A Mississippi high school marching band has been barred from playing its halftime show at football games because the set included the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
Fox News reports Brandon High School was previously at the root of controversy when a student sued the school district over Christian meetings that were held on school property in 2013. In July 2015, the school landed in hot water again when a pastor prayed at an awards ceremony at the Brandon High.
After the July incident, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves ruled that any further promotion of religion at the school would be met with a $10,000 fine.
According to Reeves’ order, “Defendants are permanently enjoined from including prayer, religious sermons or activities in any school sponsored event including but not limited to assemblies, graduations, award ceremonies, athletic events and any other school event.”
In response to the marching band’s cancelled set, town residents devised a plan to protest at the first football game. One by one, people began to stand up and sing “How Great Thou Art” until hundreds of people were singing in the stadium.
Resident Brittany Mann said, “We were just sitting there and then one by one people started to stand. At first, it started out as a hum but the sound got louder and louder.”
She continued, “At that moment I was so proud of my town - coming together and taking a stand for something we believe in. It breaks my heart to see where our country is going — getting farther and farther away from the Christian beliefs that our country was founded on.”
Photo courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org
Publication date: August 24, 2015