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In Oklahoma, a School District Is Debating Bible Distribution to Children

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In Oklahoma, a School District Is Debating Bible Distribution to Children

October 12, 2012 By
 
When it comes to the distribution of religious books in public schools, the laws are very simple: If you allow the holy books of one faith to be handed out in school, you must allow the holy books of all faiths. You're better off, though, not handing out anything like that at all.

 

Gideons International - the group best known for their hotel room Bibles - has a long history of handing out Bibles to children in elementary school and they recently tried to get their books into the Grove Public Schools in northeastern Oklahoma. (Because I guess there are no churches in the state...?)

 

 

The school board, knowing a lawsuit would come their way if they allowed it, said no.

 

Earlier this week, though, more than 100 residents spoke out at a school board meeting urging the officials to reconsider their decision:

 

The Rev. Tony Wisdom and lawyer Robert Plunk urged the five-member school board to rethink the ban, which was approved this year after complaints and threats of a lawsuit from parents.

 

...

 

Plunk told the board that the Rotary Club gives dictionaries to third-graders and that Bibles can be offered as long as it is done in the same manner.

 

The board did not address the policy during the meeting and took no action.

 

...

 

Wisdom, who spoke to thunderous applause, said students should be given access to the greatest book ever written.

 

The minority should not override the majority, he said, adding that other religions also should have the right to give out materials.

 

Did they seriously just compare the Bible to a dictionary? That's crazy talk. One's full of wisdom and is an essential component of a good education... and the other's the Bible.

 

And what's with this minority/majority argument? The majority doesn't get to overturn the constitution on a whim.

 

At least the school leadership is opposed to bringing divisive religion into the district, right?

 

Of course not:

 

"There were people that wanted us to lose our jobs for allowing the Gideons to pass out Bibles last year," Superintendent Sandy Coaly said Wednesday.

 

"We were told if we allowed them to be passed out the school would be sued," Coaly said. "If it was me personally, we would have them (Bibles) in our backpack and read them 30 minutes a day."

 

30 minutes a day?! I guess if you cut out science class, you could always throw in Bible-readin'-time...

 

But here's what we'll do. If the school district allows these Bibles to be distributed in the schools, I vow to raise money on this site to purchase books about atheism and have them sent to every school in the district. I'll throw in some Korans while I'm at it.

 

Rev. Wisdom even said "other religions... should have the right to give out materials" so let's call his bluff.

 

Or we can just let the Freedom From Religion Foundation know. The fear of the impending lawsuit will scare the district back into submission.

 

(Thanks to Beau for the link)

 

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Replies (301-308):
IhartU
by Gold Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 1:54 PM
1 mom liked this

 My question is: Why do they feel they need to TARGET children with relgious material?  Why not pass the Bibles out to their ADULT parents who can then decide how to procede from there? They have an agenda whether they want to admit it or not.

12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:14 PM


Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

The first thing I am going to do when I strike it rich is offer HUGE donations to any nonChristoan religion who will distribute pampets for their religious beliefs in these schools (only the ones demanding Bible distribution priveledges) just to prove to the starry eyed "gee but no school would EVER turn away OTHER religions" crowd how naive they are being.

 

Go for it.  But why d you think you need to strike it rich?  If the issue is one you feel important enough, I would think a person would find away.  You are naive if you don't think the Gideons have and continue to make a lot of sacrifices in order to do something they believe is important...

12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:23 PM


Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting 12hellokitty:

 

Quoting romalove:

 

Quoting ambermario4ever:

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:





No it doesn't unless the refuse to. They gave put the Bibles because they where given out by a group for free. They never refused to hand out other reliougs books but none where ever offered to the school.

 I have two questions for you.

How would you feel about your kids at a public school being given religious materials that were not in line with your beliefs?

How would you feel about local merchants coming to school and distributing advertising in the lobby?  How about Planned Parenthood?


Planned Parenthood is given access to schools.

 I'll address a bunch of things here.

First, at my daughter's school, there isn't advertisements sent home.  I thought your kids went to a private school???

Second, Planned Parenthood isn't in schools handing out literature in the lobby, at least not here.  If that was happening in my school, I would have something to say.

Same thing for merchants.  And for Gideons.

I have NO DESIRE to see anti-religious materials given to kids as counterbalance to religious materials.  I want to see schools devoted to teaching students, and not using the captive audience of children they hold used as pawns or being proselytized to or advertised to in any overt way (I say that because obviously if they buy from a Snapple machine that's a form of advertisement but not the same as reps from the company handing out coupons in the halls).

The Gideons "hard work" of proselytizing by handing out Bibles is not objectionable in hotel rooms.

It is, very much so, in my kid's public school classroom.

 


 

The controversial abortion and contraceptive provider Planned Parenthood has set up a clinic on a Los Angeles high school campus to provide free and confidential access to birth control, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, counseling and pregnancy tests to teenage girls. Parental consent is not needed.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/07/planned-parenthood-sets-up-clinic-in-los-angeles-high-school/#ixzz29CkvNwwx

 

As for the ads coming home in folders it was when my kids were in a priviate school. 

12hellokitty
by Ruby Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:26 PM


Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

No, sweetie, it is not. The OT in particular is incredibly violent and full of people offering little girls up to be raped, bloodshed and incest.

They are not handing out bibles with the OT to schools. 

romalove
by Roma on Oct. 13, 2012 at 2:30 PM

 

Quoting 12hellokitty:

 

Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

No, sweetie, it is not. The OT in particular is incredibly violent and full of people offering little girls up to be raped, bloodshed and incest.

They are not handing out bibles with the OT to schools. 

 Why do you think they are targeting schools to distribute Bibles?

Do you think Oklahomans have a dearth of Bibles in their homes?

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 3:54 AM
Quoting kailu1835:

I don't believe the school has any business trying to teach morals to my kid.  That's my job.  They are there to teach academics, and that's it.  (beyond, of course, teaching them to get along and not fight.)

Why "of course"?

And what about not stealing, not cheating on tests, not lying, etc?

How about looking after the environment?  Is it ok for a school to set a good example, and require pupils to follow the school's recycling policy when choosing which bin to throw things into?

Should a moral obligation to vote be taught as part of civics and how the governmental system works?

Should philosophy ever be taught?  The pros and cons of utilitarian versus deontological approaches?

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 4:19 AM
Quoting Friday:
Quoting Claire-Huxtable:


I don't care if my children receive non Christian textsn.

It's awesome that you are open like that but you must know that many Christians whould have the vapors if any other religious texts were offered.

What percentage of Christians in America do you estimate would react the same way as this person from the UK?


(source)

Saint Morwenna, who in the 6th century built a church on a cliff with her bare hands, must be turning in her grave. Her beloved Cornwall, the last redoubt of Celtic Christians, is to teach witchcraft and Druidry as part of RE. The county council regards her religion (and that of other Cornish saints such as Piran and Petroc) as no better than paganism.

It makes perfect sense. Fear of being judgmental is so ingrained today that no one dares distinguish between occult and Christian values, the tarot and the Torah, the animist and the imam. Right and wrong present a problem for liberals who spy covert imperialism or racism in every moral judgment. Saying someone has sinned is “disrespecting” them, as Catherine Tate’s Lauren Cooper might say. Speaking of religious values is as dangerous as playing with the pin on a hand-grenade: it could end up with too many Britons blown out of their complacency. No one should dare proclaim that adultery is wrong; greed, bad; or self-sacrifice, good. In doing so, they’d be trampling the rights of those who don’t hold such values.

This mentality is not confined to Cornwall. When the BBC’s The Big Questions asked me to join its panel of religious commentators two years ago, I was taken aback to find it included a Druid. Emma Restall Orr rabbited on inoffensively about mother nature, but I was shocked that her platitudes were given the status of religious belief by the programme makers. Ms Restall Orr exults in her website that the media has stopped seeing Druidism “as a game” and now invites her on serious faith and ethics programmes from ITV’s Ultimate Questions to Radio 4’s The Moral Maze and Sunday Programme.

God, Gaia, whatever: school children are already as familiar with the solstice as with the sacraments. In pockets of Cornwall, children will point out a nun in her habit: “Look, a Druid!” Their parents will merely shrug — one set of belief is as good as another. How long before the end of term is marked by a Black Mass, with only Health and Safety preventing a human sacrifice?

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Not the schools job to turn my kid into a treehugger, sorry.  We set an example for recycling and reusing here at home.  Moral obligations and government in the same sentance... nope.  Government has no moral obligation.  Their obligation is to protect our rights and keep us safe from harm.   Philosophy... maybe more in highschool.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting kailu1835:

I don't believe the school has any business trying to teach morals to my kid.  That's my job.  They are there to teach academics, and that's it.  (beyond, of course, teaching them to get along and not fight.)

Why "of course"?

And what about not stealing, not cheating on tests, not lying, etc?

How about looking after the environment?  Is it ok for a school to set a good example, and require pupils to follow the school's recycling policy when choosing which bin to throw things into?

Should a moral obligation to vote be taught as part of civics and how the governmental system works?

Should philosophy ever be taught?  The pros and cons of utilitarian versus deontological approaches?


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