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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 (241-250):
LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:06 PM
But you HAVE supported the effort in the OP so now you are admitting you suppost distributing Bibles while you KNOW other religions would be denied the same opportunity. You know the effort is a violation of the 1st Amendment but support it anyhow?


Quoting 12hellokitty:

Where have I claimed anything other then my view of not having a problem with students being offered a religious book? I'll go even a step further then you in saying that some Christians would have a problem if it wasn't the right bible being giving out....I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. and I realize their are some who oppose Harry Potter, just as their are some who oppose The Pledge of Allegiance.




Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Pkease stop playing ignorant, it does not suit you. Even IF it does not bother you, YOU are not representing all Christians in all schooldistricts. As you keep ignoring, schools across the country have had to FIGHT to keep even a Harry Potter book in the library because many CHRISTIAN parents do not want their children influenced by what they deem evil in a FICTION book about witches, yet you want to pretend that just because you claim you would be okay with it that those same people would not pitch fits much less REAL books about REAL witchcraft.






Quoting 12hellokitty:

Seriously do you think kids are going to convert on the bus ride home from school? I doubt most kids who identify as Christians are spending hours reading the bible...



I have no problem with schools handing out Qurans, people are just as free to burn them or throw them in the trash as they are bibles. Both the bible and quran are not the easiest books to read and understand, so I doubt they would be very interesting to kids who have not had any exposer to each of the faiths respectively.








Quoting Momniscient:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 





Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?



Quoting yourspecialkid:





 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.






 





Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.





I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

They do. And I don't believe you would be okay with schools endorsing other religions by mandating that every child receive ONE of their books.

I bet that were this a discussion about the Quran being handed out people would be screaming about terrorists and Shariah law and 'how dare they.'





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AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:32 PM
Actually, it was created to protect the American people from both religion and the state.
Tyranny of the majority frightened the founding fathers so much, they our in several checks so popular opinion wouldn't destroy the many different minorities who already were present and vital. They must have thought that kinda thing much more important than the ten commandments or abortion considering all the times either of those were addressed in the document by the original framers.


Quoting missmansmommy:

I think that would be wonderful!! Stop distributing pro-homosexual propoganda and condoms, and give them something that will guide them and nourish them instead. Praise God! I hope it passes!! By the way, the seperation of church and state was to protect the church, not the state.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:36 PM
What are you talking about? How would I know other religions would be denied the same opportunity? Are there other religions offering thousands of copies of their religious texts? The only example that has been given in comparison is a woman who offered a few Wiccan books.

And how is it a violation of the first amendment specifically? From what I have read districts are free to set their own policies regarding distributing religious materials. It seems some are reading bibles being available as kids being required to pray to Jesus...



Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

But you HAVE supported the effort in the OP so now you are admitting you suppost distributing Bibles while you KNOW other religions would be denied the same opportunity. You know the effort is a violation of the 1st Amendment but support it anyhow?




Quoting 12hellokitty:

Where have I claimed anything other then my view of not having a problem with students being offered a religious book? I'll go even a step further then you in saying that some Christians would have a problem if it wasn't the right bible being giving out....I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. and I realize their are some who oppose Harry Potter, just as their are some who oppose The Pledge of Allegiance.






Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Pkease stop playing ignorant, it does not suit you. Even IF it does not bother you, YOU are not representing all Christians in all schooldistricts. As you keep ignoring, schools across the country have had to FIGHT to keep even a Harry Potter book in the library because many CHRISTIAN parents do not want their children influenced by what they deem evil in a FICTION book about witches, yet you want to pretend that just because you claim you would be okay with it that those same people would not pitch fits much less REAL books about REAL witchcraft.








Quoting 12hellokitty:

Seriously do you think kids are going to convert on the bus ride home from school? I doubt most kids who identify as Christians are spending hours reading the bible...




I have no problem with schools handing out Qurans, people are just as free to burn them or throw them in the trash as they are bibles. Both the bible and quran are not the easiest books to read and understand, so I doubt they would be very interesting to kids who have not had any exposer to each of the faiths respectively.










Quoting Momniscient:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 






Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?




Quoting yourspecialkid:






 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.







 






Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.






I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

They do. And I don't believe you would be okay with schools endorsing other religions by mandating that every child receive ONE of their books.

I bet that were this a discussion about the Quran being handed out people would be screaming about terrorists and Shariah law and 'how dare they.'






Posted on CafeMom Mobile
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

 

Quoting Friday:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?
Quoting yourspecialkid:

 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.


 

Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.

I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

I'm in Liberal Cali and my son learned about a wide variety of religions in Social Studies when he was in middle school.

Who decides what faiths are legit?

 No one decides what is legit...numbers do.  You obviously can't cover every faith so you focus on the primary ones.  Statistically the top 3 by overwhelming numbers are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism....I would probably add the next 4 or 5....I would then ask my students for short reports on at least 1 other religion...reports to be shared with the class.  You could easily add more by teaching them along with something else they go with...as an example...Tribal religions could go with history.  If there are families of the small statistical religions..bring someone in to share with the kids.

I think it is great your son learned about a variety of religions.  Religions can have similarities and it is these similarities that can give us the start of tolerance of faith different than our own.

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:45 PM
Do you even listen to what you say? You acknowledged that pagan literature would not be welcomed by many Christian parents. If pagan lterature is not allowed, or if Muslimliterature is not allowed, or if even Satanic Church literature is not allowed, then it violates the First Amendment because by choosing to not allow ALL they ARE endorsing the one they DO allow. Come on, kitty, you are smarter than you are acting here.


Quoting 12hellokitty:

What are you talking about? How would I know other religions would be denied the same opportunity? Are there other religions offering thousands of copies of their religious texts? The only example that has been given in comparison is a woman who offered a few Wiccan books.



And how is it a violation of the first amendment specifically? From what I have read districts are free to set their own policies regarding distributing religious materials. It seems some are reading bibles being available as kids being required to pray to Jesus...






Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

But you HAVE supported the effort in the OP so now you are admitting you suppost distributing Bibles while you KNOW other religions would be denied the same opportunity. You know the effort is a violation of the 1st Amendment but support it anyhow?






Quoting 12hellokitty:

Where have I claimed anything other then my view of not having a problem with students being offered a religious book? I'll go even a step further then you in saying that some Christians would have a problem if it wasn't the right bible being giving out....I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. and I realize their are some who oppose Harry Potter, just as their are some who oppose The Pledge of Allegiance.








Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Pkease stop playing ignorant, it does not suit you. Even IF it does not bother you, YOU are not representing all Christians in all schooldistricts. As you keep ignoring, schools across the country have had to FIGHT to keep even a Harry Potter book in the library because many CHRISTIAN parents do not want their children influenced by what they deem evil in a FICTION book about witches, yet you want to pretend that just because you claim you would be okay with it that those same people would not pitch fits much less REAL books about REAL witchcraft.










Quoting 12hellokitty:

Seriously do you think kids are going to convert on the bus ride home from school? I doubt most kids who identify as Christians are spending hours reading the bible...





I have no problem with schools handing out Qurans, people are just as free to burn them or throw them in the trash as they are bibles. Both the bible and quran are not the easiest books to read and understand, so I doubt they would be very interesting to kids who have not had any exposer to each of the faiths respectively.












Quoting Momniscient:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 







Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?





Quoting yourspecialkid:







 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.








 







Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.







I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

They do. And I don't believe you would be okay with schools endorsing other religions by mandating that every child receive ONE of their books.

I bet that were this a discussion about the Quran being handed out people would be screaming about terrorists and Shariah law and 'how dare they.'







Posted on CafeMom Mobile
yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:47 PM

 

Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting Its.me.Sam.:

 

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 

Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?
Quoting yourspecialkid:

 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.


 

Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.

I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

lol do tell.  which faiths are 'legitimate'


le·git·i·mate/liˈjitəmit/

Adjective:
Conforming to the law or to rules: "his claims to legitimate authority".
Verb:

 

Justify or make lawful.

 

 

 

 

 

legitimate [adj., n. li-jit-uh-mit; v.li-jit-uh-meyt]  
Definition: authentic, valid, legal

 

 Legitimate would mean any that are recognized as being a real faith....not The New First Church of the Purple Peanut Eaters....It would logically include..Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism...ect...faiths that are actually recognized as faiths by groups of people....hence the use of the word LEGITIMATE.

interesting... cause a FAITH is only 'legitimate' to the person having it.
and if 100 people gather together to worship the purple peanut eater are the legimate... or does it need to be 1000 or 10,000 or do the other majority religions need to acknowledge that it is in existence n order for it to be legimitate?  does it have to have temples of worship or a book.. so tell me .. how does one legitimize a BELIEF system.  what does a REAL faith consist of?

 So the countries of the world don't recognize the faiths/religions of the world?.  Very interesting considering some are theocratic.  I gave you a list of sample religions.  You know exactly what I am talking about when I say legitimate...you are just sore because you didn't get the answer from me that you read into my other answer.

I am Christian and very conservative...however I am really for the Constitution...the rights belong to all of us equally.

i am not sore at all.  i am getting down to the nitty gritty of things.
i mean... youre advocating that ALL religions be taught in school.. upper levels.. but youre putting limits on what constitutes LEGITIMATE.  who determines legitimacy.  tax exemption?  number of members?  organization?  believability?  what makes a faith 'legitimate'.

 No ONE decides what is legitimate, statistics do.  Why are you making this so hard on yourself?  It is quite easy....take x number of the worlds top statistical religions and teach kids about them...use a social studies format.

 

LoveMyBoyK
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:49 PM
So screw the faiths of kids who practice non Abrahic religions? Not a chance in your hell is my childs school going to teach his class about Islam, and Judaism, Christianity as if they are only "legitimate" religions. I would raise my own bit of hell over that slap in the face to all religions outside the mainstream.


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 


Quoting Friday:




Quoting yourspecialkid:


 


Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?
Quoting yourspecialkid:


 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.



 


Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.


I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 


I'm in Liberal Cali and my son learned about a wide variety of religions in Social Studies when he was in middle school.


Who decides what faiths are legit?


 No one decides what is legit...numbers do.  You obviously can't cover every faith so you focus on the primary ones.  Statistically the top 3 by overwhelming numbers are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism....I would probably add the next 4 or 5....I would then ask my students for short reports on at least 1 other religion...reports to be shared with the class.  You could easily add more by teaching them along with something else they go with...as an example...Tribal religions could go with history.  If there are families of the small statistical religions..bring someone in to share with the kids.


I think it is great your son learned about a variety of religions.  Religions can have similarities and it is these similarities that can give us the start of tolerance of faith different than our own.


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12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:52 PM
Just because something is not welcomed doesn't mean I have to agree. Like I said many who are opposing bibles also oppose The Pledge of Allegiance, and would claim schools reciting TPOA as forcing kids, even though the kids are not required to participate.

And as for pagan lit, don't school still teach mythology?


Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Do you even listen to what you say? You acknowledged that pagan literature would not be welcomed by many Christian parents. If pagan lterature is not allowed, or if Muslimliterature is not allowed, or if even Satanic Church literature is not allowed, then it violates the First Amendment because by choosing to not allow ALL they ARE endorsing the one they DO allow. Come on, kitty, you are smarter than you are acting here.




Quoting 12hellokitty:

What are you talking about? How would I know other religions would be denied the same opportunity? Are there other religions offering thousands of copies of their religious texts? The only example that has been given in comparison is a woman who offered a few Wiccan books.





And how is it a violation of the first amendment specifically? From what I have read districts are free to set their own policies regarding distributing religious materials. It seems some are reading bibles being available as kids being required to pray to Jesus...









Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

But you HAVE supported the effort in the OP so now you are admitting you suppost distributing Bibles while you KNOW other religions would be denied the same opportunity. You know the effort is a violation of the 1st Amendment but support it anyhow?








Quoting 12hellokitty:

Where have I claimed anything other then my view of not having a problem with students being offered a religious book? I'll go even a step further then you in saying that some Christians would have a problem if it wasn't the right bible being giving out....I'm not speaking for anyone but myself. and I realize their are some who oppose Harry Potter, just as their are some who oppose The Pledge of Allegiance.










Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

Pkease stop playing ignorant, it does not suit you. Even IF it does not bother you, YOU are not representing all Christians in all schooldistricts. As you keep ignoring, schools across the country have had to FIGHT to keep even a Harry Potter book in the library because many CHRISTIAN parents do not want their children influenced by what they deem evil in a FICTION book about witches, yet you want to pretend that just because you claim you would be okay with it that those same people would not pitch fits much less REAL books about REAL witchcraft.












Quoting 12hellokitty:

Seriously do you think kids are going to convert on the bus ride home from school? I doubt most kids who identify as Christians are spending hours reading the bible...






I have no problem with schools handing out Qurans, people are just as free to burn them or throw them in the trash as they are bibles. Both the bible and quran are not the easiest books to read and understand, so I doubt they would be very interesting to kids who have not had any exposer to each of the faiths respectively.














Quoting Momniscient:


Quoting yourspecialkid:

 








Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?






Quoting yourspecialkid:








 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.









 








Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.








I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 

They do. And I don't believe you would be okay with schools endorsing other religions by mandating that every child receive ONE of their books.

I bet that were this a discussion about the Quran being handed out people would be screaming about terrorists and Shariah law and 'how dare they.'








Posted on CafeMom Mobile
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 9:54 PM
Good for you...


Quoting LoveMyBoyK:

So screw the faiths of kids who practice non Abrahic religions? Not a chance in your hell is my childs school going to teach his class about Islam, and Judaism, Christianity as if they are only "legitimate" religions. I would raise my own bit of hell over that slap in the face to all religions outside the mainstream.




Quoting yourspecialkid:

 



Quoting Friday:






Quoting yourspecialkid:



 



Quoting morrigan914:

Would you he equally okay with me donating 'Practical Satanism' to your childrens school for the teachers to hand out?

Quoting yourspecialkid:



 I don't have a problem with it.  The school is not giving them out...no public dollars have been spent on them....and here's the kicker....handing out a Bible does not establish a CHURCH..which is what the first amendment is ACTUALLY about.




 



Is it going to cause the school to establish a church the kids are required to go to?  If not...the answer is send away...your first amendment rights are just as valid as mine.



I believe we should be teaching a religion class in at least the high school level...kids need to have a basic knowledge and a basic respect for the legitimate faiths in the world. 



I'm in Liberal Cali and my son learned about a wide variety of religions in Social Studies when he was in middle school.



Who decides what faiths are legit?



 No one decides what is legit...numbers do.  You obviously can't cover every faith so you focus on the primary ones.  Statistically the top 3 by overwhelming numbers are Christianity, Islam and Hinduism....I would probably add the next 4 or 5....I would then ask my students for short reports on at least 1 other religion...reports to be shared with the class.  You could easily add more by teaching them along with something else they go with...as an example...Tribal religions could go with history.  If there are families of the small statistical religions..bring someone in to share with the kids.



I think it is great your son learned about a variety of religions.  Religions can have similarities and it is these similarities that can give us the start of tolerance of faith different than our own.



Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Sekirei
by Nari Trickster on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Not surprised.. that area of the country seems to be very intolerant anyway.... 

Honestly, if they want, let them.. I am sure that they will allow me to come and distribute the Poetic Edda or Satanic Bible amoung the students. Or would the parents who want the bibles flip the fuck out over that... pretty sure they would love the story of Loki and Sleipnir

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