Your morning jolt: Liberty U. student made phone call that stopped Friday football Scriptures

A banner made by high school cheerleaders in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. for a Friday night. Special/Brad Scott

A banner made by high school cheerleaders in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga. for a Friday night. Special/Brad Scott

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

  • 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.
  • Some opinion:

  • 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.
  • And beyond:

  • 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.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    18 comments Add your comment


    October 2nd, 2009
    9:41 am

    The lady did Catoosa County a big service by calling the school superintendent on the religious signs. If it had been someone else a major lawsuit costing the taxpayers of Catoosa County a lot of money could have resulted. The taxpayers owe her a tip of the hat.

    Atlanta Voter

    October 2nd, 2009
    9:45 am

    Kudos to that polling firm for providing those crosstabs! Maybe others will take notice. We need accountability with these polls!

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 2nd, 2009
    9:53 am

    Thomas Jefferson is a prophet of G-d. Any who dispute this fact is 1 )ignorant of the anointed Author of the Declaration of American Independence’s body of writings and role in History; 2) denies the existence of G-d; 3) is a member of the Roman Anti-Christ; and/or, 4) is a traitor against America, the prophesied Promised Land.

    Dash Riptide

    October 2nd, 2009
    10:20 am

    Toby Keith is a 21st Century Thomas Jefferson. Toby Keith says it. I believe it. That settles it. Put that on a banner and I’ll run through it.


    October 2nd, 2009
    10:33 am

    Deal, Real, Steal, I wonder how Deal is going to make money off the water issue?

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 2nd, 2009
    10:55 am

    “Dash Riptide” – understandably anonymous, whether “in” or “out,” not a real American.


    October 2nd, 2009
    10:56 am


    October 2nd, 2009
    11:11 am

    Here is one of my favorites to put on a banner and run through before a big game. It sets the tone for the opposition and gets the lord on your side.

    Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT

    Dash Riptide

    October 2nd, 2009
    11:13 am

    Don’t be silly, Willy. Dash Riptide is no more anonymous than Don Draper.

    Bill White

    October 2nd, 2009
    1:08 pm

    This is freedom of speech. The lovely ladies have every right to express themselves. It’s guaranteed by our Founding Fathers. I pray that they will prevail and hopefully this will catch on all across the land.
    Ever since God was kicked out of our schools, our nation’s fabric has become more and more torn with each passing years.
    The secular progressives on this blog will never get it. We need to have a commitment to Judeo-Christian principles that have guided this great nation to its great successes.

    Real Deal

    October 2nd, 2009
    1:15 pm


    October 2nd, 2009
    10:56 am

    Like Sonny hasn’t stole a few million for himself.

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 2nd, 2009
    1:17 pm

    The ideals which have guided us by the vision of Our Anointed Founders are “American” principles. That’s why it’s called “American Exceptionalism.”

    Bill White and other “Fifth Column” Toby Keith fans, closeted or not, are an offense to The Founders and to G-d.

    Dash Riptide

    October 2nd, 2009
    1:22 pm

    About that; sorry.


    October 2nd, 2009
    2:35 pm

    Mr. White, with all due respect, the founding fathers refused to ratify the U.S. Constitution until the separation of Church and State was made explicit, in the First Amendment. They wanted the U.S. Government separate from any religion that a citizen might (or might not) choose to practice. Personally, I think that they should’ve left the cheerleaders alone. But I’m not sure that Thomas Jefferson would.


    October 3rd, 2009
    5:51 am

    Lucas: Since when are cheerleaders Congress or the Federal Govt?

    The Founders weren’t anti-religious. They were anti-Federal Govt inserting itself everywhere it doesn’t belong.

    The accumulation of wrong judicial decisions based on previous wrong decisions is totally perverting our government.

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 3rd, 2009
    11:01 am

    Vincentius – You’ve been welcomed to Our Nation, please stop trying to conquer us, as a member of Rome’s “Fifth Column.” The rights of all Americans are guaranteed by The Constitution, not just those who have been subverted by the lies and propaganda you promote, from the entity America’s Founder, Author, and Prophet correctly identified as “the real Anti-Christ.” Your sectarian, treasonous faction’s “god” is not America’s “Annuit Coeptis” Divine Providence. Get over it, or go back to where you came from.


    October 5th, 2009
    2:12 pm

    Will – God and I spoke last night and he’s really ashamed of you. You need to come over to my house tonight for the appropriate “punishment.” I didn’t make this up. God really really really wants you to meet his friends Neil and Bob.

    Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

    October 5th, 2009
    2:56 pm

    GBC: The curse comes not without cause.