For a while now, we’ve been posting about a “Bible in the Schools” course that took place in West Virginia’s Mercer County Schools.
It’s no longer offered, but that’s only because Elizabeth Deal filed a lawsuit against the district on behalf of her daughter. The Deals said it was hardly an elective course — the daughter was bullied because she didn’t participate — and the course content itself treated Christianity as true rather than looking at it objectively. Last week, a judge ruled that the Deals had legal standing to bring this case forward, so it’s now up to a lower court to rule on the merits of their argument.
NBC News just posted an article by Corky Siemaszko offering a more personal look at the Deals and what they’ve gone through. It shows you the kind of nasty comments coming at them from hateful Christians in their community who are ignorant of church/state separation and wrongly believe she’s trying to attack their faith.
“The kids started telling her that she and her family were all going to hell,” Deal said. “One girl saw the Harry Potter book that Jessica Roe was reading and slammed it down on her desk. ‘You don’t need to be reading this witch magic stuff, you should be reading The Bible,’ she yelled.”
Deal said that while her daughter was punished by her peers almost right away, “there was no real blowback for me until I joined the lawsuit.”
“It’s not like anybody got in my face or threatened me,” she said. “But there were plenty of comments on the local newspaper Facebook page, things like: I hope Elizabeth Deal can feel the flames of hell licking at her feet.”
Spoiler: She doesn’t. She won’t.
This is why you don’t often see lawsuits even when a city or school is doing something blatantly illegal. In order to sue, you need people directly affected by what’s going on, and that means attaching your name to what is surely an unpopular case. In this case, the Deals deserve a lot of credit for their willingness to do what’s right even as the Christians around them pile on the hate.
(Thanks to Scott for the link)