Bibles For Buncombe: North Carolina School Distributes Free Bibles But Refuses Donation Of Pagan Books

In North Carolina, students at the North Windy Ridge Intermediate School were told that they could pick up a free Bible, donated by the Gideons. When Ginger Strivelli’s son came home with a new Bible, she decided to offer her own free copies of sacred books. She is a pagan and brought pagan spell books to the office. She was turned away (though I expect spell books in the age of Harry Potter would be snatched up like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans). The Buncombe County Board of Education now says that it will reexamine its policies. However, this only came after a non-Christian religion asked for the same access to schools.

Strivelli was turned away after she was told that the Gideons like any other religion was free to make the bibles available.

We have previously seen controversies over such programs in public schools. I have no problem with various religious books being available in libraries at schools so long as there is an array of different faiths represented. However, the use of the principal’s office to distribute free bibles sends a clear message of endorsement and entanglement, particularly when other faiths are excluded. I fail to see how a principal or a school board would not see the constitutional implications of such a practice. I also do not see why, with the myriad of other pressing issues for our schools, administrators cannot leave faith to parents and families.

Yet, some individuals like Bobby Honeycutt insist that “[o]ur country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, not on Wiccan principles.” While I would not argue that the Framers contained any practicing Wiccans, I believe our country was found on principles of pluralism and equality. The school district needs to end the use of school offices and officials in the distribution of religious material . . . and reexamine how such constitutional violations could occur without being flagged by counsel or administrators. It should not take a mother to force the issue for the district to comply with constitutional principles.

Source: News Observer

18 thoughts on “Bibles For Buncombe: North Carolina School Distributes Free Bibles But Refuses Donation Of Pagan Books”

  1. Shalom!i am apostle daniel working with New jerusalem International in Dar es salaam Tanzania. We would like to ask your aids bibles,because we have the graduation in June this year in the refugee camp.we can send via this adress Po. Box 75956 Dar es salaam Tanzania. God bless you every day.

  2. Hey, I’m all for it. If kids actually ever read a bible, they’ll be appalled. Mostly they use the thin paper to roll a joint.

    Paganism, on the other hand, comes in a variety of personal flavors. You can’t indoctrinate lighting a candle or planting a plant. And there aren’t any actual commandments. It’s more of a “you hurt my dog, and I’ll kick your ass” thing.

    Studying actual magic is like learning quantum physics. You don’t have to go handing that out.

  3. when i was in school they passed them out in class

    when my daughter was in the first grade, on halloween dressup day they were forbidden to dress as witches.

    both occurred in alabama. i no longer live there, making me and the people of alabama happy.

  4. Why, martin? So you can take something out of context and misconstrue it some more? Be my guest. I’ll be glad to debunk any future nonsense assertions you wish to make about the Separation of Church and State.

  5. Gene H – I’ll be in court soon, pro se, soon, for protesting Guantanamo in front of the White House, with a bunch of Catholics. If the judge mentions the separation of church and state I will be sure to let you know.

  6. Blouise: “They knew the propensity of Christians to seek a Righteous King…”

    Nicely phrased Ms. B. I think Newt is counting on that for a good measure of his support.

  7. The only way to confront these policies is to offer alternatives to Bibles and the like. Pushing the envelope with paganism and even atheism may even help in getting theses policies of acceptance abolished. But communities need to have people who are engaged and interested to make sure that there is representation of more than some generic Protestant version of Christianity.

  8. The framers of our Constitution and Bill Of Rights were classically, well educated men. They knew the propensity of Christians to seek a Righteous King and the history of governments compromised by such piety. How to keep such things out of government while still allowing the people the right to choose their own religious or non-religious leanings.

    Voila … separation of Church and State. Simple answer really but then great wisdom is often quite simple.

  9. “‘The problem,’ concludes the Jerusalem Post, ‘is not, as some assert, that certain Christian leaders deviated from Christian teachings and behaved in an un-Christian manner; it is the teachings themselves that are bent.'” (from link provided by Gene)

    Christianity did not begin as a religion. Christianity started as a movement of people around a charismatic teacher. Authorities viewed him as a troublemaker … a political trouble maker who questioned the authority of Jewish and Pagan leaders alike. He made them both uncomfortable and getting rid of him and the unpredictable behavior he exhibited was a political compromise made between Pagan and Jewish POLITICAL leaders.

    After his execution his followers seeing a meaning for all time in his teachings morphed into what could best be described as a Jewish Sect. Then Paul, a Jew who possessed Roman citizenship, arrived on the scene and determined that the here-to-fore message for Jews could be applied to all peoples … Christianity’s first real appearance as a religion.

    By the third century Christianity had its own books and rituals and the Roman Empire, doing what Empires do when trying to protect and perpetuate themselves, identified Christianity as real threat to POLITICAL stability of the Empire and the persecutions began.

    Along comes Constantine who decides to “patronize” one certain branch of Christianity (there were many branches from which to choose). Constantine picks a branch that incorporates the teaching of the Old Testament into it’s theology thus providing a King David and the model of the kings of Israel.

    Constantine becomes the embodiment of the righteous king. Once he consolidates his power he has a theology of government that he can use to consolidate his own secular power. And the bishops have federal funding and start holding committee meetings (Council of Nicea … Christ is the one true God in deity with the Father and the Creed of Nicaea) to iron out the differences between all the branches and get everybody united … under Constantine, the Righteous King.

    Politics and Piety join hands and from then onwards to today ” it is the teachings themselves that are bent.”

  10. As a dog I prefer the King James version. But in regard to this blog, which has something to do with law, I prefer the version of the Ten Commandments etched in Stone. Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill.

    To you kids out there, as far as principals go dont trust them. They are not what the word indicates at the end: pals.

  11. I have a Bible to give them….How to Screw America and Get Paid Big Buck….While Never Doing Time……

  12. “The Myth of a Judeo-Christian Tradition

    The following article from New Dawn Magazine No.23 Feb-March 1994.

    This is an age in which news has been superseded by propaganda, and education by brain-washing and indoctrination. From the advertising used to sell poor quality goods, to the classes in schools designed to make children into conditioned robots of the State, the art of persuasion has displaced the simple virtue of truth.

    Since the end of the Second World War we have been bombarded from all sides with references to the Western world’s “Judeo-Christian religion,” and “our Judeo-Christian heritage.” We are told by both church leaders and scholars that our society is based on a supposed “Judeo-Christian tradition”.

    The notion of “Judeo-Christian religion” is an unquestioned — almost sacrosanct — part of both secular and church thinking. American Christian leader Prof. Franklin H. Littel, a vocal supporter of the Zionist state, frankly declared that “to be Christian is to be Jewish,” and that consequently it was the duty of a Christian to put support for the “land of Israel” above all else. Pat Boon, the North American singer and evangelist, said there are two kinds of Judaism, one Orthodox and the other Christian.

    Yet such a decidedly Christian Zionist outlook is to say the least, wildly simplistic and profoundly ahistorical. As the astute Jewish writer, Joshua J. Adler, points out, “The differences between Christianity and Judaism are much more than merely believing in whether the messiah already appeared or is still expected, as some like to say.”

    The comments of Jewish author Mr. S. Levin may well explain the Christian’s need for the Judeo-Christian myth. Writing in the Israeli journal Biblical Polemics, Levin concludes: “‘After all, we worship the same God’, the Christian always says to the Jew and the Jew never to the Christian. The Jew knows that he does not worship the Christ-God but the Christian orphan needs to worship the God of Israel and so, his standard gambit rolls easily and thoughtlessly from his lips. It is a strictly unilateral affirmation, limited to making a claim on the God of Israel but never invoked with reference to other gods. A Christian never confronts a Moslem or a Hindu with ‘After all, we worship the same God’.”

    Back in 1992 both Newsweek magazine and the Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper simultaneously printed extensive articles scrutinising the roots of the sacrosanct Judeo-Christian honeymoon!

    The statement heading the Newsweek article read: “Politicians appeal to a Judeo-Christian tradition, but religious scholars say it no longer exists.” The Jerusalem Post article’s pull quote announced: “Antisemitism is a direct result of the Church’s teachings, which Christians perhaps need to re-examine.”

    “For scholars of American religion,” Newsweek states, “the idea of a single Judeo-Christian tradition is a made-in-America myth that many of them no longer regard as valid.” It quotes eminent Talmudic scholar Jacob Neusner: “Theologically and historically, there is no such thing as the Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s a secular myth favoured by people who are not really believers themselves.”

    Newsweek cites authorities who indicate that “the idea of a common Judeo-Christian tradition first surfaced at the end of the 19th century but did not gain popular support until the 1940s, as part of an American reaction to Nazism . . ,” and concludes that, “Since then, both Jewish and Christian scholars have come to recognize that — geopolitics apart — Judaism and Christianity are different, even rival religions.”

    The Jerusalem Post accused the Christian Church of being responsible for the Holocaust. The French Jewish scholar Jules Isaac was quoted as saying: “Without centuries of Christian catechism, preaching, and vituperation, the Hitlerian teachings, propaganda and vituperation would not have been possible.”

    “The problem,” concludes the Jerusalem Post, “is not, as some assert, that certain Christian leaders deviated from Christian teachings and behaved in an un-Christian manner; it is the teachings themselves that are bent.”

    Joshua Jehouda, a prominent French Jewish leader, observed in the late 1950s: “The current expression ‘Judaeo-Christian’ is an error which has altered the course of universal history by the confusion it has sown in men’s minds, if by it one is meant to understand the Jewish origin of Christianity . . . If the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ does point to a common origin, there is no doubt that it is a most dangerous idea. It is based on a ‘contradictio in abjecto’ which has set the path of history on the wrong track. It links in one breath two ideas which are completely irreconcileable, it seeks to demonstrate that there is no difference between day and night or hot and cold or black and white, and thus introduces a fatal element of confusion to a basis on which some, nevertheless, are endeavouring to construct a civilisation.” (l’Antisemitisme Miroir du Monde pp. 135-6).”

    Read the rest here.



    Thanks for once again displaying that you have no grasp on the idea that ethics exist independent of religion and that the Separation of Church and State is very real in U.S. Constitutional jurisprudence.

  13. Re:There are no “Judeo-Christian” Principles
    One imagines the ten commandments might serve as a counter example, and I note in passing that the various religious leaders have made substantial progress in getting these beliefs established at least in part into law.

  14. Blouise – please. History lessons are always welcome. Or a URL.
    Regarding “our country was found on principles of pluralism and equality”
    After the Articles but before the constitution, there was a policy of dis-establishment, where the states became de-churched. (fun word fact: The counter policy, anti-dis-establishment gave rise to our favorite candidate for longest english word.) The colonies were originally religious enclaves and not tolerant of heresy.

    Regarding the “equality” aspiration, One agrees in spirit yet does not imagine that blacks, or women, or Irish, or the weak, participated in this equality. Or the Mexicans, or the Chinese, or people of Japanese ancestry. Or the native americans, the original property owners.
    Justice for Lenord Peltier, remember Annie Mae.

  15. “However, the use of the principal’s office to distribute free bibles sends a clear message of endorsement and entanglement, particularly when other faiths are excluded. I fail to see how a principal or a school board would not see the constitutional implications of such a practice.”

    JT it is obvious to me why this is so and the reason devolves to an aspect of
    Christianity in America that has been endemic since our country began. Certain Christians of many denominations so strongly believe in their faith that they feel it is normal to spread it. Constitutional separations of religions and State don’t even occur to them as impediments to this because after all they are only spreading the “real truth”. Objections to their injecting religion into the public sphere are then regarded as unwarranted attacks and they feel that they are being unfairly victimized. When they are then in effect hoisted on their own petard, as accomplished by this Wiccan mother, their reaction is amazement and disbelief.

    There is a dichotomy at work here that is of long standing. In the 50’s and early 60’s while I was receiving an excellent education about the Constitution in the public schools I attended, all of which had at least a 50% Jewish population, the schools would be bedecked in both Christmas and Easter themes, with assembly halls and classroom activities to match. I don’t think any of my Civics teachers, or the school administrations realized they were violating the Constitution.

    One other point since I’m sticking my being Jewish out front:

    “Yet, some individuals like Bobby Honeycutt insist that “[o]ur country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, not on Wiccan principles.””

    There are Jewish Principles and there are Christian Principles. There are no
    “Judeo-Christian” Principles, despite the ecumenism of various Rabbi’s, Ministers and Priests. They are separate religions, with separate values, that are not reconcilable, because if one is “right” the other is “wrong”. That Christians have incorporated the Torah into their Canon is tempered by the fact that their interpretation of it differs strongly from the Jewish view of those writings. One instance stems from the concept of “original sin”, which is Christian, not Jewish. If those who put forth the term “Judeo-Christian” would actually follow their reasoning logically then the for should be “Judeo-Christian-
    Islamic” since Islam borrows heavily from both of these preceding beliefs.

  16. “It should not take a mother to force the issue for the district to comply with constitutional principles.”

    Mothers have been forcing issues in this country long before the Constitution was written. Do you want a list of dates, names and issues?

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