***Update***: I’ve received multiple emails telling me this was not a halftime show, but a routine for a national competition, so I have updated the post to reflect that.
I have also been told this was a show all about World War II, not Jesus. All those crosses? Those are supposed to represent Arlington National Cemetery.
As if the only soldiers who fought in the war were Christians.
Last year, at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee, the marching band performed a routine that appeared to repeatedly promote Christianity.
See how many you can spot in this screenshot alone:
During the show, you can see more than a dozen crosses with American flags surrounding the field. Then, look at these timestamps:
2:32: The band members lie down on the field, feet together, with their arms stretched out like Jesus on the Cross.
4:00: A cross formation appears on the right 30-yard hash mark.
7:00: A cross formation appears on the right 40-yard hash mark.
9:20: A larger cross formation appears on the center top of the field
11:20: An even larger cross formation appears at the center of the field. (See image above)
It’s possible no students said anything last year for the same reason football players are often afraid to speak out against their praying coaches. They just don’t want to become a social outcast. But someone finally alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation to the problem and attorney Rebecca Markert finally wrote a letter to the Kingsport City Schools:
This performance was wholly inappropriate for a public school marching band. in the future, the DBHS marching band can not incorporate religious symbols into its performances.
Dobyns-Bennett High School has a responsibility to ensure that performances by school-sponsored groups do not impermissibly promote religion over nonreligion or Judeo-Christianity over all minority faiths.
It’s true this happened last year, and there’s no indication that this year’s shows were promoting religion, but there’s also no promise that this won’t happen again in the future. That’s what FFRF is looking for.
I can’t wait to hear the explanation from the District for this one. How do you rationalize all those cross formations as totally secular?