Originally published in Faith Wire
Administrators at a Louisianna high school have taken the controversial decision scrub out a business logo because it featured a cross symbol and the word “Christ.”
Billy Weatherall, who is the owner of Christ Fit Gym, paid $3 500 for his logo to be painted across the end zone of the Benton High School football field. The graphic featured a cross, the name of the business and a scripture reference: 1 Timothy 4:8.
“I’ve done it for years,” he told the Shreveport Times. “I signed a contract to have the sponsorship there.”
But just hours before Friday’s game was to commence, officials at the school took it upon themselves to cover over the logo. Weatherall subsequently attained a temporary injunction to prevent the graphic from being scrubbed, but it was too late.
So, the businessman is suing the Benton Football Booster Club. “It’s a battle over the mind of a child,” his lawyer, Ryan Gatti, told KSLA-TV, who also noted that school students were ordered to paint over the logo.
“Just let that sink in. They were told to spray paint over the name of Christ,” Gatti added.
Weatherall is convinced that his lawsuit must go forward, and that if he lets this one slide, things are only going to get worse. “I promise you, if I don’t stand up for this right now, it ain’t stopping with the logo on the field,” he explained. “They’ll be coming for ads next. They’ll be coming for what’s in the programmes. It’s just not gonna stop right here, I promise you it will not stop with this.”
“But what we need to do, we need to take a stand and just say no, enough is enough. We aren’t going to stand for it.”
In a video posted to Facebook, Weatherall explained the situation in more detail. “We put the Christ Fit logo on the field. Then, on homecoming, I was told that they would be erasing the logo from the field,” the gym owner explained. “I’ve been told that people are gonna lose their jobs over this. Let me tell you, I’ve been praying a lot and seeking the Lord and this is what the word says: ‘Far be it from Me, for those who honour Me, I will honour.’ God will honour those who honour Him.”
“I believe it’s not honouring God for me to just stand down and tell you that it’s okay, because it’s not. Guys, I signed a contract.”
Billy’s message to the school was very simple: “If you want this to go away, just put [the logo] back on the field!”
Weatherall concluded: “Christ is everything to me, and I will stand on that forever.”
A lawyer for the school district, Jon K Guice, explained that “a challenge to the logo was received from counsel for the plaintiffs in a pending federal lawsuit alleging improper endorsement of religion in the schools,” leading to the scrubbing of the image.
“The School Board’s legal counsel advised the administration that the logo should be removed pending consultation with the Court, as alleged violations had just been discussed with the Court.”
Alongside a picture of the logo, Christ Fit Gym posted the following message to Facebook regarding the recent controversy.
The enemy IS NOT the booster club, faculty or administration. THE ENEMY IS SATAN!!!
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground… Ephesians 6:11-13
Back in February, a federal lawsuit accusing the Bossier Parish School District of unconstitutionally promoting Christianity in schools was lodged by Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
The lawsuit alleged that various forms of prayer and Christian messages are being promoted on school property. The school district has reportedly been engaged in talks over a financial settlement regarding that particular lawsuit.