Monday, April 04, 2016

Atheists respond to Bible giveaways at rural schools by giving away Satanic activity books

Delta County, Colorado (Wikipedia map)
When Christians made Bibles available on tables designated at a rural Colorado school for pamphlet and book giveaways, an atheist group on Friday "provided pamphlets on topics like sex in the Bible, problems with the Ten Commandments and a Satanic activity book to middle and high school students, the result of a fight between Delta County schools and critics over whether it should continue to let everyone from Little League organizers to the Gideons distribute literature in schools," Colleen Slevin reports for The Associated Press.

Pamphlets were distributed by the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, after complaints from a parent, who objected to the religious materials and said students who didn't take pamphlets were bullied.

"Freedom from Religion Foundation successfully sued over a similar distribution policy in Orlando, Fla., schools," Slevin writes. "In an effort to also change policy in the Delta County district, the foundation asked for permission to offer the pamphlets, which it calls 'non-tracts,' as well as the activity book on the same tables. Despite the name of the activity book, the Satanic theme is limited to symbols in drawings. The book, which includes word jumbles and other games, teaches kindness and 'the basic morals that we all agree on,' foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said. . . . Foundation lawyer Andrew Seidel said the group would rather the district just change its policy and stop all groups from distributing literature in schools."

"District spokesman Kurt Clay said the policy is not aimed at helping religious proselytizing but allowing the easy distribution of information about outside groups like Little League and the Boy Scouts in small towns where there are no recreation centers and most extracurricular activities are run by volunteers," Slevin writes. "He said officials are considering changing the policy but that will take some time. Clay said the school district did not want to risk a costly lawsuit but also decided that  students would not be hurt by the giveaway and might also learn about different views on religion." (Read more)

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