A wrestling team in Parkersburg, W. Va., will no longer endorse the longtime motto, “Phillippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” The motto was adopted at least 10 years agoand had appeared on the wrestling team’s webpage, on the team T-shirts, and in the high school gymnasium.
Staff Attorney Patrick Elliott sent a letter to Wood County Schools April 11, explaining why the motto was a constitutional violation:
“Advancing or promoting religion is precisely what a school does when it adopts a Christian motto for an athletic team and posts that religious message on its official website. Such a posting unconstitutionally entangles Parkersburg South with religion.”
FFRF advised the school to end all endorsement of Christian messages, including on the team’s webpage. Due to FFRF’s complaint, the bible verse that was posted inside the Parkersburg High School gymnasium was painted over and the motto has been taken off of the wrestling team webpage.