Freethought Today · November 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF scolds Gov. Bevin

FFRF has admonished the Kentucky governor for exhorting students to carry bibles to class.

In a highly inappropriate Oct. 3 Facebook video post, Gov. Matt Bevin encourages schoolchildren to bring their bibles to school. The video, which is clearly tagged as "GOVERNOR.KY.GOV," promotes www.BringYourBible.org, a scheme pulled together by a national evangelical outfit. The governor's video and posting encourage children to "bring your bible" into classes to convert other students to Bevin's particular brand of religion: Protestant Christianity.

In the video, Bevin erroneously calls the drive "a student-led initiative." This is not, in fact, a student-led initiative, FFRF points out. It's sponsored by Focus on the Family, as the website captioned on the video clearly shows.

Bevin claims that the bible saturation will end "all the division, and all the vitriol, and all the animosity that's striking us in this nation," an assertion that also doesn't withstand scrutiny. Nothing is more divisive for schoolchildren than injecting religion into public schools, FFRF responds.

The Supreme Court has been even more proactive in safeguarding the constitutional rights of conscience of schoolchildren, FFRF adds. More than 65 years of firm Supreme Court precedent bars officials from imposing religious ritual and indoctrination in our public schools.

FFRF imparts a history lesson to Bevin in pointing out bibles have even led to violence when forced into the public schools. In the 1840s, riots broke out in Philadelphia as Protestants and Catholics fought over which version of the bible ought to be taught in public schools. Some 20 citizens were killed, another five dozen injured, hundreds fled their home, and churches and property were burned down.

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