The Licking Valley High School in Hanover, Ohio, has drawn criticism and support for its marching band, which has worn black T-shirts with the word "Salvation" written in white letters.
The band claims that the T-shirt is a reference to Pavel Tchesnokov's "Salvation is Created" musical piece, but the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Licking Valley Superintendent Dave Hile objecting to the T-shirts, noted NewarkAdvocate.com.
Part of the Freedom From Religion Foundation's letter stated:
When a public school allows its marching band to display religious messages, like "Salvation," during performances, they unconstitutionally entangle the school with religion... students and community members might reasonably presume that the marching band and its message of "Salvation" is sponsored by the Licking Valley Local School District.
"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 told NewardAdvocate.com. "That doesn't have anything to do with religion, as far as I'm concerned."
However, "Salvation is Created" was reportedly the last religious composition by Tchesnokov in 1912 per the new Russian government, which banned "sacred" works.
None of those facts were mention on "Fox & Friends" today, where Fox News host Anna Kooiman defended the school and its "Salvation" T-shirts, reports CrooksandLiars.com (video below).
"Your shirt, I mean, it seems pretty harmless," asked Kooiman. "How can one word, 'salvation,' be causing so much controversy?"
"If you're in the marching band, you know that we haven't really thought of it having religious connotations," Licking Valley High School band flute player Zoe Weaver told Kooiman.
"Sometimes actions like this are more than they seem," Weaver added. "Groups like this, although I do think it's a great cause for people who do think it should be removed from public schools, I mean, it's always more than it seems. Like for us, it's never been just about having a religious show. And for them, maybe it's not everyone on their team has to have this religion. It's just the way to come together as a team and get focused."