Atheists in Orange County, Fla., are taking the Bible to task. Central Florida Freethought (CFF), a local, secular group associated with the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), plans to distribute atheist books in public schools after a religious organization began giving away free Bibles in 11 of the county’s public schools. At least one of the literary works, “An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible,” is sure to raise eyebrows.
David Williamson, a member of the CFF, believes that allowing the Bibles in schools is wrong, so to combat the practice his organization is planning to distribute its own literature — material that affirms atheist, agnostic and “free-thinking” themes.
“The county has invited people in now to do this, and what we need to do is put the views of the biblical creationists into perspective with our perspective,”said Williamson. ”It’s not tit for tat. Our effort is to ensure the county realizes this is the wrong policy.”
Earlier this week, CFF put out a press release outlining its plans to distribute “materials about atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism” to public school pupils. The release reads:
The Central Florida Freethought Community, a chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has obtained consent this week from the Orange County (FL) School Board to distribute materials about atheism, agnosticism, and secular humanism to students in public schools. This permission comes after the School Board allowed a group of Christians to distribute Bibles to students on campus during school hours for Religious Freedom Day on January 16. [...]
Books, pamphlets, and brochures from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Atheists, and the Secular Student Alliance are on their way today to Central Florida and distribution will begin as soon as the promised written permission is received from the School Board and volunteers are cleared to come on campus. Some items being considered for distribution are “An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible,” “Ten Common Myths About Atheists,” as well as literature about starting student led secular organizations on campus and books by atheists Dan Barker and Madalyn Murray O’Hair among others.
In the release, Williamson condemned “Biblical literalists” for convincing the school board to allow their religious materials in the school. He claimed that Christians are making schools “a religious battleground of sorts.” To create a balance, the atheist leader said his group will counter “religious propaganda” with their own materials.
Under the district’s rules, outside groups — believing and non-believing, alike — are invited to hand out faith-based materials. However, representatives of various organizations are not allowed to have contact with students. They can, however, setup a table and leave the materials for consumption. Information that includes pornographic material and references that tout tobacco, alcohol and drugs will not be allowed.
Considering these banned subjects, the FFRF’s book, “An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible,” will likely raise the ire of critics. The title alone leads one to wonder if the contents will render it unacceptable.
(H/T: Fox 35)