The Freedom From Religion Foundation will return to Middleton High School, Wis., tomorrow to counter the weekly "Jesus Lunch" provided by Christian parents.
"A generous Middleton FFRF member has provided a donation toward providing pizza for the protesting students," explains Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
"We also wish to thank Ian's Pizza for providing several free pizza pies for the students."
FFRF Legal Fellow Ryan Jayne wrote an April 21 letter to the Middleton City Council pointing out last Tuesday's "near-melee during the 'Jesus Lunch' was a lesson in why religion does not belong in public schools." The Jesus Lunch turns the majority into "insiders" and the minority into "outsiders."
The school leases Firemen's Park, which abuts the back entrance and contains a pavilion. But the city has argued that an ambiguity in the lease permits the evangelists to set up shop during school hours. FFRF says the city should clarify that the school has exclusive use of the park during the school day, or amend the lease.
"As noted last week, we don't think any adults, whether missionaries or atheists, should be allowed to move in upon what is essentially a captive audience of students," Gaylor adds. "But if the 'Jesus Lunches' aren't going to be stopped, the Freedom From Religion Foundation plans to be there too, providing some balance — and some fuel to the protesters."
The Madison, Wis.-based organization works to keep state and church separate, and has more than 23,700 members nationwide, including 1.300 members throughout Wisconsin.