A religious group claims Lubbock ISD refused to run a faith-based advertisement on their jumbotron during high school football games.
Little Pencil LLC wanted to run a "Tattooed Jesus" ad, they say to promote the Bible's teachings.
When it was not allowed, the group Alliance Defending Freedom stepped in and filed a lawsuit in federal court.
Alliance Defending Freedom describes their organization as an "alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith."
Jesustattoo.org features a video of Jesus removing people's negative tattoos, representing their struggles, and turning them into positive ones.
The site is not run by a church, but "by a small group of people humbled by the love of Jesus."
According to Alliance Defending Freedom, the advertisement, requested to run on Lubbock ISD's jumbotron, would have looked like the 50-plus billboards that were posted across West Texas.
LISD reportedly denied the request, allegedly telling the organization that due to policies and practices, the district is prohibited from allowing religious advertisements with the use of government property based on federal law.
Alliance Defending Freedom argues that the district routinely permits other faith-based, non school-related organizations to advertise.
The organization provided KCBD this recorded statement from their attorney:
"No one deserves to be silenced simply for having a viewpoint that school officials don't favor. When a school creates an opportunity for community advertising, it cannot single out religious messages for censorship. The first amendment protects freedom of speech for all people, regardless of their religious or political beliefs," said Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
KCBD asked LISD for a list of organizations who advertised on their jumbotron.
None of the companies on that list are faith-based:
Adobe Auto Sales
Reagor-Dykes Auto Group
Pick Up Pals
Gene Messer Toyota
Chick Fil A
River Smith's Catfish & Chicken
United Way Public Service Announcement
LISD says they have not received any official notification of a lawsuit.
Saturday, May 26 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:23:47 GMT
Sunday, May 27 2018 5:28 AM EDT2018-05-27 09:28:05 GMT
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