Orange County School Board Finally Catching On

First the Orange County Schools in Florida let the Gideons hand out Bibles. Then they were forced to declare it an open forum and let the FFRF hand out atheist books. But now that the Satanists want in on the action, the Orange County School Board is finally catching on and considering closing the schools to all outside literature distribution.

Worried about facing national ridicule if a Satanic group is allowed to give out coloring books to children, the Orange County School Board moved Thursday toward preventing any outside group from distributing religious materials on campus.

The current policy has allowed groups to distribute Bibles and even atheist materials at district high schools in recent years.

The board discussed the issue during a workshop Thursday. The earliest it could vote to change the policy would be late January or early February, officials said.

“This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand,” said chairman Bill Sublette. “I think we’ve seen a group or groups take advantage of the open forum we’ve had.”

Yeah, that’s the thing about an open forum — anyone can use it. But isn’t it funny how it isn’t “taking advantage of it” when it’s a group they agree with? See, what they wanted was to give Christian groups exclusive access to the schools, but the law won’t allow that. So they had to change the policy and make it an open forum so they could keep letting the Christian groups in there and now they’re shocked — shocked! — to find out that an open forum means an open forum. How terribly sad for them.

But this is the right result. The problem is not that every group has been allowed in, it’s that the Christian group was allowed in to the schools in the first place. It shouldn’t be a forum at all. This is what happens when non-Christians crash the party. And it’s a good thing.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    Let’s have some appreciation for the Satanists. Without them the lesson would have taken much longer.

  • John Pieret

    This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand,” said chairman Bill Sublette. “I think we’ve seen a group or groups take advantage of the open forum we’ve had

    Yeah, those darn Gideons just can’t be trusted!

  • John Pieret

    D. C. Sessions:

    Although our esteemed host thinks Satanists are ridiculous (and if they were really Satanists, I’d agree), the trope is highly useful as a way to force theocrats to face up to the constitutional fact that they can’t favor one religion over another or over the lack of faith.

  • matty1

    @3 Out of interest what do real Satanists believe? I think I heard somewhere that most varieties of Satanism don’t actually include belief in a literal Satan but use him as a kind of metaphor for something.

  • hunter

    And of course, if other groups are allowed access, it’s an “attack on Christianity.”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    You’re missing the forest for the trees! They are all just shills for Big Crayon.

  • themadtapper

    I saw a comment on Reddit about this that described Satanists as the “nuclear option” of church/state separation cases. Funny but true. Christians will refuse to shut down what they’re doing, opening up more and more avenues to continue, until eventually it’s open enough for the Satanists to get in on the action, at which point the Christians finally decide to shut down what they’re doing.

  • John Pieret

    matty1:

    what do real Satanists believe?

    What do “real” Christians believe? Damned if I know. Those that call themselves “Christians” are all over the place. I was just saying that anyone who worshiped a spiritual being in opposition to another spiritual being, (i.e. sharing the same religious beliefs), with rituals meant to mimic those same religious beliefs, would seem to me to be ridiculous.

    The group that is involved in Orange County have made it pretty clear that their intentions are to point out the need for separation of church and state.

  • whheydt

    I would hazard a guess that a similar result would have occurred had an Islamic group wanted to make Korans available. Indeed, the reaction might have been both faster and more extreme.

  • Artor

    John Pieret, did you just drop a “No True Satanist Scotsman” in this thread? I think I hear bagpipes. Evil, Satanic bagpipes, made from the skin of Xian babies. How sweet the sound!

  • Sastra

    “This really has, frankly, gotten out of hand,” said chairman Bill Sublette.

    I’m actually rather choked up over the fact that apparently Satanists were the last straw. That means that atheists are not the worst!

    We’re coming along … slowly.

  • chuckonpiggott

    I thought the main draw of the Satanists, especially the Anton LeVay bunch, was sex.

  • Alverant

    They should close it off in stages so every group gets the same amount of time to hand out their stuff. This would mean the christians would stop immediately while Atheists and satanists get exclusive rights to distribute books. Later the Atheists would stop leaving just the satanists until they had just as much time as the christians. It would help drive home the point of equal access.

  • Scr… Archivist

    themadtapper @7,

    I saw a comment on Reddit about this that described Satanists as the “nuclear option” of church/state separation cases. Funny but true.

    I think of the Satanists as more like a “bad cop”. Maybe with time, schools will settle things with the “good cop” FFRF-types, rather than deal with the Devil.

  • http://www.clanfield.net janiceintoronto

    You just couldn’t make this shit up. Go Satanists, go!

  • Gvlgeologist, FCD

    They’re still kind of screwed. If they say that they’re changing the rules to prevent everyone from distributing religious literature because of the Satanists, they’ll still be sued. They can only change the rules after allowing the Satanists to distribute the literature, and only if no one else asks in the meantime.

    Should be fun to see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523300770 stuartsmith

    Matty1 @4: My understanding is that ‘real’ Satanists grew out of a mixture of early Christian heresies, taking elements from the Manicheans and the Cainites.

    The Manicheans believed that Satan, rather than God, was responsible for creating the physical world, effectively tearing our souls from God’s grip and trapping them in the meaty prisons of this world. They believed that the true God was perfectly good, and thus would never create an imperfect world in which evil exists, and that this world was a flawed creation which we should aim to transcend and ultimately escape, seeking reunion with God through death.

    The Cainites were a particularly fun group, whose argument ran (approximately) that God is defined in large part by his infinitely forgiving nature, and thus that God could not be complete without sins to forgive. They venerated Cain as the first great sinner, and believed that in order to truly show God’s greatness, you should commit sins so terrible that they were unforgiveable by mere men, so that God’s superiority could be showcased fully when he offered his divine forgiveness. Needless to say, they were not looked kindly upon by mainstream Christians.

    I’m not a theologian, so these are very simplistic caricatures of the actual beliefs involved, but it should give you an idea of the strains of thought that came together to form Satanism. The original belief of the Satanists ran that the God of the bible is actually a deceiver, trapping our souls in this world and tricking us into worshiping him, and that Satan was the actual good guy, seeking to break us free from God’s lies. This explains why God is always telling people to do horrible, murderous things. Of course he’d say that Satan is evil – Satan is his enemy, and lies are his weapon.

    Modern Satanists are rarely particularly interested in theology, however, and tend to fall into two camps – free thinkers who just use the label to annoy Christians, and people who just want to have orgies and/or sacrifice animals and use Satanism as an excuse. The closest thing to real satanists in this day and age are probably Gnostics, who retain many elements of the Manichean heresy, along with a mystic tradition that falls squarely on the left-hand path.

  • eric

    @16:

    They’re still kind of screwed. If they say that they’re changing the rules to prevent everyone from distributing religious literature because of the Satanists, they’ll still be sued.

    Almost certainly not. The satanist group in question is fightng for pro-separation. I’m 99% sure they’ll be perfectly happy with a “nobody allowed to distribute” decision that blocks them fom handing out their coloring books. Nobody else is in the position to be a plaintiff, so there will not likely be a suit.

  • outraged

    I say let NAMBLA hand out pamphlets. That should just about end it. But let me know when they are going to be there. I gotta see it for myself.

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    As I keep saying, the Satanists serve a very useful function. Kudos to the Satanists!