It's 'Bring Your Bible To School' Day! Don't Forget To Slaughter Some Midianites!
Midianites, Amalekites, whatever. Just remember to save the virgins for yourself!
Oh, gosh, we almost forgot it's "Bring Your Bible to School" Day! Thursday marks the second annual event, apparently. The thing is being promoted by Focus on the Family and rightwing Christianist lawyer group the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is sort of a Bizarro-world ACLU what likes to sue to keep crosses on public land and keep homosexxicans from getting married. Here's what the exercise is all about from their FAQ page:
On Bring Your Bible to School Day ... students across the nation will celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends ... The event is designed to empower you as a student to express your belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.
Participation is voluntary and student-directed -- meaning it’s completely up to students, Christian clubs and youth groups to sign up online and then lead the activities in their school.
And by golly, Yr. Wonkette is perfectly fine with that, because if there's one thing that all of the Supreme Court decisions banning organized school prayer and school-sponsored Bible readings have been clear on, it's that students have the right to bring their own Bibles and read them on their own time, as long as they're not disrupting class. We do have to say that we're amused by the promoters' suggestion that bringing your Bible to school is a way of "providing an example of spiritual boldness and taking a courageous stand for their belief in God," because of course the public schools are all unrighteous pits of sin where they teach evolution and sacrifice Christians at pep rallies. But this voluntary thing is a hell of a lot better than the schools inviting the Gideons to distribute Bibles or turning a school over to a church, Jesus Pizza or no.
The website is quite insistent on explaining precisely what is definitely protected by the First Amendment: Carrying and reading a Bible -- right in public!!! -- is perfectly OK. And it also warns that students should "check applicable school policies" on some other activities, like putting up posters, or distributing "Conversation Cards" (we misread that as "conversion cards" at first), since schools might consider those activities disruptive, depending on where and when kids are flinging around their "I'm a brave little Christian" flyers.
Still, you have to admit that they've even written the "conversation cards" to carefully fit within SCOTUS decisions:
Smarmy and annoying, but perfectly legal! The FAQ even suggests that if kids are told they can't read their Bibles or talk God stuff, they should be polite like Jebus and also call the ADF's 800 number so a Christian lawyer can tell the school what's what. And if other students respond angrily, no, you're not allowed to deck them. But they do have a very scholarly set of canned responses kids can give if someone challenges the Truth of the Bible, though we doubt many fourth graders will be memorizing this bit of apologetics:
It’s difficult to fully grasp the New Testament’s reliability, without understanding the Old Testament’s direct connection to it. For instance, the Old Testament has more than 300 prophecies that point directly to the details of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. This is truly phenomenal—and points to God’s inspiration of the Scriptures, especially considering that the Old Testament was written several hundred years before Christ’s birth.
Not that any medieval scribes tinkered with the texts to make them match up better, either.
Unfortunately, it seems some adults didn't read the FAQ's warning that this really has to be a student-run event to pass constitutional muster, since in Northern California, the Folsom Cordova School District blithely sent out an email notice to 20,000 families promoting the event, reproducing a pamphlet from the website and quoting a Bible verse, "Let your light shine, - Matthew 5:16."
According to TV station KCRA, some attorney for the school district done goofed, badly, in their understanding of the First Amendment:
District leaders sent out the flier on Wednesday after their attorneys told them that not promoting the event could potentially be seen as discriminatory against Christians.
Um, no. It would be discriminatory to stop kids from reading their Bibles during non-class time. Somebody needs to ask for a refund from whatever online law school gave them a degree. The school district says it's received quite a few complaints and will review its policy on distributing information on non-school-sponsored events. That seems like a good idea.
You've probably all sent your own progeny off to school today anyway, but just for fun, you may want to copy and paste a few fun passages from the Bible for your kids to share with their Bible-thumping classmates, like all the fun massacres in Numbers, Deuteronomy, Samuel, and Chronicles. Or go digital and share some tales of rape, treachery, and slaughter from the Lego Old Testament. Or one of our favorites, the absolutely true story of Elisha and the She-Bears of DEATH:
Go on up, you baldhead! Just make sure the kids' epic Wilhelm Screams don't interrupt class, OK?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.