We found out late Monday night that the School Board had given a group permission to hand out Bibles at our schools. The news reported it and David Williamson, leader of the Central Florida Freethought Community, alerted several local leaders in a message headed “URGENT.” It certainly was. That night, we found out that a possible church-state violation would occur two days later.
The next night, we prepared to monitor the distribution and ensure the group was following the rules. These were pretty simple rules: The Bibles were to be placed on tables which could not be attended by anybody, and no volunteer from World Changers Florida — the group behind the distribution — could speak to any student. (It’s called “passive distribution.”) Members of the group I lead at my school, Wekiva Atheist and Secular Alliance (WASA), would take notes and pictures if they broke the rules. (Students at a few of the many other schools receiving Bibles prepared to do the same.)
Wednesday came… and, as expected, they broke the rules.
Tables covered with Bibles appeared during lunch, one just outside the cafeteria, one inside. Both were looked after by people talking to students. (The people came from a different group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, but they were at the tables, nonetheless.)
We decided not to worry too much about the broken rules because we figured there was a better way to make a point. If the school only allowed Christians to proselytize in schools, that would be unfair, no doubt a violation of church-state separation. The only way it would be fair is if everyone — Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Ron Paul supporters, The Flat Earth Society, etc. — could hand out their own materials. That included atheists, too. So we asked the school if they would allow other groups the same right the Christians had, and they assured us that we would (provided we met certain criteria… though I can’t imagine the Good Book passed any sort of “appropriateness” test).
Written By: Daniel Kostercontinue to source article at patheos.com