Public School Shuts Down Bible Club

By Todd Starnes

The folks who run the school district in Bartlett, Tennessee have shut down a grade school Bible Club.

Since last fall, first and second graders at Altruria Elementary School have gathered before the school day to read Bible stories under the watchful eyes of teachers.

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But all that changed when the school district capitulated to a bunch of militant atheists and agnostics and abruptly shut down the Bible club.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation believes the Bible club is a violation of the Establishment Clause and they fired off a threatening letter to the school district.

“This club, which functions as a Bible class, is unconstitutional because public schools may not provide religious instruction,” wrote FFRF attorney Rebecca Markert.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a Wisconsin-based gang of atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers. They have been known to break out in raging microaggressions at the mere sight of a Bible or the Baby Jesus.

“Schoolchildren already feel significant pressure to conform from their peers,” Markert wrote. ‘They must not be subjected to similar pressure from their school and teachers, especially on religious questions.”

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The FFRF took great umbrage over the fact that teachers were in charge of the first and second grade Bible club.

“The District may not allow teachers to use public schools to proselytize,” Markert added.

For the record, participation in the “before-school” club was voluntary – and to the best of anyone’s knowledge no one has been proselytized.

Boys and girls were instructed on subjects like love and joy patience and kindness – concepts that are foreign to most militant atheists and agnostics.

"The Establishment Clause prohibits religious clubs, because elementary students are too young to truly run a club entirely on their own initiative with no input from school staff or outside adults, and school employees may not organize a religious club for students," Markert wrote. 

The Bartlett School District released a statement to LocalMemphis.com explaining their decision to cancel the club.

“Per our understanding, religious clubs at elementary schools must be sponsored by an outside group. To our knowledge, the K-2 Bible Club at Altruria was not,” the statement read.

The school district bristled at the term “banned” or “canceled.” Instead, they used the word “postponed.”

“We are working with the school to ensure proper steps are taken to allow this club in the 2017-2018 school year,” the statement read.  

The Center for Religious Expression is urging the district to rescind the ban – arguing that the Establishment Clause “does not permit schools to discriminate against religious clubs.”

“The Establishment Clause requires government neutrality toward religion, not hostility,” CRE chief counsel Nate Kellum said.

I'm not sure what's more disgusting -- a bunch of grown up atheists picking on grade schoolers -- or a school district too cowardly to do anything about it.

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