The Satanic Temple has announced that it will be distributing literature to students in Orange County Public Schools this year in Florida. The statement comes on the heels of FFRF's victory in which the schools promised to not censor any of FFRF's atheist literature. FFRF asked to distribute literature after an evangelical Christian organization distributed bibles in the schools. The schools initially agreed, but later tried to prohibit nearly all of FFRF's literature, forcing FFRF to sue for equal treatment.
FFRF does not believe that satanists or Christians or even atheists should be distributing literature to public school students. We have given Orange County every opportunity to close the distribution forum and repeatedly asked them to do so. Each time, they have refused. FFRF does not endorse the New York based Satanic Temple's literature any more than we would endorse the bible or think it should be given to students. However, Orange County Public Schools cannot legally prevent the temple from distributing its literature.
One thing should be absolutely clear: Orange County Schools has chosen to allow these groups in. Orange County is allowing Christians, atheists and satanists to distribute literature to students, but it does not have to.
FFRF will only distribute its own materials this January, including pamphlets such as An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible.
FFRF has remained consistent throughout this ordeal: Public schools should not be allowing the distribution of bibles, atheist materials or any other religious or nonreligious material. Religion is best left to the private sphere. We do not want the Satanic Temple preying on students any more than we want evangelical Christians preying on students. We again urge Orange County to close the distribution forum and religious battleground it has willingly opened. Orange County Schools should keep its public schools secular.
On the heels of the Supreme Court's injudicious decision "blessing" sectarian governmental prayer, FFRF has called on atheists, seculars and other freethinkers to fight back by asking for equal time to give secular invocations.
The response, especially given the slow-moving wheels of government, has been heartening. FFRF received 14 qualifying entries and is asking for your help selecting the winner!
Voting is only open for 72 hours so please vote now! (Voting closes at noon Central Time, Thursday, Sept. 18.)
The winner of FFRF's ongoing "Nothing Fails Like Prayer Contest" this year will be given an all-expenses paid trip to FFRF's national convention in Los Angeles on October 24-25 to open the conference with a secular blessing. The winner will also receive an honorarium of $500 and a plaque.
HOW TO VOTE
You may vote for any and all videos you think should win. (In other words, you don't have to choose only one winner.) First, go to YouTube and enjoy watching the videos. There are three easy ways to vote:
1. Vote via YouTube. A thumbs-up counts as a vote (or vote by leaving a comment on the video).
2. Vote via Facebook. Leave comments for videos you think should win on our Facebook threads announcing the voting. (Trolls naming an entrant will count as a positive vote.)
3. Vote via email. Email the name and entry number of the invocation in the subject line of an email to .
All votes, views, likes and comments will be plugged into FFRF's proprietary algorithm to help determine the winner. Other factors include FFRF staff votes, originality, "cheekiness" and the persuasiveness of the invocation (i.e., did it convince the government to change its ways?). Winners will be announced by Monday, Sept. 22.
The contest is ongoing until we can persuade governmental bodies to pray on their own time and dime or the Supreme Court overturns the infamous Town of Greece v. Galloway ruling. New entries received from this point on will be considered for the 2015 award.
So get out there and give your local government a piece of your secular mind! Read the contest rules here.