Bible Man Better Be Able to Deflect Lawsuits February 1, 2012

Bible Man Better Be Able to Deflect Lawsuits

For decades now, Horace Turner (a.k.a. “Bible Man”) has been making appearances in Jackson County elementary schools in Alabama. When the Freedom From Religion Foundation received a complaint from a local parent, they sent the school district a letter informing them of the problem and asking that they put a stop to the in-school proselytizing.

The FFRF complaint said that during the month of December an assembly held by “Bible Man” included a display with baby Jesus on it and that a talk was given regarding “Jesus’s birthday,” and that “Jesus died on the the cross for our sins.”

On Monday night, the Jackson County Board of Education discussed the FFRF letter. In the audience were over 100 churchgoers — and one state senator! — who didn’t even pretend to buy into church/state separation:

Pastor Brad Bridges [said], “We’re here today to make a show, say ‘hey Christianity is in and we love it. And our nation was founded on it.'”

While the complaint before the board cited violations of the constitution, State Senator Shadrack McGill says he doesn’t believe in separation of church and state.

“I don’t believe you keep God out of state. Church represents the body of Christ, Christ being the head of that body. No, I don’t believe in that separation,” said Sen. McGill.

Even the Superintendent joined in, admitting that Bible Man activities took place during the school day:

The ‘Bible Man’ was part of my school time and my children’s school time,” said [Superintendent Ken] Harding.

So what did the school board do?

They look like a fair-minded, Constitution-savvy group...

They caved in to the will of the mob:

Once the board returned from executive session and announced that “Bible Man” would not be taken out of the schools, crowd members stood up and cheered.

Members of the church and school board say the assemblies are a choice, but when an assembly takes place during the school day — at an elementary schools, no less — kids are hardly aware of any other options they have. The school board made the wrong decision and they fully deserve any lawsuit coming their way.

(Thanks to Brian for the link)

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  • wow that’s just. wow. maybe at one of these classes the bible man teaches, he can show the kids how to burn the constitution without hurting themselves.

  • Christoph Burschka

    Too many idiot school boards, not enough Jessica Ahlquists.

  • Anonymous

    These people just do not learn! How incompetent does one have to be to make these kind of decisions. Have they not been paying attention to Cranston?

    This will lead to another lawsuit in which they will spend a lot of money losing, and then have to spend even more paying the legal fees.
    The stupidity is mind boggling.

  • Jim

    I wonder how they’ll feel about Mormon man and Wicca man and ….

  • Spencer

    I remember watching Bible Man as a tyke, but unlike Veggie Tales or even Adventure in Odyssey, I thought it was kind of confusing and stupid back then. Can’t imagine how I’d feel it about now.

  • Thegoodman

    Will someone please fax these dinosaurs a copy of the ACLU bill that has been issued to Cranston?

  • Eventually, if you yell at a dog long enough, it will stop rubbing it’s ass on the carpet.

  • Anonymous

    School boards are a terrible idea. All they do is give backwards people excuses to stir up controversies and force people to comply with their silly ideas

  • Duncan

    Dang it I wish I could help with this one :/

  • Thegoodman

    ““The ‘Bible Man’ was part of my school time and my children’s school time,” said [Superintendent Ken] Harding.” Segregation was also popular in his school. I am sure his parents argued for their “right” to not have to deal with “those filthy coloreds” too.Id like for the American south to not live up to every possible negative stereotype just once.

  • Anon

    How about Durham, NC being found the nation’s most tolerant city based on different statistics? 

    It’s not hard to find examples of the South not being as stereotypical as it seems if you actually try.

  • FSq

    And the money that gets eaten up comes right out of taxpayer pockets. They break the law, we get to pay for their defense. Wonderful system we have.

    And why is the south. Always the south. There may be a few decent people down there, but it is about as hard to find as intelligent comments at “Yahoo News”.

  • digitalatheist

    Believe me, a lot of us down here also wish the ignorant faction would keep its ignorance under a basket. Sometimes–most times–it is better to NOT shine the light of ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    You could also make the case that NC is becoming assimilated to the outside cultural influences because of demographic changes (lots of tech moving in, Amazon is HQ’d in NC, etc).

    I think the real distinction about the South is either the size of the town or the  size/presence of a university. University towns are great and decent-sized cities are great, but about half the South is rural and horrible. I’m from the South, and it’s hard not to whitewash it all because it’s so easy to. One of the constant reminders I have is people from the small towns in the area that make it out to the atheist/freethought group that I run…the tales of racism and stupidity are just insane. What really tends to open your eyes is moving around the South where the differences within the culture are obvious, then you can see how the small towns outside of where you were from in the South wasn’t all that much different in the ways that count.

  • Anonymous

    Durham and Raleigh are part of the “Research Triangle”. Lots of universities there and they deliberately attract well educated people for work

  • SJH

    Such a blatantly religious event should probably not be occurring at a public school so I repeat once again. Get your kids into the nearest private school so they do not have to deal with state education. The state cannot do a good job of educating the whole person, mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, and yes, morally. Each of us should be sending our children to schools where we are each confident that the educators will teach values that we agree with. (Of course, despite what I have said here, public schools in reality teach morals all the time but they are the morals that the state deems valuable, ie. homosexual unions, environmentalism, etc.)

    I would like to do more research on this but I wonder if those that supported state education in our nations history are the same people that wanted a more homogenized world with everyone marching in step, an amoral world where the government defines what is right and wrong and where our liberties and rights are dished out to whomever the government feels should have them?

  • SJH

    A few Questions:
    Is it possible to separate morals and religion?
    Can we teach morals without teaching religion?
    If a god does not exist then do morals exist? If morals don’t exist, then are our morals fabricated and who is responsible for fabricating them?
    The public school systems
    teach morals all the time but they are the morals that the state deems
    valuable, ie. homosexual unions, environmentalism, etc. Does this mean that it is appropriate for the schools to teach the morality of the current school board?
    Who defines which morals can be taught and which ones cannot? For example, one school board might believe that it is moral to worship god and immoral to ignore god. Another might say that it is moral to teach that homosexual behavior is healthy and normal while another might disagree. Why do we teach one versus the other?

    I don’t necessarily think that I have the answers to any of these but I think that they are good questions to think about.

  • Liz Heywood

    I was a Christian Scientist kid in public school in the ’60’s & ’70’s in Massachusetts. My parents signed a “blue card” (re: blue laws) exempting me from physical examinations and excessively medical science classes (like the movie on cancer.) If my daughter was in this school, I’d make it plain she was to be exempted from this proselytizing–is that covered under Blue Laws? Anti-Blue? (Maybe a Red law??)

  • The Captain

    Well I feel the need to point out to you that our “government” is in fact a democracy. So those morals you so seem to hate, those definitions of what’s “right and wrong” are chosen by the majority of people from within the society you live in. It seems to me that your problem is not with the “government’ telling you what morals you should have, but the society you live in.

    So yes, pull your kids out of public school so you can teach them your values which conflict with everyone else’s in your community all the while claiming you are not the one who is the problem on society.

  • SJH

    I wouldn’t be so quick to elevate towns with Universities. My experience with many (notice I said “many” and not “all”) university/academic minded people is that they are good at thinking in theories but not so good at applying it to real life. I remember many professors that had all the credentials in the world but didn’t have much common sense nor the ability to apply any of their knowledge to the real world.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that their talents are valuable and necessary but I do not think that they are any more valuable or essential then the small farming communities or industrial towns across America. Lets not be prejudice against people in small towns now. We all have our talents and we should all be respected for our innate dignity.

  • SJH

    What is the alternative?

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t presenting a mechanism, just an observation. Larger towns/cities and college towns are areas where there is more diversity in general. People from other parts of the country are more likely to live here for a short time before moving on, so it’s more likely that these areas develop less bigoted atmospheres. I doubt it has much to do with the academics themselves.

  • Rebecca M

    I honestly think these school boards have a “that won’t happen to us” mentality. They see it happening elsewhere and they think, “no one in OUR community is a godless heathen. This foundation is just picking on us out of nowhere because they hate people who do what is right.”

    Honestly, we might laugh at the Christian Right’s persecution mentality, but they truly believe it to the depths of their soul. It is completely stupid, but they really believe that they are the victims of an all out, unprovoked assault. It isn’t a put on for most of them, and that I think is the scariest possible thing.

    I hope lawsuits pop up all over the place for things like this. Isolated incidents obviously aren’t sending the right message.

  • Anonymous

    Well, in the US school boards are hyper-local. The alternative would probably be more emphasis on state/federal regulations. In the south there *are* folks who teach creationism in public classrooms, it’s just the communities are insular enough so that no one with standing actually lives there. State-wide and federal regulations would be more likely to see someone with standing be affected and lawsuits/complaints/solutions will include these rural schools.

  • Anonymous

    Letting it be decided by a higher authority. Either directly at the state level (which works fine in many countries) or maybe by something bigger than current school districts, so that policies aren’t so fractured between small areas.

    In any case, something fundamental like the curriculum shouldn’t be able to be influenced by parents.

  • Anonymous

    1) Yes, see: Euthyphro dilemma. Welcome to Socrates.
    2) See (1)
    3) See (1)
    4) Complicated question, there are many accounts. Try an intro to philosophy course. There’s some online that are quite good.
    5) Secularism. It’s been around for a while.
    6 and the rest) We have to separate what are clear rules with effects that are commonly available and let supernatural consequences fall to personal conscience.

    Your questions seem to suggest that educating people about something is identical to forcing them to believe it. No school extolls the virtues of same sex marriage. Schools do celebrate diversity and fairness, and if you want to apply this to gay marriage then that seems moral to me. Any claims about homosexuals not being de facto equal are not available to a secular society.I even say this because most people here would probably want a comparative religions class in school that’s just “facts about religion” and no requirement to believe faith claims. That said, you have to look at the curriculum to make sure it isn’t “Christianity is true. Let me tell you why these other religions are wrong.”

  • SJH

    We are not much of a democracy. The media distorts reality, large corporations have unbalanced power, and the minority often yells louder then the complacent majority. So you cannot make the claim that it is the majority that decide. Even if this is true is that what we really want. Isn’t this why we have a Democratic Republic?

    I would not say that I hate morals, they are ideas that should be contemplated not dismissed by some strong emotional reaction.

    My problem is with a government that has overstepped its authority and now seems to think that it has the right to define my rights and what my children should be taught. This has nothing to do with majority after-all most Americans are still Christian and most still believe that homosexuality is morally wrong.

    Perhaps this is another reason for state education. Lets take traditional morality out of the classroom so that we can replace it with morality defined by the corporation or the media or the loudest protester or whoever else happens to pull the strings of the current administration. To take this a step further, perhaps we should also centralize the government as much as possible so that there is less diversity and fewer dissenters out there who can rock the boat.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the other way around. If people want their brood to be indoctrinated with religion, there are literally thousands of Christians madrassas to pick from (and that’s not a good thing at all. Quite the opposite). There they can be taught how evil society is and be filled with “values” that run contrary to the real world. Public schools need to be a safe space for people who don’t want that

  • Victoria

    There is a whole, very well-developed field of secular ethics, just as there are Christian ethicists, Jewish ethicists, Muslim ethicists, etc. Yes, that includes morality, and so yes, it is eminently possible to separate morals and religion and to teach morals without teaching religion or without supposing one way or another about the existence of deities. There are a variety of ethical and moral frameworks you can adhere to without being religious. I am personally a distributive justice gal myself, but it’s just one of many approaches.

    Most of the approaches — religious or not — do lead you to the same answers on the types of ethical dilemmas people face in their day-to-day lives, so personally I don’t lose much sleep over how people choose to structure their personal morality (or not structure, as the case may be; most people do not score to highly on the Kohlberg stages of moral development).

    We live in a secular country. This is not Iran; it’s not a theocracy. That plays in intimately with what public institutions should support! There are certain moral principles that are common to just about any non-fringe approach to morality and ethics, and those are the ones that are (and should be) taught in public institutions.

    As for the examples you mentioned — homosexuality, environmentalism — I can understand how certain frameworks would frame them in moral terms, but I think the state’s interest in teaching or not teaching them has to do with science. Not morality. A preponderance of evidence says that homosexual behavior is indeed normal; it’s inborn and it occurs not just in humans but throughout the animal kingdom. A preponderance of evidence says that there are problems–pollution, water shortages, etc.–caused by humans’ interaction with the environment. Just like we expect medical students to be learning the most up-to-date techniques for diagnosing and treating disease, it’s completely appropriate for us to expect that kids are taught up-to-date science in schools — and that it be acknowledged when our best understanding of the evidence changes and where the limits of our understanding are.

  • SJH

    I did not ask these questions so that someone could point to another person’s thoughts. I asked them to make us think about them ourselves.  Lets discuss the question and not dismiss it because someone else discussed it a long time ago.

    6 and the rest) I could agree with your statement except for the fact that the effects are in dispute.

    I am not trying to suggest that people are educated in a way that forces them to believe anything. I send my children to private school because I want their education to be focused but I am not shy about expressing what other people believe. True belief is discerned by analyzing the entirety of the discussion. I believe that if my children honestly look at all perspectives they will naturally come to find truth and believe in it. If they do not analyze all perspectives then their belief is not really belief at all but a blind presumption.

    Surely you do not think that it is best to ignore morality altogether and let our children somehow stumble upon it? Don’t parents have the responsibility to guide their children in the best way they see fit?

  • Anonymous

    Maybe next school year ‘Koran Kid’ will appear as Bible Man’s sidekick! 

    In my dreams, I’d dress a midget up a kid and bring him in costume to the next board meeting and make this suggestion, then sit back and watch the entertainment. Somehow I think the irony might be lost on them however…

  • Anonymous

    The Wicca Man? Wasn’t that a movie?

  • SJH

    Interesting, this sounds good in theory but the fact is that there is not a scientific board analyzing data and making a non-biased determination on what is moral and what is not. The fact is that we are all biased and formulate our opinions based on filters that we have created for ourselves. The morals that are taught in schools come down to what the government deems appropriate and this is defined by biased organizations such as corporations or activist who have other priorities in front of truth.

    Just a couple of additional details I would like to point out:

    I disagree that we live in a secular country. We live in a Christian country with a secular government as it should remain.

    I and many others disagree that the evidence shows that homosexuality is normal. This is disputable and there is a lot of evidence that shows that it is not normal and not healthy.

  • Anonymous

    I actually stumbled across some Bibleman action figures in my local Half-Price Books store a few years ago. I even remember taking a picture of it with my phone and texting it to to my wife with a big LMAO!  Seems like they are still available on Amazon.   I especially loved this one-star review of a particular Bibleman action figure:

     “I am very disappointed in the poor quality of this toy. And has anyone else noticed that the Bibleman pictured on the website and the closeup view are NOT the same? Is this false advertising or what!”

     A perfect, ironic metaphor for the Bible itself, no? The Bible as it is presented is not the same one that appears upon closer inspection. I nearly pissed myself when I read the comment.

  • Bible Man – Slimier than a frothing gob of Santorum, more ignorant than a meditating monk, and able to leap tall legal precedents in a single bound.

  • Christine

    That is impossible… physically and mentally

  • Victoria

    “Surely you do not think that it is best to ignore morality altogether and let our children somehow stumble upon it? Don’t parents have the responsibility to guide their children in the best way they see fit?”

    I think this is a really interesting question.

    My initial reaction to this was that the morals I learned growing up weren’t so much from actual explicit teaching — although that was certainly present! — but from example. Recognizing on my own when people did the right thing, even when it wasn’t convenient or easy for them and even when it had negative consequences, was much more powerful than anything my parents could have said or did. And there are certain values that I’ve just absorbed that have nothing to do with morals: reading books is awesome, don’t make people wait for their dinner, and never throw up anywhere but the toilet. (Perhaps my values are weird, but they’re deeply ingrained.)

    When I realized I didn’t believe anymore in the religion I was brought up in, it didn’t change my morality one whit. Nor did it change how I parent my own child, really. Maybe if I’d been brought up in a more Fundamentalist environment I’d feel differently, but I wonder how much parents’ moral teaching and guidance (as opposed to their moral example) influences their children. I’ll be pondering……

  • Gus Snarp

    The Bees!!!!!!!

  • The Captain

    Once again the last time I checked it was individual citizens who went to the polls to vote, not corporations. Now yes, corporations have a huge power imbalance when it comes to dictating the national dialog in the media, but they still have to convince the individual person to believe their crap. So yes, the majority does decide, they may be stupid are tricked by corporations, but they still get to decide. And while some protections must be put in place via the constitution (such as individual liberties and rights) to think that the majority of people should not have a voice in government is elitist. 

    Of course the government has the right to define your rights, that’s where your “rights” come from! There are no “rights” outside of government institutions. Also the “government” is not some third party entity that came here from space, it is made up of your fellow citizens, who where elected by your fellow citizens!

    Also democratic institutions are the only real defense against corporate domination you so fear. This is one reason libertarians come off as so stupid. By privatizing schools as you seem to wish for people to do, you are in fact giving even more power to corporations to control what it is your kids learn by using market forces to control schools. Sure you may think you have some magic power of market choice, but what happens to you great power when say G.E. goes to every private school in your state and gives them free textbooks that while teaching history, also promote the greatness of G.E. you think your one small tuition is going to compare to the saving a private school will get by using free textbooks? And that’s just one example.

    No, only through democratic government oversight can education not as easily be manipulated by the wealthy and corporations since education, and not profit can be the end goal.

  • Anonymous

    And therein lies the problem. The devout often say “I disagree with what the evidence shows.”

     So we end up teaching children that the Earth is 6,000 years old and all of the flora and fauna on the planet today because a 900 year-old man packed everything onto a boat. 

  • Df

    There isn’t actually reliable evidence that suggests homosexuality is inherently not normal and/or inherently not healthy, you imbecile.

  • That Other Guy

    It’s not that you can’t really find them, it’s more along the lines of the few decent people down here have heard about christians BS all our lives that we just tune it out. At least that’s what I do.

    I will say though that they shouldn’t waste the children’s time with Bible Man. I was fortunate enough that I never had to worry about him :}

  • Jay_1699

    “Morals” are just social norms that have been endorsed by the majority at large.  At their core, though, they are merely “prosocial behaviors”, which are inherent to our species and have nothing to do with religion. 

    For instance, it was once “moral” to own black people and limit the rights of women.  These morally correct beliefs were also reinforced using religious dogma (amongst other things).  Yet, I doubt anyone here would look at such beliefs as “moral” today, which calls into question your idea that morality is something that must be learned.

    In fact, morals stem from our dependence on one-another and the self-benefits therein.  The actual morals are malleable, but the underlying concept of prosocial behavior is not.

  • Brian Westley

    I disagree that we live in a secular country. We live in a Christian country with a secular government as it should remain.”

    What do you mean by a Christian country?  Is the US also a white country in the same sense?

  • Erik Cameron

    At my school we got Robert Munsch and Roberta Bondar
    Fucking Eh!

  • I disagree. My Dad served on the school board when I was in school. He worked really hard to get us an IT manager. The new IT guy and a elementary school teacher then wrote grants and got our school completely wired with computers in every classroom. This was around 1996. They also worked to make sure the school maintained a music program even though funding was very short by rotating community members in to teach music.

    What don’t work are boards full of sheep. The problem in this instance is the town is full of sheep too.

  • FSq

    Fair enough!

  • It would be quite bad to have a local school’s decisions performed by some out-of-the-area agency.

    It is important that the schools have the power they do.

    I propose a different solution – period audits of school board decisions. Depending on the legal standing of various decisions, board members who advocated those would get removed.

  • The Other Guy

    I’m homosexual and the last time I looked it seemed like being gay was quit normal, just like being heterosexual was normal.

    Also, why isn’t being gay healthy??? I haven’t had any serious problems since coming out, no broken bones, no serious sickness, nothing. The only problems I have are with allergies, which I’ve had since I was a kid. Your whole post is full of stupidity and ignorance.

  • I am not convinced this is incompetence. It seems more like ignorance. They are ignorant of the laws, the history, etc. Ignorance begets ignorance. It’s sad to see ignorance running an educational institution though. Le sigh.

  • Koran Kid would like shut them down far faster than the lawsuit will.

  • Anonymous

     Nothing new. He is always like this. It’d be best if everyone just ignored him.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Just bring in Koran man, Rig-Veda man, Edda man, Dianetics man, et al.

  • Becca

    Jeez… I remember being in elementary school in December, and having a “winter holiday assembly”. Guess which holiday was primarily discussed.

    As the only Jew at my school, I was extremely uncomfortable. Halfway through the assembly, there would be one Channukah song. Everybody in my class, and multiple teachers, would look at me during this segment, as if to say “look how accepting we’re being! Don’t you feel so much more comfortable?” 

    Furthermore, everyone was required to sing. We didn’t stick to non-religious Christmas songs. 

    I’m not sure why these assemblies bothered me so much. Probably because it pronounced how different I was from the other kids, and it didn’t seem like a good thing. 

  • Bible Man, Bible Man… Bible Man hates Constitution Man.  They have a fight, Constitution wins. Bible Man.  *accordion solo*

  • Larryfiehn

    I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that the comments on  the TV stations webpage have been overwhelmingly taking the school board to task and chiding them for taking actions that will likely put them in the same situation Cranston has found itself in. Apparently there are some rational thinkers, but they aren’t on this board.

  • LarryFiehn

    I am somewhat encouraged by the fact that the comments on  the TV stations webpage have been overwhelmingly taking the school board to task and chiding them for taking actions that will likely put them in the same situation Cranston has found itself in. Apparently there are some rational thinkers, but they aren’t on this board.

  • BinaryStar

    I have to agree with you, FSq, even though I was born, raised, and live in the South.

    And Yahoo News…GAH! It makes my head hurt. I can feel my I.Q. dropping as I scroll through those intelligence-devoid comments.

  • Wintermute


  •  But they don’t believe in dinosaurs…

  • Did they decide what educational programs to cut once they lose the lawsuit? Talk about living in an echo chamber. You think one person would stand up and say “Yeah…look..I’m with you on the Jesus thing and all but schools NEVER win this battle and it ends up costing the school districts involved boatloads of money.”
    They think their little echo chamber is indicative of the rest of the country and there is NO WAY Jesus is gonna lose.

  • FSq

    If you ever need and further reason to weep for the future of this nation (US), just read any random comments section at “Yahoo News”.

    Try this, pick a random Yahoo News section of comments, then go to and choose a random story. It is truly incredible how different the tone and content of the comments between the two countries are….*sigh*…

  • Adviser Moppet

    Now I have that song in my head.

  • Then my work here… is done.

  • Soooo, I’m bisexual, does that mean I’m only *half* normal?

  • “I disagree with what evidence shows” is just a fancier way of sticking their fingers in their ears and singing at the top of their lungs.

  • Kenneth Dunlap

    School boards are actually very important.  They allow us, the “common” folk, to have a say in policy. A great many famous politicians started in local assemblies and school boards. Instead of disdaining the concept, TRY JOINING ONE!

  • Kenneth Dunlap

    The rest of us have thought about these questions and answers.  Please stop posting until you have also.

  • Anonymous

     You say that like it’s a good thing. School shouldn’t be about politics. They should have education and children in their interest, not their political ambitions

  • bismarket

    They obviously have so much money they have to think of ways to rid themselves of it? If Cranston schoolboard decides against an appeal, their religious beliefs have already cost them $173,000. They don’t care about the students or the schools, all they care about are their own stupid beliefs, as long as the cash isn’t coming from their own pockets, eh?

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious. Well played! Good song to have stuck in the head, that. (I’ve always loved it especially since my dad was a particle physicist.)

  • Anonymous

    Leave off the “you imbecile” and that was a good comment. With it… not so much.

  • Weeeelllll, unfortunately, you fans of local democratised education systems and school boards staffed by people elected for their faith and politics rather than their qualfcations have just been heartily kicked square in the nuts. Seems youur looney toons policy of allowing Don The Dentist and Joe The Plumber to decide what your kids learn on a local level means you end up with woeful education standards.

    See further:

    That report only discusses science standards. I would suggest that in light of the poll last year that revealed 25% of high school kids didnt know it was the British you fought in the War of Independance that suggests the problem is endemic and affects all topics.

    Till you work out that faith and politics raddled school boards staffed by unqualified joe publc means no end of this, prayer banner, creationsm in science, and prayers at graduation court cases, wasted budgets and compromised kids educations your graduates will continue being all back o the bus.

    As a Brit I encourage you to continue with this insanity. Im sure parents in other countres would agree. All you are doing is giving our kids a head start 😉

  • Salty

    “there is a lot of evidence that shows it is not normal and not healthy.”   Citation needed….. Bible reference does not count.

  • Tiny Toon Adventures made a TMBG fan out of me at a young age. 🙂

  • Christoph Burschka

    I don’t think that follows inevitably. Giving people an influence on educational policy is an important part of local politics.

    The danger comes from mono-cultures where the majority is strongly religious, themselves educated in a cold-war environment, and intolerant to the point of xenophobia.

    Unfortunately, in that neighbourhood there’s no easy answer like “more power to school boards” or “less power to school boards”, since parents, teachers and politicians are all pervaded by the same religious influence (see Cranston).

  • Anonymous

    Here is an article that describes another way that radical nutjobs manipulate school boards and literally destroy lives in the process:

    What’s happened in that district is the perfect example against school boards. Or at least against them having this much power. They could be allowed to decide on how to improve the infrastructure, but never to set policy of any kind

  • Anonymous

    All that can be accomplished without allowing them to introduce destructive policies. School boards simply have too much power and discretion. Deciding how to invest funds is one thing. But beyond that it can become dangerous as shown all too often

  • Elricthemad

    Why is it the job of the schools or the state to teach morals and values to children? Seems to me that morals and values whether they are secular or religious in basis are a fine thing to be taught at home by the parents. Obviously they can’t be completely ignored by the school. “Don’t hit Billy” “Why not?” “Ask your parents.” Some respect for rules, laws and authority must be ingrained in the child before they are brought to school. Parents who want public schools to teach their children religious dogma are LAZY PARENTS. If you want your kids to believe those crazy things, you have to teach your kids those crazy things OR wake up early on Sunday and drag them to Sunday school to learn those crazy things.

    If the Christians get Bibleman, we should get Secularman the next day, or Darwinman, Dawkinsman or Hitchensman. Or DarwinPerson just to be more progressive. “Can you kids say evidence? I knew you could.” “Lets play a game called real or make believe.” All kinds of fun activities for the kids when DarwinPerson comes to visit your school!

  • Anonymous

    Interesting to look down the row of bowed heads: old white guy, old white guy, old white guy, old white guy, old white guy, old white guy … wow, what are the odds of that happening?

  • Freetripman

    This isn’t the reaction of a single town it’s the reaction of an entire county in north east Alabama. Jackson County Alabama is populated by approximately 54,000 people. In the churches that service that county there are approximately 48,000 church members. That means that there are less than 6000 people in this community that don’t believe that the Bible man is needed or shouldn’t be in the counties school system. I don’t think that any lawsuit filed in the county is going to be able to draw a jury pool that will award any victory to the ffrf. 

  • Anonymous

    Never heard of it (Tiny Toon)

  • It’s basically the “kids” of the original Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies cast of cartoon characters.  In fact, the original characters make appearances as the “teachers” at the Looniversity that the kids attend to learn all the tricks of the cartoon world.  I was an avid fan as a kid.

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