Atheists Criticize Band for Religious Wording

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group, has objected to the Licking Valley High School Band’s field show t-shirts and the word “salvation.”

The Newark, Ohio band’s 2014 field show is based on Pavel Tchesnokov’s “Salvation is Created.”

The group sent Licking Valley Superintendent Dave Hile a letter saying that although the shirt references a song, it could make some students uncomfortable and therefore is constitutionally objectionable.

“There’s lots of different definitions for the word salvation, and the piece of music itself is instrumental, so there’s no lyrics involved with it,” Hile said to the Newark Advocate. “That doesn’t have anything to do with religion, as far as I’m concerned.”

The band continues to play the song and some wear the shirts. The complaint stemmed when they wore it as uniform at a local festival. Coincidentally they were not schedule to wear them as uniforms at any more public events.

The Foundation has also complained about the school posting photos of the football team engaged in prayer with coaches. Hile says he does not plan to respond to either complaint.

Read the full story from the Newark Advocate and view the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s letter below:

Religious Band T-shirts, OH

Many classical or other instrumental pieces contain religious themes or inspiration. Has your band ever had issues with including these in a performance?

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