the right to express his or her faith at that event. The Kountze superintendent is not just out of line on this, he's out of the bounds of nearly 250 years of American law! Thankfully, a judge has issued a stay on the superintendent's ruling and the cheerleaders will continue to be able to express their faith in accordance with the First Amendment. Thus far, the intention of our Founding Fathers, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech are being protected, but we must continue to pay close attention to this case.
We should be proud of these students for standing up for their faith and being willing to tell others about their beliefs as Christians. How many teens do you know of any faith willing to stand up boldly for what they believe? It's such a hard time for many teenagers who just want to blend in with the crowd. These cheerleaders are truly being individuals here -- isn't that what many liberals want? Just not when it comes to Christians, I'm afraid.
We've raised our children to stand firm in their faith. We've stood by our kids as they've had to make a stand for their beliefs as Christians. It's hard for teens sometimes, and we're just so proud of our state's students in Kountze. We'll be praying that they are able to stand strong in their beliefs and that the First Amendment will be protected in this nation.
What do you think about what's going on in Kountze? Let us know what you and your family have been talking about in the car or around the dinner table.
- Barry and Marijane