Pagan Mom Battling Bibles in Public Schools Makes a Valid Point

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gideons bibleSometimes you read a news story, and you just can't believe that it's even something that could happen in 2012 U.S.A. This is one of those stories. Intermediate public school, North Windy Ridge in North Carolina's Buncombe County, is currently getting heat for a bunch of Bibles that evangelical group Gideons International had delivered to the school office. Apparently, the school thought it would be a-okay to allow interested students to stop by and pick them up.

But Ginger Strivelli, who practices Witchcraft, a form of Paganism, was understandably caught off guard when her son came home with a Bible. She voiced her concern to the principal, and he assured her that the school wasn't in the habit of making just Christian bibles available. Oh no, apparently any religious texts donated by any group could be distributed. But when Strivelli showed up at the school with pagan spell books, she was turned away.

Surprised?

I'm not. Seems to me this is just another example of how many people are okay with freedom of religion and religious diversity ... just as long as the religions being expressed or promoted fit in line with their idea of conventional and acceptable. Unfortunately for Strivelli, the religion she happens to practice didn't fit the bill.

The thing is ... the First Amendment gives public schools the choice to distribute all/any religious materials or none at all. Thus, rejecting Strivelli's religious texts while distributing the Gideons International ones is unacceptable, according to legal experts. In other words, picking and choosing isn't gonna fly.

The only true solution: Saying abso-freakin'-lutely "NO" to any religious material being distributed in public schools. Hmm ... you would think that would be the obvious protocol, given the separation of church and state. Hopefully it's the conclusion the Buncombe County Board of Education draws when they meet on February 2 to discuss the issue.

Do you think public schools should be allowed to distribute religious materials?


Image via Sento/Flickr

religion, protests

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Stacey. Stacey.

Yes and No. Lots of children do not get exposed to any religion at home. I think having books based on religion is a good thing. However, I do not necessarily agree with, say, an actual Bible or book of spells being in the Library. Therre is a difference between learning about a religion and practicing it. If my child came home with a book of spells I would be furious. On the same note though I would have no problem with my child learning about what it means to be Pagan.


Side note: I totally feel sorry for this woman's children being exposed to "Witchcraft". It's wrong on so many levels, and I hope they can break free of that darkness. Maybe being exposed to other religions is just what they need.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

No religious material SHOULD be distributed through schools.  My son came home with a form for a religious after school program and I was abit annoyed by that... much less actual material.

Jecky... Jeckyls-mommy

Um Stacey don't run your mouth bout something you don't know about. K thanks. And honestly no I don't think religious anything belongs in school.

nonmember avatar Shelly

Can a book of spells, even be considered "religious text?" It doesn't seem so, in my opinion. However, I do think religious texts should be passed out. Rather, kids can CHOOSE to pick them up, should they actually want to. I don't think they should be literally passed out. If they are allowed to be handed out, it should be without agenda. No preaching, just a student picking up a book.

sweet... sweetcherry_59

I don't think public schools should distribute any religious materials. Separation of Church and State. At the same time when they made the decision so distribute the Bibles to the children they should have made it fair and allowed any religion to have the same chance. They should apologize and distribute the books.

dreab... dreabug23

I would rather my child come home with a book of spells than a bible.

fraoch fraoch

Side note: I totally feel sorry for this woman's children being exposed to "Witchcraft". It's wrong on so many levels, and I hope they can break free of that darkness. Maybe being exposed to other religions is just what they need.


~~~


LOL Alls I saw there was - I burn Harry Potter books for giggles

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I'm sure your kids could do with being exposed to other religions too Stacey, as could you. You seem to be rather ignorant on the subject of witchcraft.



I think the school should refuse to distribute any religious materials at all. When I was in school we were subjected to a talk by the Gideons every year. We'd spend an hour listening to their preaching, have a bible foisted on us, amd then be allowed to go back to class. It was totally ridiculous, most of the bibles wound up ripped to shreds in the hallways although some of the savvier students realized that the pages made excellent joint papers. I am quite sure that any association from any other religion would have been turned away and that is ridiculous.

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

The way the school SHOULD have handled this was a simple note in the next school newspaper.


 


Parents, we've been given a donation of Bibles and other religious materials.  If you would like a copy for yourself or your child, please stop by the office and ask.


 


or telling the donors, "No thank you."

Littl... LittleFrogsMA

Kritika,


Do you want to go back to the days when Protestants were beheaded or burnt at the stake?

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