Atheist groups to distribute materials in Orange County schools

Classroom

Photo Credit IndyPostEd.com

Thursday promises to be an unusual day for high school students in Orange County, Fla.

The school district, led by moderate Republican and board Chairman Bill Sublette, has agreed to allow atheist groups on high school campuses to distribute material on atheism, agnosticism and secular humanism.

Representatives from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Central Florida Freethought Community will be “passively” distributing the following articles and papers to students, according to WKMG Local 6:

  • The Age of Reason
  • What They Said About Religion
  • Ten Common Myths About Atheists
  • What is Wrong with the Ten Commandments?
  • What is an Atheist
  • Nontheistic Students in Your School
  • Humanist of the Year Award
  • Don’t Believe in God? You may be a Humanist
  • Why Women Need Freedom From Religion
  • What is a Freethinker?
  • Secular Student Alliance” brochure

Passive distribution means the materials will be left on an unmanned table in a common area for students to take during non-instructional time. The groups’ representatives may not interact with the students, and can only replenish materials if they run out, the TV report said.

In a letter to principals, the school district’s lawyers said the handouts were approved to avoid a lawsuit, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday’s distribution comes after the school district allowed the religious group, World Changers of Florida, to distribute free Bibles in January. The organization was allowed to “passively” hand out the holy books after successfully suing the Collier County School District for blocking a previous distribution attempt.

What a circus environment students in Orange County must endure.

Misguided and weak-kneed leadership by Sublette and the Orange County School Board are nothing new, as we saw in December, when they worked with Equality Florida, a gay rights advocacy group, to create a special protected category for “gender identity or expression” for students and employees.

In Gainesville, one of a handful of Florida cities and counties that recognize such a classification, defines gender identity as:

“An inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.”

All in all, the secular progressive intrusion in education makes one long for the days when the purpose of schools was to teach, not to drive a political agenda.

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About Tom Tillison

Tom is a grassroots activist who distinguished himself as one of the top conservative bloggers in Florida before joining BizPac Review. He can be reached at tom@bizpacreview.com

  • abb3w

    Why are you alluding to this as another example of weak leadership?

    It's conceivable that they might have had the foresight to prevent such distributions by any group (religious or otherwise). If you had such foresight, and complained publicly before any of this started, you'd have an excellent case for why you should be on the school board. Otherwise, it just seems like Monday morning quarterbacking.

    The first distributions (according to the complaint in the World Changers lawsuit) were started about seven years back under one policy — which also looks like it would have allowed the present irreligious distribution. The lawsuit resulted from a failed attempt to narrow the policy as to what could be distributed, which might have allowed preventing both religious and irreligious material. The attempt to block the Bible distributions triggered the lawsuit, and resulted in a consent agreement that required paying twenty grand for the other side's lawyers, and probably a comparable amount for the school district. Do you think they should have spent more of the districts money on their own lawyers to fight in the courts, seeking a ruling that would allow them to keep out the Bibles?

    Even more absurd, should the schools have tried to refuse the irreligious groups their distribution? The irreligious groups would have almost certainly have sued — over breach of terms to the consent agreement from the LAST lawsuit, where the parties agreed to have a "neutral, limited public forum". Do you think they should have spent the money on lawyers to try to keep out the infidels, after promising that this forum "open on equal terms to all non-profit organization"? Do you think there is any hope under existing case law for them to be able to keep out one religious viewpoint while allowing in another? Would it have been worth it to spend taxpayer dollars trying to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, in the hopes of finding five justices there who are inclined to flagrantly overturn the entire line of over six decades of SCOTUS case law precedent on the boundaries between Freedom of Exercise and Freedom of Establishment?

    The secularists weren't the one who started the intrusion of political agenda into the schools. David Williamson, organizer of the Central Florida Freethought Community (doing the distribution) indicated he'd prefer having no forum to an open forum. However, he also said "if they’re going to have a religious discussion on campus, we need to be a part of it." You'd have an easier time keeping out the Democratic Party after making an agreement to allow literature distribution by the local Republicans.

    And since World Changers and Liberty Counsel sued, and got themselves a consent agreement from the district registered with the courts, everyone in sight is stuck with having an open forum.

  • Ann Palmer

    Separation of church and state. Church is Faith. Atheism is just as much a religion as being a Baptist. It is faith. I have a faith God exists, they have faith He doesn't. Unless Baptists can pass out pamphlets, atheists have no business on school grounds. Our children need education in Math and Science! Not FAITH (or Non faith). Learn your faith from Home or church. This is yet another reason for home schooling. Too much government interference.

  • Isabella1709

    I guess they won't have a problem with Christian and Jewish literature……

  • George Washington

    I would like to see these miss guided souls do this in gilchrist county Florida our public school kids would tell them jesus loves you anyhow now GET OFF OUR CAMPUS!!!

  • Patriot1742

    Pull children out of the public schools – a child can be educated at home by a parent, get good information from the web and additional education from other parents – it can be done and you can put an end to the liberal indoctrination by the left.

  • ax

    Once these kids see how much atheism makes sense, all of them will become atheists, well only of course if they are smart. Dumb kids will continue believing in fairy tales

  • William

    Know your Enemy, 1 Peter 5:8. Ann Gaylor is the founder of "Freedom From Religion" one of the Athiest groups sponsoring this Anti Christian attack on our school children. Her husband Dan Baker is a fallen minister who rejected Christianity due to bitterness and personal ego. Their group simply known as FFRF has won 13-14 major law suits in almost as many states [ these idiots are from Wisconson ] against Christian beliefs. It is foolish for the people of the Orlando area to bow to the will of this group. They have a bigger agenda. See Janet Folger's book "The Criminilization of Christianity". The premis of the Athiest is to destroy fundamental Christian beliefs. This destroys the family unit. They believe this must start in the schools where they have access to tell your kids anything they want them to believe. The next item on their agenda is anti-marriage, then acceptance homosexuality and promescuity. The best way to fight this take over of our society is to keep your children home the day they are there to spread thsir evil.

    • Doug Hanks

      Someday they'll want to put flouride in our water!

    • michael

      Why do atheists scare you so much, they simply don't believe in any gods. Maybe subconsciously you know they're right.

  • Audrey Cutler

    When will this war on Christianity stop, we are being attacked from all sides and our anti Christian, President, Barack Obama,our Government leader is the leader of the pack. He is attacking our Christians in the Military from all sides. When will Christians begin to fight back and object to all these atrocities that are being done to Christians? Soon, it will be too late to do anything about it. FOR EVIL TO SUCCEED IS FOR GOOD MEN AND WOMEN TO DO NOTHING.

    PS. And, that is how Hitler took control of Germany!!!!

  • cs

    They are allready in there,the schools!

  • cs

    Amen to that!