Leeds City Schools asked to stop Christian-themed football halftime show

A Wisconsin-based national group has asked Leeds City Schools to stop a high school band's regular Christian-themed football halftime show, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution's idea of separation of the church and state.

(REUTERS / Marvin Gentry)A general view of the city of Birmingham, Alabama, August 9, 2011.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation objected to the halftime show being put on by the Leeds High School marching band, as it said it resembled a Christian church service as Christian music was being played and church pews were set up. The national group said public schools were not allowed to "promote religion," AL.com relayed.

In a letter to Leeds City Schools Superintendent John J. Moore, FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line cited the Supreme Court's order in 1982 that prohibited public schools from holding prayers and other religious activities. The organization said a parent had raised concern over the show and claimed that band members were told they could drop out of the band if they did not support the activity.

"Similarly, turning a school-sponsored marching band performance into a religious event violates the constitutional separation of religion and government," said Line in the letter. "Leeds City Schools 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."

Moore, on the other hand, told AL.com that they have already forwarded FFRF's complaint to their school board's attorney. However, he said they have no plans to stop the halftime show.

Last month, Line wrote a letter to Wichita State University president John Bardo to relay its concerns about a class which was allegedly being held at a Fairmount Coffee Company branch. The FFRF legal fellow complained that the company was affiliated with the Lutheran Student Center and displayed religious decor, The Wichita State Sunflower reported.

FFRF said requiring students to attend class at a religious establishment was a violation of the Establishment Clause. Line's letter called on WSU to stop the classes in question from being held at the religiously affiliated company.