Raelians Want In on Book Distribution in Schools Too

Seizing on the opportunity provided by schools that allow the Gideons to distribute Bibles, atheists and satanists have already demanded, and received, access to those schools to hand out their own books. Now bizarre UFO cult the Raelians want in on some of that action too.

Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement (IRM), today expressed his support for the decision of the Satanic Temple to offer Satanic literature in the Orange County, Florida, School District, according to a statement released today by the IRM.

The position of the IRM is that if Bibles are offered in schools, other spiritual literature must have the very same opportunity.

“Religious freedom is either for everybody or it doesn’t exist,” Rael declared in his statement.

He urged Raelians to take Raelian books to the Orange County schools.

“We want to offer students diversity and a more peaceful literature than that of the Bible,” said Raelian Guide Ricky Roehr, who heads the IRM’s North American branch.

There’s some serious irony going on here because of the legal history of this issue. The reason schools can’t just allow Christian groups to hand out literature is because of a series of court cases regarding public forum analysis, which say that if the government is going to allow one group access to public facilities or processes, they can’t discriminate on the basis of content or viewpoint. Those cases largely go back to a 1989 case called Lamb’s Chapel, a unanimous decision that ruled that if a public school is going to rent its facilities to community groups during non-instructional time, they can’t prohibit religious groups from renting them. It’s an absolutely correct decision.

But guess who put forth that argument? Jay Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice, Pat Robertson’s answer to the ACLU. They made that argument to gain access to public facilities for Christian groups, but now it’s being used to demand equal access with Christian groups who have, until recently, been given exclusive access to many public schools.

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  • Chiroptera

    …Jay Sekulow….

    Interestingly, unless I’m missing it his Wikipedia page doesn’t list this case.

    It does list a case, though, where he argued in favor of the Hare Krishnas to hand out literature in airports, so at least at one time he may not have been a Christian exclusivist.

  • abb3w

    @1, Chiroptera:

    Interestingly, unless I’m missing it his Wikipedia page doesn’t list this case.

    You can find it with Google Scholar. Maybe someone could add the reference to his role in this case to Sekulow’s Wikipedia page?

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    The pastafarians should do a kickstarter to have someone do a beautifully illusrated book. The stripper factory and beer volcano would be a huge hit….

  • dhall

    The floodgates are open–oh no! But that’s what the Christians wanted, right? Religious literature handed out in public schools? They’re getting exactly what they asked for, but I’m sure they’ll complain anyway.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Non-Christians exercising the same rights that the Christians have tantrumed for. I can only imagine how unhappy they must be.

  • raven

    Raelians and who is next?

    Wiccans. Scientologists. Atheists. Pagans. Moslems. Mormons. The Fumdamentalist polygamist Mormons. Who knows who else.

    They are going to need a lot of tables to hold all that literature.

    FWIW, I don’t have a problem with that though. Anything that encourages kids to read is OK. They could get all of it off the internet anyway.

  • dingojack

    Oh dear – ‘the Law of Unexpected Consequences’ strikes back.

    How sad, never mind [/Windsor Davies].


  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    I totally would love to produce a book called “A big book of lies for kids” that was a combination of clearly labelled lies and one truth:

    Humans come from:

    a) evolution over deep time

    b) cracker jack boxes

    c) a god sneezed as we’re the snot flying out of its nose

    d) god said “let there be light”

    e) god jerked off onto a pile of dirt and – presto – humans!

    Continents drift because:

    a) they have taken a lot of robitussin

    b) god moves them around

    c) earth is still molten, landmasses are a thin crust sliding around on a hot core

    d) it’s like Mario Cart

    e) all of the above

    Math is:

    a) a language humans invented to describe the properties of real and theoretical things

    b) useless

    c) what you use to make H-bombs

    d) a gift from god

    e) all of the above except (d)

  • http://ahcuah.wordpress.com/ ahcuah

    The best part is that the Raelians are behind Go Topless Day. Maybe they’ll hand out literature for that at the school, too.

  • illdoittomorrow

    “Religious freedom is either for everybody or it doesn’t exist.”

    “We want to offer students diversity and a more peaceful literature than that of the Bible.”

    Hey, the show’s about to start. Who wants popcorn?

  • garnetstar

    I have the biggest-ever “We Told You So!” to say to the Orange County, FL school district.

    Or perhaps it’s “You made your own bed, so lie in it”.

  • corporal klinger

    I love the smell of exploding privilege in the morning…

  • greg1466

    Another victim of the Law of Unintended Consequences.