UPDATE, November 13: Chalk up another victory for the AHA’s legal center. The school district sent us a letter assuring that the Bible distribution will cease immediately. See link here.
We sent a letter to Geary County Schools in Kansas this week, warning that the distribution of bibles in an elementary school is unconstitutional. It’s clear that this school is encouraging its young students to embrace Christianity, as staff made the bibles available on a table in a high-traffic area and then told students they could leave class to get one. This is part of a project of the Gideons, who are known for evangelizing Christianity through bible distribution.
Our letter pointed out that numerous courts have ruled that this kind of bible distribution violates the Establishment Clause. The violation is particularly troubling when the target audience is elementary school children who are vulnerable to manipulation and coercion.
Many Christians will no doubt cry persecution because they aren’t allowed to proselytize in public school. If that’s so, however, we have to wonder if their defense of religious freedom would be so vigorous if the holy text being handed out were a Koran, or even a Satanic text. Funny how religious liberty in schools seems to be a uniquely Christian privilege.
Entire letter is here. No response yet from the school. Stay tuned.