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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 (41-50):
WinningWinning
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:21 PM
Most schools have Christian groups that children are free to join where they pray, sing, study the bible etc...this is adequate.

What I think is ironic is I received my sample ballot in the mail yesterday and my voting location is a Baptist church.
12hellokitty
by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:22 PM

 

To start my kids are not big readers, and the content for all the books you listed are available on-line.  I don't keep my kids in a bubble, and would have no fear of their school making available the books you list.  It surprises me so many who think of the bible as a book of fairy tales would object to their kids choosing to receive on?  I would think the ones complaining would welcome their kids receiving a free bible, so they can read it and see all the flaws...

Quoting mikiemom:

yea, right lol I call liar liar liar pants on fire on that one.

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Sure, why not?   

Quoting mikiemom:

Afraid - no innapropriate for school yes. If I want my child reading the bible, I will provide him with one. He is welcome to read the bible, the school is not welcome to push their agenda onto my child.

I find the utter lack of tolerance for other religions among american christians to be disgusting and apalling, would you be ok with your child being sent home with a quran, torra, satanic bible?

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Just curious but why are so many afraid of students being allowed to receive a free bible? 

 

 

 


tooptimistic
by Kelly on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Totally agree.. but the do preach politics more often than religion.

Quoting lga1965:

Schools shouldn't preach of God or politics .... they are supposed to teach English grammar and spelling and math and history and science, among other things.

Quoting tooptimistic:

I don't think the schools should be handing Bibles or any other religious books..



  • Just wondering if you have been in a public school lately?  They are indoctrinating the kids.  Its not even a subtle thing.  Just last week a democrat teacher demanded a student take off a Romney Tshirt, tired to mark on it with a permanent marker, and took the girl into the hallway and had other students and teachers humiliate the girl. That is indoctrination.  The teacher wasn't even fired or suspended, just moved to another class.  

If teachers can't preach to our kids, they shouldn't be able to indoctrinate them with their political beliefs either.



 


Quoting lga1965:

Lol....homosexual propaganda?
you're a loon.
The schools are there to teach, not indoctrinate.



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.


 


Claire-Huxtable
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Religious texts are the same thing as porn.   That is a new one for me.

ashleyrenee24
by Ashley on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Oh dear.

tsk tsk

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.


romalove
by Roma on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:25 PM

 

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Religious texts are the same thing as porn.   That is a new one for me.

 They aren't.  But the argument has been made that the school should be able to distribute because the texts are donated.  I don't think the donation should be the reason to distribute that which does not belong in a school.

Religious text and porn both.

lga1965
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:26 PM
Oh now that was a ridiculous comment.

Quoting 12hellokitty:



Quoting romalove:


 


Quoting 12hellokitty:


 


Quoting romalove:


 


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.


 Whatever the intention was, it protects BOTH.  Trust me, you don't want the government to advocate religion, because some day your religion may not be in the majority.


Isn't it enough to have it at home and in church?  If my kid came home with a Bible, the school would be hearing from me....in person....


The first amendment gives people the right to practice their faith outside of the home and church....



 


 Yes, and they can do so in school, on their own time, with their own materials and in their own way.  They cannot use the school for promotion of religion, ANY religion.  Teachers and administrators cannot promote religion either, as they are working for a government entity at that time. 


Doesn't answer the question of why, since there are so many places to express religion, some people think we should have it in a public school.


Are they just allowing a group to donate bibles for students who chose to have receive one?  I'm not following how that is teaching religion?  Perhaps if the bible came with a condom or morning after pill, since schools don't seem to have problems promoting secular religion....

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mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

closed mind lol YOu are welcome to worship as you wish, you are not welcome to force your beliefs onto anyone else.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

Well, at least your brain will not fall out from having such a closed mind.

Quoting mikiemom:

ordinarily I don't agree with book burning but in this case, I thnk a bon fire on the school lawn would be appropriate.

Quoting Claire-Huxtable:

How is a child being forced to read the bible?

Quoting mikiemom:

so you would be ok with your local coven coming down to your school and having a little ritual to mother earth. You would be ok with your child being forced to participate in that?

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Sure, why not?   

Quoting mikiemom:

Afraid - no innapropriate for school yes. If I want my child reading the bible, I will provide him with one. He is welcome to read the bible, the school is not welcome to push their agenda onto my child.

I find the utter lack of tolerance for other religions among american christians to be disgusting and apalling, would you be ok with your child being sent home with a quran, torra, satanic bible?

Quoting 12hellokitty:

Just curious but why are so many afraid of students being allowed to receive a free bible? 

 

 

 

 

 

 


specialwingz
by Bronze Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:27 PM

I graduated 6th grade in 1970.  All the 6th graders before me received one.  And, my sister who was 5 years behind me received one.  And, my brother 9 years behind me received one as well.  We were in OK (which is where this article is based).  So, YES, that IS the way it used to be.  I never said it was a nation-wide thing.  I'm not sure when they stopped.  But, again...it used to be standard issue.  And, no, it wasn't a private school.  It was public.

Funny...I moved from OK to MN in 1988.  My girls graduated in Roseville, MN!  LOL.   Small world!  I moved to TX almost 8 years ago, though.  As for MN and TX...none of my kids ever got bibles handed out to them like I did when I was in school.

Quoting lga1965:

No, that's not the way it used to be. I graduated in 1960 and never received a Bible or was taught any religion in any school from kindergarten through senior year. That belongs at home or in church. Are you from the south? I'm from Minnesota.

Quoting specialwingz:

When I was young, 6th grade was the last year of elementary school.  Every graduating 6th grader received on just like the one in the picture.  So, this is not a new convention.  It used to always be that way.  I'm not saying I agree with it.  Just saying that's the way it used to be.  Now, they are trying to bring it back.


romalove
by Roma on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

 

Quoting specialwingz:

I graduated 6th grade in 1970.  All the 6th graders before me received one.  And, my sister who was 5 years behind me received one.  And, my brother 9 years behind me received one as well.  We were in OK (which is where this article is based).  So, YES, that IS the way it used to be.  I never said it was a nation-wide thing.  I'm not sure when they stopped.  But, again...it used to be standard issue.  And, no, it wasn't a private school.  It was public.

Funny...I moved from OK to MN in 1988.  My girls graduated in Roseville, MN!  LOL.   Small world!  I moved to TX almost 8 years ago, though.  As for MN and TX...none of my kids ever got bibles handed out to them like I did when I was in school.

Quoting lga1965:

No, that's not the way it used to be. I graduated in 1960 and never received a Bible or was taught any religion in any school from kindergarten through senior year. That belongs at home or in church. Are you from the south? I'm from Minnesota.

Quoting specialwingz:

When I was young, 6th grade was the last year of elementary school.  Every graduating 6th grader received on just like the one in the picture.  So, this is not a new convention.  It used to always be that way.  I'm not saying I agree with it.  Just saying that's the way it used to be.  Now, they are trying to bring it back.


 The First Amendment wasn't enforced like it is now.  Having said that, I grew up in NJ and no one got Bibles in school.  It wasn't like how it was where you were growing up everywhere.

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