Last week, at Seitz Elementary School in Kansas, students were told they could leave class early in order to pick up a copy of the Bible. The Gideons had left a bunch of copies on tables in the hallway.
When nursing students at Colorado Mesa University graduate this December, they will go through a ceremonial “pinning” ceremony where they are welcomed into the profession. And after they step off the stage, they will be handed a Gideons Bible.
This wasn’t something the students asked for (and it wouldn’t be legal even if they wanted it). It makes no sense for a public school to hand graduates the Christian holy book, just as it would make no sense to give them a copy of the Qur’an or The God Delusion.
Remember when the Orange County schools in Florida allowed an outside group to passively distribute Bibles to students? They left them on a table and students could pick one up if they wanted a copy. But the school board had to make a decision after atheists and representatives from the Satanic Temple requested the opportunity to hand out their own materials. Eventually, board members decided to stop all distributions of religious (or anti-religious) material.
Back in August, Victoria (Australia) public schools finally scrapped their “special religious instruction” (SRI) classes after lots of criticism that it was really all about Christian indoctrination.
After Having Previous Invitation Rescinded, Atheist Ireland Leader Will Soon Speak at Catholic School
Last week, Michael Nugent of Atheist Ireland was supposed to speak to students at an all-girls Catholic school as part of a program to expose the students to a different perspective. The school had invited a Muslim speaker earlier in the year, so this talk was going to be along those lines.
But Nugent’s invitation was rescinded at the last second. School officials said they did “not wish to cultivate non-religious belief.” As if a short lecture and Q&A session was enough to undo years of Catholic schooling.