Texas School District Resolves Controversy Over Christian Groups Distributing Bibles Outside of Schools By Inviting Them Inside

180px-Gideons_BibleThe Frisco Independent School District in Texas was faced with complaints about Gideon volunteers hanging around outside of schools to pass out bibles to children. They solved the problem by inviting them into the school where free bibles are now made available to the students — a move that has caused some parents to object.

The school allows the religious group to come to schools on particular days to pass out the bibles. The District says that non-school literature is allowed as long as it doesn’t “attack ethnic, religious, or racial groups.” Such material must also not “interfere with school activities or the rights of others.”

How does the district prevent other material being brought into schools. I expect some parents might object to evolutionary textbooks and even environmental textbooks. How about books on atheism or paganism?

A spokesperson said “We cannot pick and choose which materials are allowed to be left at a designated location for display/pickup based upon the viewpoint expressed in the materials.” I would have less trouble with such a display if the school allows books on atheism, gay rights, Islam, and other material to be shown. Somehow I think that there would be a backlash to such material, but it might be worth a test.

For the full story, click here.

54 thoughts on “Texas School District Resolves Controversy Over Christian Groups Distributing Bibles Outside of Schools By Inviting Them Inside”

  1. Brilliant response mespo. Bravo. How does it make sense to respond to a post of mine that calls you out on ignoring my questions by CONTINUING to ignore my questions???? Once again, clear evidence that you have ZERO answer for my questions and that I annihilated you with facts! Let me guess, you’ll respond to this post by CONTINUING to ignore my questions?? LOL.

  2. Larry:

    “I noticed you completely ignored my response back to you. Im assuming because I ripped you a new ass in mine.”

    *********************

    I am always intrigued by what goes on in your a**, Larry, because it is always on such prominent display.

  3. CCD, I was asking Mike Appleton to give me the part of the Constitution the Gideons were violating because I KNEW they were, not because I DOUBTED they were…moron.

    EXCELLENT point Mike Spindell!!

    Mespo—-I noticed you completely ignored my response back to you. Im assuming because I ripped you a new ass in mine. The Gideons DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT distribute Bibles because of it being wonderful PROSE. They distribute it so people can have Bibles and become Christians!

    Give me ONE example in the entire history of the Gideons where they passed out Bibles for a LITERARY purpose. You wont find ONE. You also ignored my other question: Name ONE NON-religious purpose of the Gideons.

  4. Mike S:

    “We disagree on this, I don’t believe either is a great work of literature, nor do I think the Torah and the Koran are either. They only make sense read from a religious perspective.”

    **************************

    I think the language of the King James version is wonderful prose and the poetry isn’t bad either. It certainly benefits from its association with the divine, but the following is great writing by any stretch of the imagination:

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up….
    — Ecclesiastes 3: 1-3 (KJV)

    and

    When I was a child, I spake as a child,
    I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
    but when I became a man, I put away
    childish things. For now we see through a
    glass, darkly; but then face to face: now
    I know in part; but then shall I know even
    as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope,
    charity, these three; but the greatest of these
    is charity.
    1 Corinthians 13:11-13

    The Beatitudes are no slouches either!

    Tyndall makes the cut for the courage exhibited in the smuggling of the Word to England and hence to the masses. Before Tyndall the Scriptures were for the elite only. Tyndall’s translation made the work accessible.

  5. “Clearly the Tyndall or King James Bible stands as a great work of literature, however flawed,”

    Mespo,
    We disagree on this, I don’t believe either is a great work of literature, nor do I think the Torah and the Koran are either. They only make sense read from a religious perspective. As a Jew, when I first read the Christian bible I couldn’t get why it was the “greatest story ever told.” I know people who read the Torah from either a non-religious or Christian perspective, find it a bloody narrative and I can understand why. To some the Koran is the “word of Allah.” To others a justification for violence.

    The issue is clearly what the reaction of the school district would be if a Jewish, Muslim, or Hindu group wanted to distribute their religious works. My guess is that the din of protest would be deafening and the School Board would not allow it. The comment that the Gideon’s are not at fault is valid, the blame rests squarely on the school board.

  6. Breathe Larry, the only attack your under is the one you’re inventing with your own mind. Think self care Larry. Raise blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure. Hows treatment for that bile duct obstruction coming along?

    “Mike Appleton, please respond and give me the exact part of the Constitution that makes the actions of the Gideons illegal—I wanna write a story on this on my blog.” – Larry

    Who could read your blog, other than thin skinned, ad hominem, know it alls.
    Like attracting like.

  7. And by the way, you said “assumptionS”—-PLURAL, but yet you listed ONE, and you was wrong even about that—as I indicated above!!

  8. I was actually being facetious, dickhead. In saying “its safe to assume”—I literally meant “its not an assumption” since the Gideons have NEVER had a NON religious purpose!! In fact, thats my question for you—–name ONE NON religious purpose of the Gideons—-just ONE.

    I corrected myself about the time of my post asshole.

    Who said there has to be a presumption of innocence granted? We are given the right to speedy, fair trials in the constitution. What parts are you literally talking about? Youre very vague in your last sentence.

  9. Larry, my earlier points had nothing to do with the fact that the distribution of the Bibles was by the Gideons. The distribution could have been proposed by the 4H Club. I made reference to the Gideons because that was the group identified in the story. I am somewhat familiar with that organization’s history. Basically, it was formed by a group of Christian businessmen who got the idea of leaving Bibles in hotels during their travels. The historical background of the group would have relevance in any litigation, but the court would require evidence of intent specific to this particular case. In other words, although I am confident in my own mind about the purpose of the proposed distribution, my personal attitudes and conclusions are not evidence. I might also suggest that your views of the clarity of the Constitution would be more accurate if a bit more nuanced. Although most of my friends would probably describe me as a First Amendment absolutist, over two hundred years of constitutional litigation have taught us that
    the meaning and intent of that instrument cannot be gleaned solely from its language. No document, including the Constitution and the Bible, can be properly understood in the absence of context.

  10. Larry:

    “name ONE assumption in my 2:02pm post! Name ONE.”

    **************************

    How’s this: “I believe it’s VERY safe to assume their purpose is religious.”

    By the way, my post was at 2:02 pm.

    “And by the way, the Constitution of the United States IS black and white pal! Tell me ONE gray area in it!”

    ***************

    How’s the right to privacy grab you or maybe substantive due process? Find the presumption of innocence anywhere within the four corners of the document?

    Were you a softball pitcher before you became a constitutional scholar?

  11. Oh–I forgot—you said:

    “I see rational thought and hypothetical counter-examples challenging your assumptions are lost on you” —lol, name ONE assumption in my 2:02pm post! Name ONE.

  12. And by the way, the Constitution of the United States IS black and white pal! Tell me ONE gray area in it!

  13. Good refutation of my post mespo!! Your entire post was one big ad hominem attack and didnt address ONE thing I specifically said in my post. Nice dodge, deflect and ignore tactic. My post (above) must have been right on the money for you to issue a giant namecalling rant. I guess you thought your use of big words would trick me into cowering to you. LOL, just the opposite! I saw right through it! It wasnt even a good try.

  14. Larry:

    I see rational thought and hypothetical counter-examples challenging your assumptions are lost on you. Also I note with didactic enthusiasm your postulate that what a group once was is what they ,of course, are now and must ever be in the future. I envy your unchanging world where conventional wisdom trumps evidentiary inquiry every time. I ‘ll leave your to your black and white world where contrary thoughts are never a problem. If it’s concrete it must be good and if its abstract well… it’s wrong, of course.

  15. How absurd mespo!! The Gideons are KNOWN for passing out Bibles! They have a history of it! And since they had just lost a Supreme Court case LAST YEAR saying they couldnt actually pass the Bibles OUT, I believe it’s VERY safe to assume their purpose is religious. You talked about alot of “IF’s”:

    “If the Gideons were distributing works of Shakespeare…”

    “if other religious or non-religious groups could distribute materials…”

    We’re dealing with what actually DID happen here, not “If” this, “if” that. The school DIDNT let other religious groups in. The Gideons DIDNT distribute Shakespeare. Let’s deal with what actually happened and not “if’s”.

  16. Larry:

    I disagree that this is a clear cut violation of 2 of the 3 prongs of the Lemon test. If the Gideons were distributing works of Shakespeare as an introduction to the students about great English literature would you have such qualms. Clearly the Tyndall or King James Bible stands as a great work of literature, however flawed, and you cannot just assume that their purpose is purely religious. Second, if other religious or non-religious groups could distribute materials at the School it could not be said that the School was promoting a particular religion. Finally, we know that merely permitting distribution of religious materials on school grounds does not entangle the government with religion, elsewise churches would be unable to rent school auditoriums for clearly religious events and no school could ever serve as a host for say an FCA chapter. Lemon does not stand for the proposition that no religious activity should ever be permitted on school grounds, it stands for the proposition that the school may not sponsor or promote religion to the exclusion of other forms of religious or nonreligious expression and thereby establish or condone a particular religion.

  17. Mike Appleton—–you and mespo are wrong in one major aspect. You are acting as if the Gideons are the ones in charge. They dont make the rules in deciding who gets to enter the school and set up shop, the school district does. Who cares if other groups are not allowed to distribute material? The Lemon test does not grant permission as long as other groups are allowed. It doesnt matter if the school district allowed 15 religious groups sit side by side at the school….wheres the secular purpose?

  18. mespo—-this act failed 2 of the 3 prongs of the Lemon test—-its unconstitutional, period. I dont care what you THINK. I only care about FACTS.

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