May 01, 2013 | permalink
As a rule, it is a bad idea to turn public schools into battlegrounds for religious missions. But as long as fundamentalists insist on distributing Bibles in public schools, it is only fair that those with different perspectives are able to do the same thing on equal footing.
On Thursday May 2, in reaction to a Bible distribution that was allowed to take place in January, freethinkers and atheists are organizing a passive distribution of literature on 11 public high school campuses in Orange County, Florida.
Many of the works submitted to the district, including The Truth by 19th century freethinker Robert G. Ingersoll and Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris, have being disallowed. Approved handouts include FFRF materials, “What is Wrong with the Ten Commandments?” “Ten Common Myths about Atheists,” and “Why Women Need Freedom From Religion.” Also permitted is The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine’s classic challenge to institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible.
“We want to close the door to religion in schools, not open it to Freethought,” said David Williamson, organizer of the Central Florida Freethought Community, which is participating in the efforts. But, he added, “If they’re going to have a religious discussion on campus, we need to be a part of it.”