On March 21, the BC Humanist Association sent a letter to Kevin Godden, the superintendent of the Abbotsford School District, to ask him to stop distributing Gideon Bibles and other religious materials in public schools. The BCHA makes it very clear that the distribution of Gideon Bibles and other religious materials in public schools should stop or else. The answer to the question “or else what?” is “end bible distribution or permit atheist comics.”
Gideon Bibles are not the only religious materials distributed in Abbotsford School District public schools. Some students have received brochures from Athletes in Action (AIA) Canada, a group that uses
the language of sport to communicate the most powerful message of all: God’s passionate love for his children as communicated through his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is just another way for Christian groups to exploit young people’s love of sports in order to convince them of the lie that God and his Son, Jesus Christ loves them.
Some Abbotsford parents like Tara MacRae are shocked:
“religion should not be promoted by the public school system. It’s my hope that a public school district, as part of our provincial government, would not distribute materials (religious or not) that do not promote freedom of choice and that inherently promote discrimination.”
The British Columbia Humanist Association agrees and
sees the distribution of religious materials (where those materials are not part of an approved curriculum) by a government funded agency, such as a school district, as unconstitutional.
The BC Humanist Association has presented the superintendent of the Abbotsford School District with an either/or solution to ending a practice that is both unconstitutional and in violation of the BC School Act:
We respectfully request that you respond to us in writing to advise whether you will discontinue the distribution of Gideon Testaments and other religious materials. If not, do you plan on consulting with other faith groups on the distribution of materials and would you agree to distribute the attached comic to all grade 5 students?
Godless Comics are unlikely to become “part of an approved curriculum,” but BCHA’s request to distribute the comics is a good way to convince the superintendent of the Abbotsford School District to discontinue the distribution of Gideon Testaments and other religious material in Abbotsford’s publicly-funded schools.