Atheist group targets Oklahoma schools, state lawmaker's son over Bibles

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

OKLAHOMA CITY (Christian Examiner) -- The Wisconsin-based atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation is targeting Oklahoma schools that allow Gideons International volunteers to offer students the gift of a free Bible, calling the activity "predatory conduct."

A press release on the FFRF website states the group sent letters to 26 state school districts after learning via Facebook that Jamison Faught, the son of Oklahoma State Representative George Faught, was working with Gideons to distribute Bibles to Oklahoma students.

According to NewsOK, Jamison Faught, 26, wrote on his Facebook page that he had recently spent a morning distributing Bibles to fifth graders in Checotah, Eufaula and Stidham.

Jamison reportedly posted an entry claiming "Last year, the Checotah principal not only personally took us to each classroom, but he helped us hand them out!"

In letters drafted by FFRF's Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel, the organization claims it is "unconstitutional for public school districts to permit the distribution of bibles as part of the public school day," adding that "Courts have uniformly held that the distribution of Bibles to students at public schools is prohibited."

The group also claimed the principal's involvement in the Bible distribution to "violate the Constitution and breach the trust between the District and parents—who are responsible for the religious or non-religious education of their children."

Rep. George Faught supported his son's actions and suggested that most Oklahoma residents would as well.

"Passing out the Scriptures—you certainly can't be blamed for that," Rep. Faught told The Oklahoman Monday.

"What happens is, this group has used scare tactics...The great thing about Oklahoma is that I've been at a lot of school activities where, at least in our area, we still pray before football games. We still—some people pray before meetings and certainly honor our God-given rights."

Though no lawsuit has been filed to date, the FFRF has pursued legal action against a school board in the past.

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