The Case of the Friday Night Football Scriptures up in Catoosa County has taken a strange turn.
On Monday, the county school superintendent – responding to what she termed as a complaint – declared that cheerleaders at the local high school would no longer be allowed to paint Bible verses on the paper banners that football players crash through on game night.
Much of the northwest Georgia community erupted.
Who was the interloper who blew the whistle on this colorful Christian – but legally indefensible – tradition? A mom who had just finished a class on education law at Liberty University, the institution founded by the Rev. Jerry Fallwell.
In prelude to a Thursday evening interview with Donna Jackson, radio station WAAK (94.7 FM) posted a formal statement from the mother, which includes this:
“I did call the superintendent to express concern that the cheerleaders’ signs be done in such a way that all involved were within the ever changing and very confusing lines drawn by the federal courts about such things. The issue was on my mind because of a school law class I took last summer at the Christian university where I am working on my doctorate of education degree.
“That university is Liberty University, founded by the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. One of my sons recently graduated from [Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School] and another one is in school there now, and I never said anything about the signs all these years.
“I am not an expert on what the law or judicial opinions will or will not allow, but we all know of horror stories involving court battles and divided communities. I called the superintendent with the hope of heading off the type of community division that hasty actions have now caused.”
U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia on Thursday called out U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama for sneaking into a spending bill some language that Deal said would tip the balance in a three-state fight over water.
“Something has been added in the original version from the other body that injects itself into something that I don’t think this House wants to be involved in, and that is the water wars between Alabama, Florida, and Georgia,” Deal warned.
Deal had bipartisan support. U.S. Reps. David Scott (D-Atlanta) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Sharpsburg) endorsed his objections.
The Senate language directs the Corps of Engineers to calculate critical yields on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa basins in the next 120 days.
“It will either be used for purposes of the ongoing litigation, or it will be used as an argument that human consumption should not be considered in the resolution of this issue between these three states,” he said from the House floor.
Deal continued: “To spend Corps dollars calculating something that does not take into account the right of people to drink the water that is in their state is unrealistic, and is a true waste of federal money. I find it quite ironic that the gentleman who injected this language into this bill, just a couple of years ago was injecting language that directed the Corps not to do these kinds of studies. Isn’t it ironic how all of a sudden the positions have flip-flopped?”
Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, it looks like, has finally made it to South Africa.
She was booted off a South African Airways flight Tuesday because, the airline said, her passport lacked the necessary two blank pages that the country of destination required. She was rebooked and should have arrived in Johannesburg last night, according to a Capetown radio station.
McKinney is a scheduled speaker at a pro-Palestinian rally in South Africa this weekend.
WSB-TV on Thursday unveiled a third poll of the Atlanta mayoral race, done in partnership with InsiderAdvantage. The survey showed little change – and only one month to go.
Matt Towery, CEO of InsiderAdvantage, has posted the crosstabs on his group’s Web site, with this message:
We have posted our crosstabs as we provide to WSB and every media firm for which we poll. We hope that all pollsters will join our tradition of making crosstabs available to major media. We have done this for many years and apparently it really matters (as well it should).
Finally, in a joint project, the AJC and WSB-TV have posted a voter guide for the upcoming elections. It was produced by the League of Women Voters of Georgia. See it here, and tell us what you think.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Georgian Bank’s wealthy clients speeded failure. Gwinnett County boundary shift affects 9,000 schoolkids. More Georgia Tech students robbed at gunpoint. Morehouse employee fired for anti-gay e-mail. Gingrich recalls award offered to topless bar. King siblings given less than a week to reconcile. Flood waters trap boats in Lake Allatoona. Georgia state school superintendent visits flood-ruined school. Gwinnett transit bus catches fire – the third time for that model. Joe Burton, 86, of Atlanta, veteran legislator championed disabled kids.
Jim Wooten declares that the vast right-wing conspiracy is back! Storm runoff systems ignored. ‘Era of engagement’ includes Cuba.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
Macon Telegraph: Bibb deputy in Afghanistan killed by IED.
WP: White House eyeing narrower war effort. NYT: Iran agrees to send enriched uranimum to Russia. Wall Street Journal Asia: The constitution of Kim Jong Il.
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