Fox host tells school to ‘stand up’ to atheists: ‘Salvation’ T-shirts are ‘harmless’
Fox News host Anna Kooiman asserted on Sunday that secularists had been wrong to object after an Ohio marching band wore “Salvation” T-shirts at a school-sponsored event.
In a letter to Licking Valley School District Superintendent Dave Hile last week, the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the T-shirts were “constitutionally objectionable,” even if they were a reference to Pavel Tchesnokov’s “Salvation is Created.”
“When a public school allows its marching band to display religious messages, like ‘Salvation,’ during performances, they unconstitutionally entangle the school with religion,” the letter noted. “[S]tudents and community members might reasonably presume that the marching band and its message of ‘Salvation’ is sponsored by the Licking Valley Local School District.”
Kooiman told Hile and Licking Valley High School band flute player Zoe Weaver that she didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
“Your shirt, I mean, it seems pretty harmless,” Kooiman opined. “How can one word, salvation, be causing so much controversy?”
Weaver insisted that the marching band had never thought of the word “salvation” as a religious message until “someone who has used a lot of religion in their life” brought it up.
Kooiman pointed out that the Freedom from Religion Foundation had also “targeted” school football teams in the South over Christian prayers.
“Do you think that action from local schools like yours at the high school level and colleges need to stand up to groups like this?” she wondered.
“I really think so,” Weaver agreed. “Although I do think it’s a great cause for people who do think it should be removed from public schools, I mean, it’s always more than it seems. Like for us, it’s never been just about having a religious show. And for them, maybe it’s not everyone on their team has to have this religion. It’s just the way to come together as a team and get focused.”
For his part, Hile said that the school would not be changing the way it picked themes for the band after complaints about the “Salvation” T-shirts because “no one was considering it to be part of a religious context.”
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 28, 2014.