For decades now, Horace Turner (a.k.a. “Bible Man”) has been making appearances in Jackson County elementary schools in Alabama. When the Freedom From Religion Foundation received a complaint from a local parent, they sent the school district a letter informing them of the problem and asking that they put a stop to the in-school proselytizing.
The FFRF complaint said that during the month of December an assembly held by “Bible Man” included a display with baby Jesus on it and that a talk was given regarding “Jesus’s birthday,” and that “Jesus died on the the cross for our sins.”
On Monday night, the Jackson County Board of Education discussed the FFRF letter. In the audience were over 100 churchgoers — and one state senator! — who didn’t even pretend to buy into church/state separation:
Pastor Brad Bridges [said], “We’re here today to make a show, say ‘hey Christianity is in and we love it. And our nation was founded on it.’”
While the complaint before the board cited violations of the constitution, State Senator Shadrack McGill says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state.
“I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,” said Sen. McGill.
Even the Superintendent joined in, admitting that Bible Man activities took place during the school day:
“The ‘Bible Man’ was part of my school time and my children’s school time,” said [Superintendent Ken] Harding.
So what did the school board do?
They caved in to the will of the mob:
Once the board returned from executive session and announced that “Bible Man” would not be taken out of the schools, crowd members stood up and cheered.
Members of the church and school board say the assemblies are a choice, but when an assembly takes place during the school day — at an elementary schools, no less — kids are hardly aware of any other options they have. The school board made the wrong decision and they fully deserve any lawsuit coming their way.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)