Let’s play a game: how many *facepalms* can you do while reading this press release from Liberty Counsel?
Right off the bat, the headline is misleading:
Florida School Tries to Ban Bibles on Religious Freedom Day
No public school is banning Bibles. Ever. All students can bring a Bible to school if they want to. There’s gotta be more to this story, right?
World Changers of Florida is suing because they wanted to hand out Bibles at a public school. The school said no.
The Collier County School Board’s policy requires nonprofit organizations to obtain approval of the superintendent and a Community Request Committee, whose members are appointed by the superintendent, in order to distribute literature on school campuses.
The policy also states that requests must be “carefully reviewed to ensure that such activities promote student interests, provide educational benefit to the students, and do not exploit the school system, its employees, students or parents,” according to the lawsuit.
In the suit, Orlando-based Liberty Counsel, a Christian law firm representing the World Changers of Florida, said other nonprofit groups have been allowed to distribute literature on campuses, including military recruiters, Golden Gate American Little League, and the Humane Society of Naples. The lawsuit claims World Changers was denied its distribution request because the district wants to censor its message.
… the district has denied all religious materials from being distributed at its schools.
Alright, now we have a little more background. The Bible’s not providing educational information; it’s proselytizing. There’s no reason this group — or any other religious one — should be allowed to hand children their holy books.
So back to the press release:
Many of our founding fathers were taught to read using the Bible. If it had no educational value, then many of them would have been illiterate.
How much irrelevance can you jam in a couple sentences? They act as if the founding fathers had such a wide selection at the time… It’s not like they were choosing between The Bible and The Cat in the Hat.
How sad that on the eve of Independence Day, when we celebrate the religious and political freedom our forefathers won for us at the cost of much blood and great sacrifice, we are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools.
The Bible’s already available to students in public schools. It’s on this thing called the Internet.
If a Muslim group wanted to hand out copies of the Koran, you can bet these Christian Right groups would be first in line suing to stop them.
The school district, like many others, suffers from a misunderstanding of the First Amendment. The Establishment Clause does not prohibit private religious speech or literature; under Supreme Court case law, it prohibits only government religious speech. The distribution of Bibles by World Changers is private speech and, in a forum opened for secular literature, is constitutionally protected.
As soon as they enter a public school (a government institution), they’re crossing the line. how is this so hard to understand?
Also, does this mean I can stand outside their church and hand out copies of God is Not Great? That’s definitely not government speech.
Whoever writes press releases for Liberty Counsel should be fired. This is laughable on so many levels.