29 November 2012
In this New York Times article, “In Texas, a Legal Battle Over Biblical Banners”, Manny Fernandez, a metro reporter, argues whether biblical banners should be allowed or banned due to the law. He develops the claim by first providing details about how Mr. Weldon’s community got enraged. Then he provides information saying Weldon banned the biblical banners out of concern that the signs were unlawful and amounted to school sanctioned religious expression. Towards the end, Fernandez points out that the case centers on whether the banners amount to private speech protected by state and federal law or government sponsored speech that can be regulated and censored. Fernandez’s purpose is to answer the reader’s question about biblical banners and if the should be allowed in order to educate the public and provide knowledge about the situation at hand. He establishes an informative tone for concerned citizens who may want or be against biblical banners. Fernandez provides the reader with facts and statistics, for example in paragraph 4, “the district received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin based group of atheists and agnostics.” The effect of such details serves to lend credibility to the author’s assertions since it is impossible to argue with the facts. In addition, negative diction in paragraph 7 conveys a negative feeling towards the banners and the marquee outside a church. Finally, the use of biblical allusions throughout the article is used to defend the use of biblical banners. This work is significant because it challenges and reminds us all to be aware of aberrant issues regarding biblical banners.