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lilwriter85

Mom doesn't think school should allow Gideon bible handouts

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lilwriter85

Interesting story. Christian mom in Georgia didn't like the Gideons handing out bibles at an elementary school.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/pare ... ered-here/

 

Quote
Travis Gettys

12 Dec 2014 at 07:42 ET

 

Georgia mom was upset when her fifth-grade son came home from his public elementary school with a Bible, and she's disappointed with the school and community's response.

 

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.

 

"I was just shocked the school system would do that," Greene said. "I tried to contact the superintendent, but he has not returned my calls."

 

Bartow County Superintendent John Harper also failed to return the TV station's calls seeking comment, although reporters were told he had received the messages left over a three-day period.

 

Greene received a Facebook message from the school, which explained the Bible distribution event.

 

"The Gideons are permitted to offer Bibles to students who wish to pick them up," the message said. "It is strictly voluntary and the library was the location where students could pick one up; (our) librarian did not give them out. We appreciate your input. If you have further concerns, please contact administration during school hours. Thank you!"

 

Greene posted her concerns on the school's Facebook page but was pilloried by other parents before Cloverleaf disabled public posts.

 

"Some of the last comments I got before it was taken down from the page were, 'You're outnumbered here,'" Greene said.

 

Other parents posted, "I stand by Cloverleaf," on the school's page.

 

Secular groups have challenged Bible distribution by Gideons at schools across the country, citing Supreme Court rulings that prohibit religious instruction in public education.

 

Greene said her concern was for children, saying students who didn't want to participate would feel singled out among their classmates.

 

Watch this video report posted online by WXIA-TV:

Edited by OnceUponATime
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anjulibai

Why can't they hand out the Bibles across the street from the school? Some Gideons did that when I was in middle school. Why does it have to be at the school?

I really wish fundies would get that they are not the only ones out there and other people's beliefs or lack of beliefs are just as valid.

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danvillebelle

I grew up in Nashville, where the Gideons International headquarters is located. When I was in elementary school in the late 70's, we actually went and toured the headquarters as a school field trip (!) and we were each given one of the little New Testaments they give out as we finished the tour.

Different times, and I doubt the schools there still do that, but this post just brought up that memory.

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doggie

the solution is to hand out the koran or the devils bible or any other holy book. really it is the only way to fight it because some christians think they have the right to force faith on others.

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naatashamaru

I went to a Methodist undergrad also in Georgia so I know the Gideon's well...our Chaplain always invited them. It was hell trying to avoid them because they were EVERYWHERE...u literally couldnt' avoid those old dudes even if you wanted to. I appreciated the fact that after they left the school provided drop boxes for the mini Bibles to be put into to send to i guess Africa or something. (We never knew where they went). I took one the first year and kept it but after that they went into the drop box. I never knew before i met them that old people could move so fast. I agree with the mom I really got annoyed by their here you must have Jesus in your life when a. we went to a religious school more than likely we were Christian and b. how PUSHY they were. Its even crazier that they were allowed to do this at a public school, but she lives in Georgia she should know that even thought she is basically using logic with her argument about the separation of church and state most people aren't gonna agree with her.

also i HATED those little Bibles cause how in the world are u supposed to read something so small???

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Rachel333

I'm sure the people who are just fine with this would find it equally acceptable for a group to come to a school and pass out Muslim literature, right?

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busdrivingmom

I saw this earlier this year at a public middle school I drive for. However, the Gideons were on the sidewalk in front of the school, which is public property, not on school grounds. Most of the kids getting on my bus had the New Testament book they were handing out. I am mixed on this. It was on public ground, not in the school library. I think kids were allowed to say no. I'm not offended because I am Catholic, but I understand not everyone is a Christian or religious.

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lilwriter85

The only times I ever encountered Gideons was in college. When I was growing up they never went to the schools I was at. I have heard the stories of them handing bibles near schools. Yes, students can refuse them. Most times when I encountered them in college, I said no. I took a religion class and one of my classmates was the son of a Gideon and he gave us some and I took one.

I do agree with others, if Muslims were handing the Koran, people would be opposed to it.

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salex

someone needs to point out that the Gideons don't use the "Authorized King James Version" -- that might make some of the fundies protest this being passed out! :D

lovethetruth.com/bible/gideons.htm

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jerkit

I'm actually fine with this as long as any religious group is allowed to set up a table of literature in the library. I am not okay with it if they are disrupting the school time.

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Dandruff
Why can't they hand out the Bibles across the street from the school? Some Gideons did that when I was in middle school. Why does it have to be at the school?

I really wish fundies would get that they are not the only ones out there and other people's beliefs or lack of beliefs are just as valid.

Even better would be if they'd stop confronting children and keep their asses away from schools. I once got into it with a middle school principal who was standing by while some local fundies were pushing their bibles on kids outside the school (I was picking up a kid who had been approached by one of them and didn't like it). The principal didn't see a problem and said the kids could just say no if they didn't want the Bible. I asked if she'd feel the same way if it was material for a different religion, or Satanism, or Atheism. Or if it turned out that the bibles were just a front for creeps who wanted to get close to kids. Or if more of the kids who didn't like being approached by an adult stranger and offered material contrary to their beliefs would make their complaint to her, or have their parents do so. She opened and closed her mouth a few times, like a goldfish, then walked away. This story brings it back. Still pissed.

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salsa
someone needs to point out that the Gideons don't use the "Authorized King James Version" -- that might make some of the fundies protest this being passed out! :D

lovethetruth.com/bible/gideons.htm

1) hats off to this mom. the way the distribution went, having the teachers sort out their classes into who did or did not want one, *was* a blurring of the lines. I don't really have a problem with them distributing on public property - PROVIDED - that, at least in theory, any other religion who wanted to do so (again) on public property, was free to distribute their sacred writings, too. Not much chance of Koran distribution happening without some sort of protest.

2) I used to be OK with the Gideons. Now, not so much. Longish story... but I encountered one of the "pushy" ones and he was the leader.

3) They distribute the KJV and the New KJV, but mostly the KJV.

4) And again, hats off to this mom!!! :happy-cheerleaderkid: In rural Georgia, especially for a woman who says she is Christian, that took guts.

edited to add 5) Gideons never came to the public schools in our predominantly Catholic area. They came to my college campus and I don't know that anyone who refused one got terribly offended. The little New Testaments are different colors for different types of distribution and the one that is distributed to public schools does not have the little paragraph in the back encouraging them to accept Jesus Christ as savior. I'm not sure of all the types, but there's one for hospital workers (it was a distribution when I was working in one where a Gideon told me about the different versions) and they make Bibles available in hospitals for any patient who wants one (in our hospital, they were kept in the chaplain's office ) and I think the paragraphs on the back are geared toward whatever their "audience" is.

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Swamptribe

I went to the administration of my children's North Carolina school when they were handed out. Got the same types of excuses. If a child doesn't take one, they are singled out. Also had it out with a kindergarten teacher who preached to her students. Went to the administration and she announced to the whole class that 'somebody complained, so I have to stop telling you about Jesus". Found out from other parents that many of them had been afraid to say anything, afraid their children would be singled out, so they said nothing about what she was doing. That was over 20 years ago.

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lilwriter85
someone needs to point out that the Gideons don't use the "Authorized King James Version" -- that might make some of the fundies protest this being passed out! :D

lovethetruth.com/bible/gideons.htm

Yup, they would be pissed. I have a fundie lite cousin who is KJV only. He got pissed when a relative gave him an NIV bible as a gift. He has kids and grandkids and I'm sure his kids have been approached by Gideons at schools and colleges.

I also bet some fundies would be pissed if Mormon groups went to school to distrubute copies of the Book of Mormon. My father was in the Army in the late 60s/early 70s and there was a Mormon officer who distrusted BOM copies as apart of an outreach program. I also remember years ago when the LDS church did TV advertisements for people to call in for BOM copies and Mormon mommy blogger NieNie is still giving away free copies on her blog.

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salsa

I never saw a Gideon's Bible that was NOT the Authorized KJV, although they now occasional distribute the New KJV. Not the NIV ... ftr. just so we have our facts straight.

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salsa

Yup, they would be pissed. I have a fundie lite cousin who is KJV only. He got pissed when a relative gave him an NIV bible as a gift. He has kids and grandkids and I'm sure his kids have been approached by Gideons at schools and colleges.

I also bet some fundies would be pissed if Mormon groups went to school to distrubute copies of the Book of Mormon. My father was in the Army in the late 60s/early 70s and there was a Mormon officer who distrusted BOM copies as apart of an outreach program. I also remember years ago when the LDS church did TV advertisements for people to call in for BOM copies and Mormon mommy blogger NieNie is still giving away free copies on her blog.

Or the JW's New World Translation of the Bible....

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sea_gale

My school had a Gideon bible handout assembly. I don't remember anything like what's described, just a fuckload of Marilyn Manson impressions and torn up bibles in the playground afterwards.

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Jana814
I'm sure the people who are just fine with this would find it equally acceptable for a group to come to a school and pass out Muslim literature, right?

Agree!

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cathgrl1

When I was a kid (in the 1970s), my teacher (I think they all did this in my grade) handed them out to everyone in the classroom. My mother took one look at it and told me to give it back to the teacher because we had two Catholic Bibles at home already. But she didn't call the newspaper or the TV station because of it.

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canbritam

In 2013 I stood before our school board, before two hundred people who were there to fight to keep the Gideons handing out bibles in our rural Ontario schools, and spoke out on the fact that if the school board was to allow them to keep handing out Bibles, then the LDS were to be allowed to hand out the Book of Mormon, Hindus could hand out the Bhagavad Gita, and yes, the Islamic association for the area that I am a part of could also hand out the Quran. That unless the school board were to create a policy that allowed EVERYONE to hand out their religious material then they should not allow one group precedent over the others. There had been a local minister go before me that praised the Gideons and went on about how our children still needed to receive "the word." He got a rousing, lengthy applause when he finished. When I finished? Dead. Silence. But the school board took the belief that "what is good for one is good for all" and since they knew they'd get backlash if they were to allow non-Christian groups in, all but two trustees voted to ban the distribution of ALL religious materials within the board public schools. (In fact, when I googled myself recently, the media reports of me giving this speech still pop up. So even now if anyone was looking me up, that's what would pop up first.)

So hats off to this mom. I know from experience on this very issue how divisive it is and how strong you have to be to be the lone dissenting voice. Good on her.

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PennySycamore
In 2013 I stood before our school board, before two hundred people who were there to fight to keep the Gideons handing out bibles in our rural Ontario schools, and spoke out on the fact that if the school board was to allow them to keep handing out Bibles, then the LDS were to be allowed to hand out the Book of Mormon, Hindus could hand out the Bhagavad Gita, and yes, the Islamic association for the area that I am a part of could also hand out the Quran. That unless the school board were to create a policy that allowed EVERYONE to hand out their religious material then they should not allow one group precedent over the others. There had been a local minister go before me that praised the Gideons and went on about how our children still needed to receive "the word." He got a rousing, lengthy applause when he finished. When I finished? Dead. Silence. But the school board took the belief that "what is good for one is good for all" and since they knew they'd get backlash if they were to allow non-Christian groups in, all but two trustees voted to ban the distribution of ALL religious materials within the board public schools. (In fact, when I googled myself recently, the media reports of me giving this speech still pop up. So even now if anyone was looking me up, that's what would pop up first.)

So hats off to this mom. I know from experience on this very issue how divisive it is and how strong you have to be to be the lone dissenting voice. Good on her.

Kudos for your courage in speaking out, canbritam! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Rescinded and Mended

I live in the Bible belt, and I have a hard time thinking this would fly with any of the schools my son has attended in recent years. Most of the parents I know of are Christian, but they all have their own ideas about Christianity and how they want to install Christian values in their children.

The idea of supposedly well-intentioned, theological creepers hanging out on campus and wanting to distribute Bibles and talk to the local student population would not go over well at all. There would be more complaints to the local superintendent than you could shake a Bible at.

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DGayle

I greatly admire that a CHRISTIAN woman is the one who is speaking up about how this singles out kids who don't want to take a bible. Good for her!

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Trynn

As much as I do like the Gideons... (They are extremely polite, take no for an answer, and never make anyone on my college campus feel uncomfortable in any way) I totally agree.

Freedom of religion must mean separation of church and state, meaning that either no one should be able to hand out religious materials, or everyone should. My school mind of takes the latter stance, which I like because hey, free Koran! Free books yay!

I agree that Gideon's shouldn't be able to hand out bibles on a public school campus, especially one that isn't for college students. Separation of church and state is there for a reason, fundies.

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