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Dear Parents,

I am writing to provide additional information and perspective regarding the community


reaction to our run through sign during last Fridays football game and our subsequent
response to the community.
I wish to make it abundantly clear that our cheerleaders, Mrs. Housel, and our athletic
department staff have our full support and abiding respect and appreciation. Our cheerleaders
were seeking to be creative with a play on words to foster school spirit and in support of our
Lions.
Friday's football game was a wonderful experience. More importantly, our cheerleaders,
coaches, staff, and volunteers all went the extra mile to welcome and honor our Fairfield
guests. The Gospel was effectively shared in word and deed. By all accounts, it was a
wonderful evening of competition, fellowship, and outreach.
Unfortunately, while unintended, our sign was offensive to a number of people. Members of the
Fairfield community as well as BCS parents, alumni, and grandparents called and emailed
expressing shock and disappointment in the sign. TV reporters arrived on campus for
interviews and reporters called and emailed from the Birmingham News and the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution requesting an interview and answers to specific questions. The situation
also lit up social media.
The situation demanded an appropriate response. Those involved in crafting it were Harry
Reeder, Bruce Stallings, Mark Edwards, three BPC elders, and myself. The response was
revised several times before it was released. Of course, before prior to issuing a public
response, I personally spoke with the Superintendent of Fairfield City schools, who
acknowledged the offense but who also graciously accepted my apology on behalf of the
school.
I believe our response was biblical and necessary. We had a group of people who genuinely
felt disrespected and offended. It doesn't matter whether or not some think those feelings are
warranted. It doesn't matter what the intent of the sign was, which was nothing more than an
attempt at a creative play on words. What matters is that while unintended, we offended many
of our guests and others. In addition to giving unintended offense, the sign implied
endorsement of a political candidate, which was an inadvertent violation of church and school
policy.
This biblical passage (among others, e.g., Eph. 4:1ff, Rom. 12:18) applies and provides
guidance to this situation.
For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By

what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you
regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating
and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus
serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what
makes for peace and for mutual up building. Romans 14:15ff
The bottom line was that if we unintentionally gave offense. For the sake of the Gospel an
apology was warranted and necessary. There is nothing lost by asking those offended by our
actions to forgive us for our unintended insensitivity to how the sign might be interpreted by
them. And I think it would be beneficial for us and our students to endeavor to understand the
feelings of our neighbors. I can't state it any better than this email from one of our parents:
Dr. Mosbacker,
I did not see the banner and was not aware of it until I happened across the media
reports this afternoon. Your statement to the media and the communication to staff and
parents this afternoon was much needed and excellent. With all that has happened in
our country in recent years, the Lord has convicted me that, due to a handful of people
who cry racism at every hand, I have often not taken as seriously as I should have the
very real pain of so many in the African-American community.
There is much pain and brokenness that I do not understand because I have never
experienced prejudice and racism as so many have. I fear that too many Christians let
their politics inform their attitudes more than the Bible and the gospel. Just because we
may perceive that someone is "too sensitive or may believe the media is just looking to
stir things up does not excuse our duty to love others and take care not to cause
needless offense for the sake of the gospel. Thank you for seeing that issue clearly and
responding appropriately.
A Briarwood Parent
Our mission in Athletic outreach is to use athletics as a platform to share the love of Christ in
the 500+ athletic events that we participate in each year and in doing so glorify God and
provide a positive witness in our community. As part of this ongoing mission we have decided
that the focus of our signs will be to support our teams and to enhance school spirit, not to put
down even in good natured fun a visiting team and our guests.
I hope that this further explanation helps you understand the situation more completely and
why we responded as we did. I hope that it encourages you that we did not simply react to the
media or to political correctness. We responded as we believe Jesus would have us do. As
always, we appreciate your help in supporting efforts at unity. Many people are stirred up
about this and we can all help the situation with healthy conversations that keep us focused on
our mission.
Thank you for your love for the school. I ask that you join me in praying that the Lord will cause
good to come from this.
Sincerely,
Barrett Mosbacker, Superintendent