Atheists Stir-up a Whole Bunch of Controversy over Bible and Donuts
The Joplin, Mo. school district has apparently agreed to the demands of a humanist legal group and suspended a Bible study after complaints that free donuts were “deceptively” being used to bring students to the meetings. The American Humanist Association sent a letter to the school, claiming — based on the report of a parent of one student — that the Bible studies were organized and conducted by faculty and school officials. The school subsequently capitulated.
Yet according to the interim superintendent of the school district, “the [Bible study] was a student-initiated activity that complied with other requirements set out in board policy: Participation was voluntary, it was not led or promoted by a district employee, it didn’t interfere with educational activities and it didn’t use public funds.” The superintendent claimed the policy didn’t comply, however, because “[s]tudent-initiated groups are restricted to the secondary level.”
While the school may have its reasons for claiming its policy was not in compliance, its actions give the impression of ceding more ground to those who want to eliminate any vestige of Christianity from the public square, and give the impression that religion in the public square generally is impermissible.
School districts shouldn’t so easily cave to the demands of these anti-Christian activist groups. Would the superintendent have come to this conclusion in the absence of the letter from the American Humanist Association? We don’t know. But schools need to ensure that they’re receiving proper legal advice from an attorney representing them, and not just capitulating to the demands of activist humanist and atheist groups, who are often not offering objective legal advice.
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