Thursday, January 15, 2015

Satanic Temple Halts Bible Distribution

The Satanic Temple has done it again. Back in November, I covered the group's plans to distribute the “Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities” at a Florida school in response to a Christian group distributing bibles. Following the announcement from the temple, the school suspended the bible distribution program subject to review by the school board. That review is now complete, and the school has decided to end the distribution of all religious materials rather than include the activity book.

The Satanic Temple intended to distribute the “Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities” to students, while the FFRF planned to give them pamphlets describing the Bible as “An X-Rated Book.” The school board decided to review its policy about materials made available for students after the groups announced their plans. Atheist materials had previously been permitted, but the board changed its plans after the Satanic Temple asked to include its activity book.

An attorney for the Christian groups said he was disappointed by the change in plans. “It seems like the momentum right now is to a policy that would exclude all religious materials, which is unnecessary,” said attorney Roger Gannam. But a spokesman for the FFRF said the protest worked exactly as intended. “We don’t want our schools to become religious battlefields,” said David Williamson, of FFRF. “We’ve advocated all along to close the forum.”

Personally, I'm in the "religious battleground" camp myself. I've worked to expose my own kids to a variety of religious beliefs so they can make up their own minds about it, and I wish more parents would do the same. But the caveat there is that minority religions like my own rarely have the resources of large, established churches, and I will grant that there are some cases in which the only way to ensure equal representation is to exclude religious materials entirely.

The Satanic Temple continues to do a great job of exposing the hypocrisy of Christians pushing for "freedom of religion," which of course to them means freedom for their religion and exclusion of all others.

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