Parkersburg Wrestling Team Will Keep Wearing Bible Themed Shirts

Posted on June 1, 2014 in Religious Freedom by

wrestling shirtThe kerfuffle that began over a Bible verse printed on the Parkersburg South wrestling team shirts seems to be over, for now. (Click here to read a State Journal article detailing the events and the apparent outcome.)

In case you missed what has transpired over the last couple of weeks, here’s the basic story line.

The Parkersburg South wrestling team has been wearing shirts with the Bible verse Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Him who gives me strength,’ for years. The shirts are bought by parents and students are not required to wear them. Each student that wears the shirt makes a personal decision to wear it.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, that lovely Wisconsin based legal group that relies on bullying and scare tactics, got a phone call from a single “concerned” person. That was enough to prompt the group to send one of their famous “threatening letters” designed to scare a school into backtracking.

Thankfully the school did not demand the students stop wearing the shirts. Of course this may be due to the overwhelming support from both students and the community for the free exercise of religious freedom. (It also might have something to do with a school board election.) Whatever the reason, the school appears to have resolved the issue and the wrestling team will continue to wear the shirts that have been on their backs for years.

It was good to see the community stand up for the religious freedom rights. As usual, when a school or community does stand up for their right the Freedom From Religion Foundation backs down and hides somewhere. When their scare tactics don’t work they tend to back down because they often lose in court.

It remains to be seen if further action will be taken by the school, school board, or anyone else. For now though it will be good to see the wrestling team exercise their religious freedom with a community standing beside them.

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