US District Court Judge Carlton Reeve issued a permanent injunction earlier this year preventing the Rankin County School District in Jackson, Mississippi from including prayer, religious sermons and activities at any school sponsored event. This included Northwest Rankin High School football games.
Northwest Rankin’s band had a halftime show scheduled, in which they would perform the Christian hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” but with pressure from the school district and administrators, the band was told they could not perform their show. Band Director Tim Cagle explained his decision:
“If we were to perform this show, taking a chance of how it would be perceived by others, and the court deems it is in violation of previous rulings, not only would the Rankin County School District face harsh fines, but also RCSD would be forced to terminate the employment of anyone associated with the decision to perform the show.”
With jobs and livelihoods on the line, it’s no wonder why the band stood down. However, as both teams headed to the locker room, the crowd rose to their feet and belted out a rendition of the banned song.
Listen as the entire crowd joined voices and sang the song, “How Great Thou Art,” taking pride for what they believe in.
Regardless of whether you agree or not, seeing a community come together in such a peaceful way is absolutely beautiful.
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