Rawstory.com recently reported on a situation in Cartersville, Georgia, where the mother of a fifth-grader found herself in opposition to her son’s school participating in giving Bibles to the students, and particularly how they handled it.
From the story:
Jessica Greene considers herself a Christian, but she doesn’t think Cloverleaf Elementary in Cartersville should allow Gideons International to hand out Bibles to students, reported WXIA-TV.
Greene’s son, Leo Butler, said his teacher told the class that the evangelical group had volunteered to distribute Bibles, and the students formed a line in the library.
Students were not required to take a Bible, the boy said, but children who did not wish to receive one were told to walk ahead of the line and stand on the other side of the room.
The reaction from other parents is just alarming, and as stated later in the story included comments like “You’re outnumbered here” and “I stand by Cloverleaf.” Whether or not Jessica is outnumbered is irrelevant. The government has no business in religion, and it’s of highly questionable appropriateness to allow the Gideons to use the school as a Bible distribution point. Even setting that aside, singling out the students who either didn’t need a Bible, or just didn’t want a Bible for whatever reason, is just not cool. I’d find this method of distribution abhorrent even if a private school did it.
(I remember my fifth-grade class at such a private school quite vividly. While I unfortunately did not have the experience of transferring to a public school in the middle of my fifth-grade year, I did attend public school from sixth grade on and I can say that not a whole lot really changed other than I didn’t have to go to Bible class anymore. The private school I went to never handed out Bibles, but I would like to think if they did even they wouldn’t have done it the way Cloverleaf Elementary did.)