You may remember that a few weeks ago a number of atheist-themed books and pamphlets were passively distributed in public schools in Orange County, Florida. This was done because the school had allowed a Christian group to distribute Bibles in that same manner earlier and the school agreed that it was a limited public forum. But now the FFRF has filed suit because the school did not allow many of the books and pamphlets they wanted to distribute.
When the agreement was made for the distribution of the atheist materials, the school said that they had to submit all of those materials to the school in advance so they could vet them to ensure that they were “age appropriate.” But as the complaint notes, they did not do this with the Bible itself when World Changers of Florida distributed them. But the school did not have any written policy on what types of materials could be distributed, so they were making ad hoc decisions on each book and pamphlet.
One pamphlet the school rejected was called Why Jesus?, which the school said it “will cause a substantial disruption because it argues that Jesus did not promote equality and social justice, was not compassionate, was not reliable and was not a good example.” That’s nonsense on its face as there is no argument whatsoever why it would cause a “substantial disruption,” only an illogical assertion that it would. Worse, it’s clearly content-based discrimination. They allowed the distribution of a book that says Jesus was a wonderful example but rejected one that said he was not.
They similarly rejected a pamphlet called Dear Believer, claiming it “will cause a substantial disruption” because it “asserts that God is hateful, arrogant, sexist and cruel.” Why exactly would that cause a “substantial disruption”? They don’t say. They also rejected Robert Price’s book Jesus is Dead because the “claim that Jesus was not crucified or resurrected is age inappropriate.” Uh, why?
But the most audacious rejection was of Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation. The school said:
“On page 94, when describing the religious rituals of many ancient societies, the book described the sacrifice of virgins, killing and eating of children in order to ensure the future fertility of mothers, feeding infants to sharks, and the burning of widows so they can follow their husbands into the next world. These concepts are not appropriate for the age and maturity of high school students.”
Seriously? Have they read the Bible, for crying out loud? It’s full of such atrocities and worse, yet they automatically accepted that book for distribution. Can’t wait to see how this suit turns out.
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